A couple of months ago, just in time for St Patrick's Day, HP launched a new variety of their iconic sauce with a surprising ingredient - Guinness ! - and sent me a bottle to try out. I was intrigued to see what the combination of flavours would taste like. Both HP and Guinness are great by themselves, but would they work together ?
I first tried it out on the side of the plate when I ate sausages and mash and I have to admit, I wasn't entirely convinced. You can really taste the Guinness and my brain couldn't work out why I was tasting that when eating bangers and mash. I got the impression I was eating a pub lunch and someone had spilt their beer in my food ! Hmmm.
I did think to myself that it would great as an ingredient in beefy casseroles or pies though or possibly as an ingredient in a marinade for the barbecue and a quick look at the bottle showed that it does indeed say "Delicious with beef and pork, also a tasty cooking ingredient". The next time I knocked up some beef carbonnade (basically a boozy beef casserole - you can see my £4 Slow Cooker Challenge version here), I squeezed in a good dollop and it gave the sauce a lovely deep, rich flavour and extra thickness.
The website offers a whole host of other recipe ideas to try out that sound as simple as they are delicious : Potato topped Irish stew, sticky spicy ribs, tacos, fajitas, Beef & HP Guinness Pie, even HP Guinness cheese and ham toasties. It actually seems to be a really versatile ingredient for adding a bit of oomph to meaty dishes (and more - I wouldn't have thought of trying it with cheese toasties but I guess that would be a bit similar to Welsh rarebit).
I have to admit, I'm not keen on it as a side-of-plate sauce as I feel it overpowers the food, but it is great for adding extra flavour to gravies and casseroles, so it's worth experimenting with.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £1.99 for 475g
for more information : http://www.heinz.co.uk/sauce-partners/hp-sauce/hp-guinness
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