St. Patrick’s Day Specialties

Tipsy Irish Pot Roast

6-8 servings


  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) chuck beef roast, boneless or bone-in as desired
  • About 1 cup Irish whiskey or bourbon (see note)
  • ¾ to 1 cup flour (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cooking oil or shortening (optional)
  • 1 (10½-ounce) can beef broth or consommé, undiluted
  • 2 bay leaves, broken
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons finely snipped fresh basil leaves or ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup flour (for gravy)
  • 3 to 4 drops gravy seasoning and browning sauce or as desired (optional)
  • Sprigs of parsley or minced parsley for garnish


Place meat in a deep bowl in which roast will fit; pour whiskey over meat, covering roast well. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or longer. Remove from marinade, reserving whiskey for cooking. May dredge roast in flour, all sides, if desired, coating meat lightly. Heat oil or melt shortening in a large skillet over moderate heat; brown floured roast, all sides, in hot oil or shortening.

Transfer roast to a roasting pan; discard oil or shortening. Or, place roast in a roasting pan and bake, uncovered, in a preheated very hot oven (450 degrees F.) for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to very slow (275 degrees F.). Add reserved whiskey, beef broth or consommé, bay leaves, garlic, water, Worcestershire sauce, basil, and salt and pepper. Loosely cover roasting pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 3½ to 4 hours or until meat is fork tender. Transfer meat to a heat-proof platter, cover, and keep warm in the oven while preparing gravy. Transfer pan liquid to a medium heavy saucepan.

In a 1-cup measure, combine 1/4 cup flour with ½ cup cold water, blending until smooth with a wire whisk. Stir flour mixture into pan liquid. May add 3 to 4 drops gravy seasoning and browning sauce, if desired. Cook, stirring constantly, over moderate heat until gravy is thickened and bubbly hot. Adjust seasoning to taste. With a sharp knife, cut roast across the grain into slices and garnish with parsley. Pass hot gravy in a sauce boat.

Note: Alcohol evaporates during cooking and only the flavor is left after roasting meat.

Variation: Add peeled or unpeeled very small red-skinned potatoes, peeled very small whole carrots, very small peeled whole onions, and about 3 celery ribs, cut into 1½-inch pieces to roast about 1 hour before meat is finished cooking.

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