The Daily Spud

...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Spud Sunday: Au Gratin, Au Guinness

I’ll wager that my Da would think the following a waste of perfectly good Guinness. Nevertheless, in honour of the awards weekend that was in it, I thought that Le Spud could do worse than to take a dip in some of Arthur Guinness’s finest stout.

At first blush, it might not seem that spuds doused in Guinness would be that promising a combination. It might even sound like a messy night at the blog awards pub. Just so we’re clear, though. I’m not talking about spilling your pint over somebody’s bag of tayto (though, no doubt, that happens quite a lot in this country…). What I’m talking about is Richard Olney’s recipe for Potatoes in Beer, which brings a whole new meaning to the term beer soakage.

Potato gratin with Guinness

Beer soaked spuds...

The recipe was the first thing that caught my eye as I leafed through Lindsey Bareham’s book In Praise Of The Potato. A simple enough gratin of potatoes, onions, cream and, well, beer. Now, it didn’t specify any particular type of beer, but I couldn’t resist using Guinness. I tell you now that I will do my bit for sales of the black stuff by applying it to this recipe again and again and again. It was rich and addictive. You could have it with any red meats and it’s reportedly very good with fried liver. I, on the other hand, ate it with nothing more than a glass of red for company, and I thought that just fine too. Now who says that beer and wine don’t mix?

Potatoes Cooked In Beer

This is more or less as devised by the food writer Richard Olney and elaborated upon by my humble self.

You’ll need:
  • About 700g potatoes (preferably a waxy variety)
  • 1 large-ish onion (about 125-150g)
  • 225ml guinness (or other beer)
  • 25g butter (keep it cold, ‘cos you’ll need to grate it)
  • 150ml heavy cream
  • Salt to taste (I used about 0.5-0.75 tsp of fine-grained salt)
You’ll also need:
  • A deep baking dish (I used an oval dish that was about 28cm long, 20cm wide and 5cm deep).
The Steps:
  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Finely slice both the onion and the potatoes. Don’t rinse the potatoes in water.
  • Use a fine grater or similar implement to make fine shavings of your (cold) butter.
  • Grease the baking dish and fill with alternate layers of onion and potato, starting with an onion layer and ending with a potato layer (I got about four layers of each in the dish I was using). Overlap the potato slices well and sprinkle some salt on each potato layer as you go, except for the last one.
  • Pour the guinness (or other beer) over the potatoes and onions and distribute the butter shavings over the surface.
  • Bake for 50 minutes, turning the temperature down to 180C after the first 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, pour the cream evenly over the surface and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  • Enjoy with liver or red meats or perhaps with some greens for contrast (I’m thinking crunchy French beans with a tangy dressing) or eat it all on it’s own if you feel so inclined.
The Results:
  • Side dish for about 4 people, though I devoured about half of this recipe at one sitting. There again, I am a potato fiend.


  1. wooooooow. that sounds insanely delicious! i love the guiness in there! au gratin potatoes are just my favorite!

  2. Nothing wrong with mixing potatoes and beer together. Sounds awesome! Would it be overkill to then drink a beer (instead of wine) while you ate them?!

  3. gratin…my mum’s fav…I enjoy it n will make it for sure…

  4. I love the idea of potatoes gratin with Guinness – it sure makes everything better.

    Guinness is being featured in our shopping store now so my daughter was singing loudly “Guinness is good for you!” during our weekend shopping. You might guess that we took her to the Guinness factory on our trip. She loved the commercials.

  5. Well done on Saturday night. Great win. Great night too.

    I’m going to make Guinness Gratin this week. Looks yum. What red did you go for?

  6. Daily Spud

    Monday, February 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Heather: yep, it was well tasty…

    Shane: I don’t think that would be overkill at all, lol

    Navita: enjoy :)

    Natasha: aw, that’s so cute – and Guinness certainly have had some great ads over the years

    Lar: cheers! It was a great night (and to think I nearly didn’t go!). As for the vino, I think it was a cab sav or cab sav / shiraz I had but I’m by no means a wine expert. I’d *love* to hear what you think would be good with this.

  7. This is a godsend! I’ve been stuck in a mashed-potato rut for some time and this is just the recipe to help me out. Yes, indeed, paired with a nice med-rare dry-aged steak and a cabernet sauvignon . . . or maybe some grilled sausages . . . or braised ribs . . . [drifting off into food daydreams].

  8. mmmmm. Guinness and potatoes? beautiful.

  9. Au gratin, au Guiness au God that looks good!

  10. Two of my favourites combined. Ps. Congrats for Saturday night. Fantastic achievement :)

  11. I haven’t gotten any further in this article than “spuds doused in Guinness”, because then my head exploded while trying to imagine such a divine combination. I will now continue reading the rest of the article.

  12. Good gravy, those potatoes look amazing! They’d be a nice twist on the standard boiled fare on St Patrick’s Day!

  13. Daily Spud

    Monday, February 23, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Tangled Noodle: hope some of those daydreams make their way onto your dinner plate soon!

    Mama Chicken: mmmmm indeed

    Jenni: Au yes!

    Matt: yeah – good combo alright – and thanks. Missed meeting you on Saturday (I take it you were there?) – so many bloggers, so little time… :)

    Angry Brit: deep breath, count to 10, now continue reading…

    Jen: welcome along – these would indeed be a highly appropriate choice for Paddy’s Day fare!

  14. My dad is 1/2 Irish (1/2 Scottish) and for many years he had a second fridge dedicated to Guinness only. Nothing else was allowed in there. After a move my mother somehow got hold of the second fridge and the Guinness fridge no longer exists. I’ll be going home in a few weeks time for my father’s birthday – guess what is now going to be included in his birthday dinner meal…

  15. That’s totaly new to me, using beer in a dish. I generally prefer drinking it :) But happy to hear that it has some other usages. And mixing beer and wine in this way, so creative!

  16. You know…we never thought to add beer to a potato dish. But why not! It works well in so many other things. Great idea here.

  17. Yeah, we were there on Saturday night. Just missed out on best business blog, but aiming for next year!

  18. Seriously, seriously good idea to grate the butter. Definitely a technique that I must try! And of course the addition of Guinness – brilliant. This recipe is a clipper.

  19. Scrum.. Might have to try this on Sunday … got a feeling I’ll have to double up though :)

  20. OK, now my hubby would be into this–would it be bad to give it to the kiddies? early bedtime? hehe.

  21. Daily Spud

    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    gastroanthropologist: ah, a Guinness fridge, now that’s a true fan! Hope he enjoys this for his birthday meal – it seems highly appropriate :)

    zerrin: I’m quite fond of drinking beer too, but I am prepared to consider other uses, lol

    Duo Dishes: it’s not one I’d come across either but it definitely works well

    kickpleat: oh, it is good, it is

    Matt: good luck for next year!

    Megan: I’ll consider the recipe clipped and saved now :)

    English Mum: doubling up is definitely a good idea, then you get to pour a whole pint of Guinness over a rake of spuds and eat all the results (with some help from Hubby, #1 and #2 of course!)

  22. Wow…just the picture alone is pretty incredible, I can almost taste it, almost. Looking at the picture I immediately suffered similar maladies of the other commenters, I drifted off imagining what would compliment this work of art – ah – everything! My head exploded. I better stop, I have to look away, must have willpower.

  23. Look away now, OysterCulture, while there’s still time! :)

  24. I am in awe! Potatoes and Guinness? That sounds amazing! I love Guinness in Ireland. We order it in the States and it just can’t compare. It is best straight from its source. :)

  25. This does sound amazing! They have such a great color.

  26. Whoaaaa, that picture is absolutely amazing. Bet I can finish that whole pan… it looks so delicious!

  27. Daily Spud

    Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Lori: yep, best straight from source alright :)

    Maggie: thanks!

    Jesse: yep I bet you could finish the whole pan – I know I could :)

  28. I agree with Da, only because the only and best food I have ever had was in Ireland in the side street pubs (not tourist traps either), and no one had duplicated my memories over here across the pond!

    These look absolutely lip smacking’ly good!

  29. excellent to know a stout works well here. I figured it must. doesn’t a stout go with everything? ;-)

  30. Daily Spud

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Chef E: lipsmacking, indeed!

    Giff: sure does :)

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