My husband and I like to have traditions around food.
We like to try new things and then incorporate them into an event to make both the event and the food special. For example, we love watching the Oscars every year and my husband always does up a big batch of Caesar salad (with dressing made from scratch) and fettuccini Alfredo (with sauce made from scratch).
For the past few years we’ve had a friend with Irish heritage come over for dinner on or around St. Patrick’s Day, and so our food tradition is that I try to come up with something Irish for dinner. We’re not the type to drink all the green beer, but more the type to want a good Irish stew with some Irish sides. Last year I made Irish soda bread.
This year I stumbled across a handful of recipes for Cheddar Guinness Dip and knew I had to make it.
What you serve with the dip is up to you. Around the same time I also discovered Irish Potato Bread, and these definitely go together well. Pretzels and celery sticks would be fantastic with this.
There is a small amount of Guinness in here and it’s not cooked so the alcohol isn’t boiled off or anything, so ideally this would be an adults-only appetizer. That being said, the amount of Guinness per serving is minuscule.
Other than the two cheeses, I treated this like a “measure with your heart” recipe. I eyeballed everything and doubled the garlic because who doesn’t like garlic?
But, let’s work through this:
If you have a big food processor, this whole recipe is made in there. I don’t. My food processor is tiny, but I found using a handheld blender / stick blender worked well. I just had to really force it into the cheese to get it to mix. If you don’t have one of these either, you could just mix it really well with a fork. Your final result will be a bit chunkier, but it’ll taste just as great. The chunky texture might even be more appealing, come to think of it.
Start with putting nearly everything in the food processor or a bowl—softened cream cheese, shredded Irish cheddar cheese, garlic cloves, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper.
I had to head to the deli section of my grocery store to get fancy cheeses, but if that’s not an option for you either because of cost or local selection, getting an old or sharp cheddar cheese will do in a pinch.
If you don’t have Dijon mustard (I didn’t), a strong mustard will do. If all you have is yellow hot dog mustard, use that. For myself, I harvest and blend my own mustard and it has quite the bite, so I used that.
Blend it all in the food processor or with the stick blender or fork until smooth and nicely blended.
Pour in the Guiness and mix it up again. Be careful that you don’t splatter Guinness all over the place.
When that’s all mixed in well and you have a consistent final product, transfer it to your serving bowl and top with parsley (fresh or dried) and green onion.
Let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavours really combine nicely, and then serve it up. Like I mentioned above, goes fantastic with Irish potato bread, but pretzels or celery would go great too.
This is definitely a recipe you can make a day ahead. We had leftovers that we ate the next two days while watching TV and it was just as good those times.
Honestly, this is super easy to make and super impressive. It was the hit of our dinner party and it literally took me like ten minutes.
Cheddar Guinness Dip
- Food Processor (Large) You can make do without a food processor. See recipe for details.
- 250 g Cream cheese Softened
- 250 g Irish cheddar cheese, or other sharp cheddar cheese Shredded
- 1-2 Garlic cloves
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard Any strong mustard will do in the absence of Dijon
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp Paprika
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp Pepper
- ⅓ cup Guinness
- 3 Green onions
- Parsley, fresh or dried, to taste
- Put the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large food processor and blend until smooth and consistent. If you don't have a food processor or yours is too small, there are alternatives. I used a hand blender / stick blender, pressing it down into the mixture to mix it up. You could also use a fork to mix and press together; with this method you'll get one that's less smooth but that's all right. If you're going with the fork method, you'll want to mince the garlic since there are no blades to chop it up.
- Add in the Guinness and process until smooth.
- Transfer to a bowl, smooth out, and top with green onions and parsley.
- Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.