This week, I had the privilege of going to the Martha Stewart show!! My friend Brett, from my food blogging class invited me to go with him and we had a wonderful time! Check out Brett’s blog, Crumberry Bake Shop!

If you know me, you know about my love for Martha Stewart. Since I was a little girl, I have been a devout follower. I used to set the VCR before school to record Martha Stewart Living, and as soon as I came home I would rewind the video and watch the show. Then, I would hurry to my room and try to make the craft of the day. I started subscribing to her magazine in junior high. The first time I roasted a chicken (at age 13), I used a Martha Stewart recipe, stuffing the chicken with lemons and sage and delicately separating the skin from the meat to slide the butter and herbs in between to add extra flavor. Although I ended up roasting the chicken UPSIDE DOWN, it still tasted great. I was so proud and remember thinking, “Martha would be proud too.”

So, the Martha Stewart show was a dream come true!!! We were in the front of the line outside the studio and when we filed in, we were seated in the very front row of the studio! The entire staff was so professional and extremely organized and the show ran like a well-oiled machine and it was timed out to the second- one hour exactly.

Martha‘s set is just spectacular. Her new kitchen is a beautiful, buttery yellow color and her crafting set is maticulously organized. When Martha walked out of those double doors and all the lights and cameras were on, I could have died. She looked so beautiful in her bright blue shirt. This particular show we went to was all about wild animals, so she walked out on stage with a camel! As she stood in front of us, doing her intro. segment, the camel proceeded to urinate all over the stage. Martha didn’t skip a beat- she just kept talking, confident as ever.

Here are a few pictures of the set and of course… Martha.

Well, although Martha did not cook that day, it was still a thrill to be in her studio and witness her in person.

Still inspired by my Martha encounter this week, I decided to try a recipe out of her magazine from this month. Simple braised short ribs, stout, Guinness beer, and thinly sliced potatoes make this little potpie unique and full of flavor. It tastes like Irish pub comfort food and will warm you right up on a cold, fall evening.

Braised Short Rib, Stout, and Potato Potpies

For the Filling:
4 pounds boneless short ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bottles (12 ounces) stout, preferably Guinness (3 cups)
2 rosemary sprigs
1 pound cipollini onions, peeled

For the Topping:
6 medium russet potatoes (3 1/2 pounds)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Make the filling: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Dredge short ribs in flour, coating all sides. Transfer to a large plate. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Working in batches, brown short ribs, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a large plate using kitchen tongs.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add yellow onion to Dutch oven, and cook until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Return meat to Dutch oven. Add stout and rosemary. Bring to a simmer. Cover, and transfer to oven. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.

3. Remove Dutch oven from oven, and add cipollini onions. Braise until meat is tender and onions are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Shred meat using 2 forks. Season with salt and pepper. Divide filling among eight mini (1-cup) pie plates, or transfer to a 12-inch (8-cup) gratin dish.

4. Make the topping: Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees. Peel potatoes, and very thinly slice each (preferably on a mandoline). Arrange potatoes over meat to form tight concentric circles, working around the edge and overlapping each potato by three-quarters. Brush with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until topping is golden and filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes for mini potpies (1 hour for large potpie).

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