A few winters ago, on a Sunday get together with the whole family around the table for dinner, whether unsure to eat something or settle for the 14 courses of lunch, my attention was recalled by a strange background music. A characteristically Irish melody, which immediately puts joy and good humour and desire for Guinness.

It’s I’m Shipping Up to Boston, says Shazam[1], and is introducing a new crime TV series, which continues to be one of the few series that I watch in Italian with the entire family, “Rizzoli & Isles”.

The protagonists are two very different women: Maura Isles – legal doctor played by Sasha Alexander, and Jane Rizzoli – homicide investigator with the face that never gets old Angie Harmon (try to watch her in “Law & Order” or “The homicides “, she has not aged a day!).
Jane rizzoli-isles-gif-edits-rizzoli-and-isles-35165196-500-185 is a strong beer drinker and sports lover. Maura is a refined connoisseur of wines and art, as well as the classic “good girl”. They could not be more dissimilar yet they could not be more friends than they already are.
tumblr_inline_mrskh5vvox1qz4rgpI find funny all the conversations between the protagonists, and also deep, because with great irony they are able to talk about very contemporary and sensitive topics.

But likewise well written are the lines left to Mrs. Rizzoli, Sergeant Korsak and poor detective Frost.

d0a0d0b8d186d186d0bed0bbd0b8201It’s not a crime too psychological, indeed, what I like most about this show are the dialogue always shiny and lively, the fact that each character has been assigned a way of talking that captures the viewer and is part of him. The cases are not trivial but not too complex or fantastic and each episode manages to touch smart issues with great lightness.
Rizzoli & Isles smells like home, has the taste of Sunday evening with the family in front of the fireplace (to have it!)  it has the sound of joy and talk in the background. The jingle is explained by the origins of the Rizzoli family: a hydraulic father, a housewife mother, three children, two policemen and a criminal, emigrated from Ireland a few generations before, but still keeping the traditions high, and I think it’s right for us to approach the TV series in the best way, preparing a typical dish: the stew in beer!



* Beer stew
(the recipe is from my English friend, John)

Graphic by: Federica

Ingredients (x 4 people)

 -1 red onion
 – extra virgin olive oil
– 1 and 1/2 generous tablespoons of flour
– 2 medium carrots
– 1/2 rib of celery
– 200 g potatoes
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 rosemary branch
– 1 thyme sprig
– fine salt
 – fresh ground black pepper
 – 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
– 600 g of cubed Chianina beef
 – 175ml Guinness draught
– 300 ml light vegetable stock

Let’s slice the onion finely and let it stew with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the pressure cooker for about 5 minutes, adding a little water to guarantee that it does not become too dark. In the meantime, we have to sprinkle the pieces of meat with a little oil and mix the flour with a pinch of salt, a pinch of fresh pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper. We cover the meat, and place it in the pot, adding a drop of oil if needed, so that it becomes golden. Let it brown for 2 – 3 minutes on each side. Then we pour the 175 ml of Guinness draft beer leaving it to collect for about 5 minutes. At this point add the carrots and celery cut into slices and the diced potatoes, 1 salt, the bay leaf, thyme, rosemary. We cover with 300 ml of vegetable stock, mix well and close the pressure cooker. Let it cook for 30 minutes from the signal. Once the pot has been turned off and all the steam is poured out, let’s open and check the cooking point. If necessary, let us take away the cooking surface for a few minutes longer. Serve the stew with a little fresh aromatic plant and a few slices of bread.




[1]  one of the most famous apps in the world, used by over 100 million people every month to identify songs, find lyrics and exchange music.