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Harry Potter World Visit

Last Sunday was amazing. I got to spend time with my sister and my husband in two of the greatest places on earth; Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. These are 2 of the Harry Potter World themed areas at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Unfortunately my week after Sunday was not so great, but I am not going to focus on that. Let’s focus on Harry Potter! 

Knock knock... anybody home? Here we are trying to break into 12 Grimauld Place.
Knock knock… anybody home? Here we are trying to break into 12 Grimauld Place.

I did a lot of research about food and drinks before we went. The Orlando Informer is a great site for information about Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. We ate and drank so many amazing things. We tried the Fishy Green Ale, Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice, Witches Brew and Strongbow spiked with Fire Whisky. The Fire Whiskey is a little different from the Fireball whiskey that everyone knows. It is smoother than Fireball and tastes amazing in the cider! I wish I could have bought a bottle to take home. 

Fishy Green Ale, Witches Brew and Otter's Fizzy Orange Juice
Fishy Green Ale, Witches Brew and Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice

In Hogsmeade we ate at Three Broomsticks and bought our mixed drink from Hogshead pub. I had the cornish pasties, my sister had the fish and chips and Adam had some ribs and chicken. We ate like Kings.

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Strongbow and Fire Whiskey with the Cornish Pasties at The Three Broomsticks

My favorite eatery was The Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley. My sister had the Specialty Chicken Sandwich and Adam had the Banger sandwich, but I had the best meal of all. I had the  amazing Beef, Lamb and Guinness Stew. It paired well with the dark , but surprisingly sweet Witches Brew beer. They served the stew in a bread bowl with a small salad on the side. I knew I had to try to remake this at home and so I did. 

The original Lamb, Beef and Guinness Stew from the Leakey Cauldron in Diagon Alley.
The original Beef, Lamb and Guinness Stew from the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley.

It was difficult to find a lamb AND beef stew recipe so I took a few different recipes and combined them. This stew was amazing. It was less thick than the stew that they had at the Leaky Cauldron, but still tasted great. For all you Harry Potter fans that can’t make it to Orlando anytime soon, now you can make it at home on your own.

Beef, Lamb and Guinness Stew

beef stew
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Beef for stew
  • 1 lb. Lamb for stew
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 TBS oil
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • 1/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c Guinness
  • 2 c beef broth
  • 1 1/2 c water plus 2 TBS for cooking onion and garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 TBS rosemary
  • 1 TBS thyme
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 4 small-medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 turnips
  • 1 c frozen peas

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Instructions

  1. Season beef and lamb with salt and pepper
  2. Brown the beef and lamb 1 batch at a time (I used our cast iron skillet)
  3. In a large pot saute onion and garlic with oil and 2 TBS water
  4. Add beef and lamb to pot and sprinkle with flour; stir until flour is dissolved
  5. Add Guinness, broth, water, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and sugar.
  6. Cook until boiling then reduce to simmer for 1 hour and 20 min
  7. Add carrots, potatoes and turnips and continue simmering 30-40 minutes
  8. Add peas and heat until warm 5-10 min
  9. Serve over mashed potatoes or in a pretzel bread bowl (see link to recipe in description below)

Adapted from: Once Upon a Chef

I decided to put it in a pretzel bread bowl instead of the wheat type of bread bowl they had at the restaurant. I used Allrecipes website for the pretzel bread recipe. Again this included yeast to make the dough and you know I am afraid of yeast! But I survived yet again and the pretzel bread bowl held the stew well without any leaks! 

I should have asked for a bread knife on my wedding registry!
I should have asked for a bread knife on my wedding registry!

After eating that delicious food we wandered around Harry Potter World discovering so many neat things! I decided to break down and buy the wand that I have always wanted. I chose Fleur Delacour’s wand, because it was just so beautiful. Luna Lovegood’s wand is also very cute.  The coolest part about buying a wand was the interactive wand stations they have around Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. It was a very magical experience.

My sister and I visiting the Knight Bus driven by Stan Shunpike and the talking head
My sister and I visiting the Knight Bus driven by Stan Shunpike and the talking head

For dessert we had Butterbeer ice cream from Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor. I thought the ice cream version of Butterbeer was better than Butterbeer itself! So creamy and delicious. I found a great copy cat recipe from Muggle Net under the Butterbeer tab. This seriously tastes amazing and very close to the flavor of the soft serve they sell in Diagon Alley. Luckily I got an ice cream maker for a wedding gift and was able to whip a batch right up! Don’t use your wand as a spoon, it might deactivate it.

butterbeer ice cream
Butterbeer ice cream. Great with a side of cream soda.

Of course we had to buy a chocolate frog, chocolate wand and some Bertie Bott’s every flavor beans at Honeydukes. My sister bought a Dealthly Hallows t-shirt from Borgin and Burkes, which apparently is controversial. The wizards and witches would ask her “You don’t actually believe in that, do you?” At the end of the day we were exhausted but it was so worth it! Please remember to try to keep the fun, love and magic in your life every day!!

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