Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Paddy's Day - Irish Stew...And The Lot

Celebrate your favorite version of St. Patrick's Day with one of the great favorites of the day, Irish stew. This version of stobhach, as it's called comes from Recipe, and uses the traditional meat: lamb (or mutton). (Hey, people take this very seriously -- check out the Wikipedia description of this dish to see how much.)
     You'll find all sorts of Irish recipes, from soup to dessert, at this site, Irish -- enjoy, and Erin Go Bragh!


  • 1 cubed lamb: pre-cut stew meat, or meat from shoulder, shanks or neck
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 broth (or use all water)
  • 1 thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt, pepper, water 
Container: Dutch oven or lidded casserole, 4 to 5 quart
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.  Peel the potatoes and slice crosswise, about 1/4 inch thick.  Slice the onions about 1/4 inch thick. Trim as much fat as possible from the lamb and cut into cubes about 1 inch on a side.
  • Layer half of the potatoes in a Dutch oven or other 4 or 5 quart oven-proof container. Salt very lightly and add a few grindings of pepper. Layer half the onions over the potatoes and add the lamb. Salt the lamb lightly, and then add the rest of the onions followed by the rest of the potatoes and another sprinkling of salt and pepper. (Total salt added should be about 1 teaspoonful). Tuck a bay leaf down along the edge of the pot and sprinkle on the thyme. Add broth and/or water to barely cover the top layer.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, and put in preheated oven for 2 hours or until lamb is tender. If preferred, cook on stovetop at a low simmer instead of in the oven. If using stovetop, check occasionally to make sure liquid isn't cooking away; add water if necessary.
  •     Makes approx. 4 servings; serve hot with soda bread or tea brack

Irish Stew photo, courtesy of Wikipedia

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy St. Paddy's Day - Irish Apple Cake

Crunchy, apple-y...what a nice way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! This moist cake doesn't keep that well  -- but who knows if you'll have any leftover, anyways. (Store them in the fridge if you do.)

Directions are from the Ireland's Eye website, and are written in both Continental and American.


175g/ 6oz butter
175g/ 6oz caster sugar  (powdered sugar)
2 eggs, beaten
225g/ 8oz self-raising flour
2 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1tsp lemon rind
2tbsp demerara sugar  (raw brown sugar)
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to gas mark 4/ 180°C/ 350°F, and grease and line a 900g/ 2lb loaf tin. Cream butter and sugar. Gradually add eggs and flour. Stir in apples and lemon rind. Pour into the tin and sprinkle with sugar and spices. Bake for 1- 1 1/2 hours.

for more, go here.

Happy St. Paddy's Day - Corned Beef & Cabbage

I have to admit it up front. Corned beef and cabbage isn't Irish. Well, Gaelic Irish, that is.

Irish immigrants who came to America were more accustomed -- when they could afford it, that is -- to eating bacon with their cabbage and potatoes. However, in the U.S., bacon was anything but cheap. Instead the American Irish turned to something their Jewish neighbors were more familiar with: corned beef.
   And that is how corned beef became associated with cabbage. See, it is still Irish -- just the American version of the dish!


You'll need:
1 package frozen corned beef brisket (whatever's cheapest -- the point cut is generally the best price). I generally get about 4 pounds -- and look for the leanest cut possible
1 small head cabbage
1-2 onions
1 carrot per person (if you like your corned beef a little sweeter - I'll often leave these out)
1 1/2 potatoes per person

Let the corned beef thaw, or loosen it up by running it 3 min. in the microwave. (I don't always remember to leave it out the night before.) Cut away as much fat as possible, then dump it in the bottom of a crockpot. Break open the package of pickling spices that comes with the corned beef, and sprinkle it on...then add enough water to cover.
Slice cabbage thin, chop onions. Wash and trim carrots. Dump these in on top of the corned beef. Cook approx. 6 hours on low. Stir up, mixing veggies with corned beef slabs, then add potatoes (cut in half or thirds) for the last 1- 1 1/2 hours more of cooking (8 hours total, though can go as long as 10 or 12 with no problem.) OR boil potatoes separately for approx. 20-30 min. (The smaller you cut them, the faster they'll cook.)

Slice or chunk the corned beef. Serve each person a plate with mashed boiled potato, 1 carrot, spoonful of onions/cabbage, with the corned beef arranged on the side. Pour a little of the juice over to act as 'gravy.' Enjoy! Just as good -- or better -- the next day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy St. Paddy's Day - Soda Bread

 Soda bread - crisp on the outside, soft and tender inside, with a bonus of currants or raisins to sweeten your slice. If possible, bake just before you serve it -- this is one bread that is best eaten the same day. The recipe comes courtesy of Low Cholesterol (really!), and was contributed by an Irish girl who knew her fare.

Irish Rosie's Irish Soda Bread


Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat eggs and sour cream separately, then stir into the dry mixture; batter will be thick. Add caraway seeds and raisins, stir hard (or knead, instead).

   Put batter in a greased 9" springform pan. Dust the top with flour and pat the batter down evenly, then make two diagonal cuts with a knife. Bake 50 min. in a preheated 350ºF oven. Slice and serve with butter and jam.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy St. Paddy's Day -- Champ and Colcannon

Do you like mashed potatoes?

Then Champ will be one of your favorite Irish dishes ever -- a pile of creamy mashed goodness, with a touch of onion and warm melted butter -- yum.


1-2 potatoes per person, peeled and chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1-2 tablespoonfuls butter per person

Boil the potatoes; while they're cooking, let the green onions lightly steam in the milk a few minutes. Mash the potatoes, mix in the hot onion/milk mixture, then add more milk if needed. Add a grind of salt and pepper, and serve each person a pile of mash with a well of butter melting in the middle.


Chop a handful or more of cabbage, and cook it with the onions until cabbage is tender. Mix into the potatoes.

More info here. 

Update: Writing about Champ has produced a craving -- I've made it twice in the days since! If you're feeling rushed, try it with instant mashed potatoes and a spoonful of dried onion, then serve with a tablespoon of butter melting on it. Almost as good as the mashed-and-true.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy St. Paddy's Day! Irish Tea Brack

It's coming...the celebration of all things Irish. For the next week, we'll be running classic Irish recipes. The Gaelic blood running through this lassie is thick and strong as the tea in this classic Irish dessert. Try it with afternoon tea.


Dried peaches, apricots, and prunes are the fruits and the liquid used is strong tea. Since it uses dried fruits, you can easily make it year-round. Great for breakfast or an afternoon tea snack. Plan ahead to let the fruit steep in the tea overnight.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1/2 cup dried peaches, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried prunes, chopped
  • 1 cup hot, strong tea
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-3/4 cups self-rising flour
  • Butter or margarine (optional)


Combine peaches, apricots, prunes, and tea in a large bowl; cover and let stand overnight.

Add sugar, egg, and orange marmalade to fruit mixture. Stir well. Gradually add flour and pumpkin pie spice, mixing well.

Spoon batter into a greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cut into squares. Serve with butter, if desired.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Recipe Source: The Southern Heritage Celebrations Cookbook by Carole Lisa Albyn and Lois Sinaiko Webb (Oryx Press)
Reprinted with permission.

(Thanks to the Home Cooking section in!
Look for the full page here.)