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Irish Lamb Stew and Soda Bread Recipe

The closest thing I have to having Irish in me is a tattoo on my left arm that is Celtic in origin but art nouveau in appearance. Yes, it’s an armband and yes I got in the early 90’s, who didn’t? I think the year was 1991 and the place was Seattle. My friend Non and I took the Green Tortoise, i.e. hippie bus, from Berkeley to Seattle and then a Greyhound from Seattle to Vancouver. We were 20 and adventurous.

We stayed in a couple of hostels (I think) and wandered aimlessly. One of the few things I recall is that we lived off of fast food fish and chips from some joint that was swarming with hungry seagulls and getting got lost in downtown Seattle. While trying to figure out where to go next on our map a little old lady walked up this pair of greasy haired, pierced, tattooed girls with army issue backpacks and offered her assistance. I’ll never forget how nice she was. That was my first real impression of Seattle.

I don’t know if I was set to get a tattoo in Seattle or not, but once we got there the urge was overwhelming and it HAD to be Celtic. Did you notice what year this was? But as we know, I don’t necessarily like to follow trends, so it also had to be unique. Non and I spent hours in the bookstore and then hours in the library looking for the perfect design. What I found is something I have yet to see in any other book. The design comes from an artifact. A Celtic carving found on a scabbard discovered I wish I knew exactly where and when. Non and I purchased the thousand page book, took it the tattoo artist, whose name was Hubba Hubba by the way, and then, of course, promptly returned the book.

Hubba Hubba was a, not surprisingly, chubby little man. He sweated profusely as he was tattooing my arm and charged me only fifty bucks. He said, “because your hot”. Uh, ok?

That tattoo is set a little lower on my left arm than your typical armband and is not as ornate as the original photograph (it would have bled into a big blob) and it is, by far, the tattoo I get the most compliments on. Especially from women, for some reason.

All I really remember about the Canada part of our trip are two things. Sitting in the queue on the Greyhound bus waiting to get into Canada and watching a man and a woman run for their dear lives from (or was it to?) the border, and being held at the border when returning to the States. I had a passport (and had no problems), but Non didn’t. We are both brown and I guess they thought she was trying to deport from Canada. Does that even happen?

In honor of the Irish in (or on) all of us I made Irish Lamb Stew and Irish Soda Bread for St. Patty’s Day, with a tiny bit of a Mediterranean twist.

Cheers!

Irish Lamb Stew

Adapted from Epicurious

I went a little heavy on the spices and condiments, but, as you’ll see from the measurements, I’ve given you the option of going a little lighter.

This was, by far, the best stew I’ve ever made.

What you’ll need~

A handful or two of flour to coat your lamb

1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

1-1/2 – 2 lbs lamb from a leg cut into 1-inch pieces

3-4 whole cloves of garlic, peeled

4 cups beef stock

1/2 cup Guinness

1/2 cup red wine

2-4 tablespoons tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons dried sage

1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2-4 bay leaves

3-4 tablespoons Irish butter

6-7 cups russet potatoes, sliced and halved

1 shallot thinly sliced

1 large onion sliced and halved

2 cups carrots cut or chopped into chunks

Fresh parsley

Pat each chunk of lamb dry with a paper towel and then dredge through flour. Heat the olive oil in your largest pot over medium heat. Add lamb and shallots and sauté until brown on all sides. About 5 minutes. Stir in stock, beer, wine, tomato paste, dried sage, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Let cook for an hour stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, melt butter in your next largest pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onions and carrots. Sauté until veggies are softened and golden. About 20 minutes.
Add vegetables to stew and simmer uncovered for another 40 minutes. You want your lamb to melt like butter on your tongue.

Sprinkle with a handful of parsley and serve hot.

Irish Soda Bread

Adapted from Epicurious

This bread also turned out amazingly well. I used chopped dried figs instead of the traditional currants. Feel free to use whatever dried fruit that turns you on.

What you’ll need~

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2-cup raw honey

1-tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1-teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup or so Irish butter, cut into cubes

1 cup dried figs, chopped

2 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a large loaf pan or two smaller loaf pans. You can also grease a baking sheet and form the dough into a boule.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add butter. Use your fingers to break the butter apart in the flour (one of my favorite things ever). Rub until the flour become coarse and crumby. Stir in dried fig pieces.

In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk and eggs. Briefly warm your honey on the stove or in the microwave until it is just softened. Whisk honey into buttermilk and eggs.

Stir wet mix into flour mixture until well blended.

Pour dough into bread pan(s) and use a small knife to cut and X or X’s into the top.

Bake bread for about an hour and 15 minutes rotating pan halfway through.

Serve with a generous smear of Irish butter.

 

Source: http://leeksoup.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/to-the-irish-in-on-all-of-us-irish-lamb-stew-and-soda-bread/

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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Lamb, Meats, Stews

 

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Irish Nachos & Guinness Stew Recipe

These are the little savory morsels that inspired Irish Food Day at my house.  Stand in awe of the Irish Nachos!

If I had not been surrounded by my lovely family I would have made inappropriate noises until this platter was EMP-TY!

Seasoned red potatoes with bacon and cheese are the recipe for culinary seduction.  Make a note of that.  I can’t be the only one.  My mouth is dominated by a sweet tooth but this dish, although simple, has such flavors that will make me ask my Irish Coffee Cake to hold on a sec.

These are pretty easy to make but regardless of the difficulty it was extremely nice of Deanna and Andy to bring so much food for Irish Food Day!  I’m very proud to share with you the recipe for Irish Nachos.

IRISH NACHOS

2 bags of frozen, seasoned red potatoes cut “jo-jo” style

shredded cheese

bacon

green onions

Ranch, cocktail sauce or just good old fashioned ketchup

Spread your potatoes on a baking sheet and bake per package directions until golden brown.  Then remove potatoes, cover with shredded cheese, bacon and green onions and bake until cheese is melted.

I’d double that recipe if you plan to share. For some reason I am just crazy for those nachos!

I wanted to give the nachos and stew their own posts but St. Patrick’s Day is coming faster than I expected so I had better share this Guinness Stew recipe with you before we run out of time. :)

My sister Deanna made this recipe up by herself.  She compiled different stew recipes and made it into something she thought it should be.  She said it was weird that she couldn’t find a stew recipe with tomatoes, but she added them to her stew “because they should be there!”  When she gave me the notes for her recipe she told me, “I just picked things I liked and made stew with it!”  I love it.  You should try this and feel free to improvise!

So there you have it folks.

 

DEANNA’S GUINNESS STEW

1 1/2 bottles Guinness

4 cups chopped carrots

4 diced tomatoes

1 diced onion

1 sprig of thyme

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 pounds of beef, cut for stew

4 tablespoons of flour

oil for saute

salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Heat a large pot (that is also oven safe), add your cooking oil and brown your beautiful beef.  Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.  Add your onions and carrots, stirring and enjoying the delicious fragrances!  Let your tomatoes join the party along with 1 bottle of Guinness and the thyme.  Cover your pot and bake in the oven for about 3 hours.  About 1 1/2 hours into the baking time add another 1/2 bottle of Guinness.  Serve withIrish Soda Bread for an Irish theme.

Source: http://tryanythingonce.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/irish-nachos-guinness-stew/

Thanks for the amazing post, you earned your spot on the cooking channel!

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Super Bowl, Uncategorized

 

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Beef stew – original Italian recipe

Let’s learn how to prepare a classic international dish: the beef stew, a traditional, tasty main course which needs quite a long cooking time.

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Hi all of you friends and welcome to the giallozafferano kitchen. Today we’ll be preparing together the beef stew: this cheap meat main course has quite a long cooking time, but your whole family will like it. Let’s see together what ingredients we’ll need:
• 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
• 3 tbsp of flour
• 2 stalks of celery
• 1 carrot / 1 onion
• 2,2 lbs (1 kg) of beef • pepper / salt
• 1 oz (30 g) of butter
• 1 glass of red wine
• 2 pints (1 lt) of meat broth
Let’s prepare the beef stew:
First of all, finely chop the celery, the carrot and the onion, then brown them in a pan with melted butter and oil. Brown on a very low flame for about 10 minutes.
10 min. — low heat
While the mirepoix is cooking, we can move on to the meat; remove any excess fat or gristle and, if they’re quite big pieces, cut them into smaller cubes. After that, dip them in flour.
Now add the floured pieces of meat to the sautéed vegetables… and stir constantly for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on all sides.
15-20 min. — high heat
When the beef is well browned… add a glass of red wine and let it evaporate.
Now add enough broth to cover all the meat… after that, let it simmer on a very low flame for an hour and a half – 2 hours with the lid on, leaving a small opening.
90-120 min. — low heat
Once the meat is nice and tender and the gravy quite thick, the beef stew is ready to be served, perhaps accompanied by a lovely potato puree as a side dish. From Sonia and Giallozafferano, bye and see you next video recipe.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Beef, Italian Cuisine

 

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