Homecooked, hearty meals are at the centre of Irish living! This St Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to spend time in the kitchen with family and loved ones to perfect those generational dishes.
One-pot cooking doesn’t get much simpler than Irish stew, traditionally made with mutton, onions and potatoes (the addition of carrots can be a divisive issue). These days, you’re more likely to find Irish stew made with lamb (as the more flavourful mutton is harder to come by), with stock and herbs – such as thyme, parsley and bay leaves – adding depth of flavour.
· 2 tbsp vegetable oil
· 1kg/2lb 4oz braising steak, cut into 2.5cm/1in chunks
· 2 onions
· 3 celery stalks
· 4 large carrots
· 1 litre/1¾pint beef stock (from stock cubes)
· 900g/2lb potatoes
· 25g/1oz unsalted butter
· sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Place a large saucepan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and brown the beef in batches so the pan isn’t too full. Remove the beef from the pan and set it aside on a plate. Don’t clean the pan, as you’ll need it to fry the vegetables.
2. While the beef is frying, peel and chop the onions and carrots and slice the celery.
3. Heat the remaining oil in the same saucepan and fry the onion, celery and carrot for 4–5 minutes, or until the onions have softened. Scrape any cooked-on bits from the bottom of the pan; this will add flavour to the stew. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Mix the beef with the vegetables, then take the pan off the heat. Tip the meat and vegetables into a large ovenproof dish and pour the stock over the top.
5. Peel and slice the potatoes into ½cm/¼in-thick slices and arrange over the top of the beef. Dot the butter over the top, then cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour, then remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes, until the potatoes are crisp and golden-brown. Serve in deep bowls.
Four simple ingredients, lovingly kneaded and marked with a cross, create the beloved, if lowly, Irish soda bread.
· 170g/6oz wholemeal flour
· 170g/6oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
· ½ tsp salt
· ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
· 290ml/10fl oz buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
2. Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and stir. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff, but it should not be too wet or sticky.)
3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Form into a round and flatten the dough slightly before placing it on a lightly floured baking sheet.
4. Cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
Homemade Irish cream is a real treat, served chilled with plenty of ice or a drop into your coffee.
· 250ml/9fl oz single cream
· 1x 397g/14oz tin condensed milk
· 350ml/12fl oz Irish whiskey
· 1 tsp Camp coffee essence
· 3 tsp chocolate sauce
· 1 tsp vanilla essence
· 1 tsp almond essence
1. Sterilise the bottles for the liqueur: wash in very hot water or on the hot cycle of a dishwasher. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Place the bottles on a baking tray and dry in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool.
2. Pour all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Add extra Camp or chocolate to taste.
3. Pour into sterilised bottles and store them in the fridge. (The liqueur will keep for up to two months.) Shake well before using.
Of course, the classic go-to dish is corned beef with cabbage. Though it takes a while to cook, the results are so tender and delicious, they’re worth it.
· 1 boneless Corned Beef Brisket with seasoning packet (1.5kg – 2kg)
· 6 cloves garlic, peeled
· 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
· 470 millilitres of water
· 6 tablespoons butter
· 130g thinly sliced green onions, including white and green parts
· 60g horseradish
· 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1 head green cabbage, cored, cut into 6 wedges (1 to 1-1/2 pounds)
· 500g small, red-skinned potatoes, cut in half
· 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
· 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1. Position oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Heat oven to 180°C. Place Corned Beef Brisket in roasting pan; sprinkle garlic, contents of seasoning packet and peppercorns around and over brisket. Add water; cover tightly with aluminium foil. Braise in the upper third of the oven 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until the brisket is fork-tender.
2. Meanwhile, place butter, green onions, horseradish, ground pepper and salt in a glass measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until butter melts; mix well. Place cabbage wedges on 1 half of the baking sheet and potatoes on the other half. Drizzle the remaining horseradish-butter mixture over vegetables, turning cabbage and tossing potatoes to coat. Cover with aluminium foil. Roast in the lower third of the oven with a brisket for 55 minutes. Uncover vegetables; continue roasting 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and begin to brown.
3. Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Remove brisket from roasting pan; place on rack in broiler pan so the surface of the brisket is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Brush glaze over brisket; broil 2 to 3 minutes or until glaze is bubbly and beginning to brown.
4. Carve brisket diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve remaining brisket and potatoes with cabbage.
Feature Image- Jill Wellington
Recipes courtesy of Chill Insurance