Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!! St. Patrick's Day Blessing Upon You!!

It's pronounced: (ban-ock-tee na fay-lah paw-rig ur-iv), by the way...

In any case, Happy St. Patrick's Day!!  

While I do love corned beef and cabbage; it isn't the only great Irish dish out there, especially for St. Patrick's Day.  Tonight I am making a yummy Irish Stew with Guinness and Irish Brown Soda Bread.  Both super easy to make (and with my electric pressure cooker, ready in 45 minutes as opposed to 2 - 3 hours) and delicious.

First, get the stew going...this is a recipe from Killarney, County. Kerry, Ireland so it doesn't get any more authentic than this. 


Irish Lamb Stew with Guinness
  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder with a little fat, cubed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 6 stalks celery, cut into 1/2" slices
  • 2 large yellow onions, cut into large dice
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 2 quarts lamb or beef stock, or as needed
  • 12 ounces Guinness stout
  • 1 cup pearl barley (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For a real Irish country touch, include the barley -- cook it for 20 minutes in 3 cups of lamb or beef stock, then add when you return the meat to pot with the vegetables.

Cut off some of the parsley leaves and chop enough to make 2 tablespoons; reserve. 

Cut off some parsley stems, and tie them into a bundle with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme; reserve.

Season the meat with salt and brown the meat in a little oil. Remove and reserve, and sprinkle with a little flour, shaking off excess. 

Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté, tossing to coat with the fat. 

Add the Guinness and deglaze, scraping up any caramelized meat juices. 

Add the potatoes, return the meat to the pot (and the barley if you're using it). 

Add enough stock to barely cover, cook over medium heat until just boiling, then reduce heat to very low and simmer 2 - 3 hours, until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.

Check seasonings, add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat, stir in parsley and the cornstarch (mixed into 4 teaspoons water) and stir. 

Cook over low heat for a few more minutes to thicken. 

Serve with plenty of Irish brown or white soda bread, tea and more Guinness if you like.

YIELD: 6 generous servings


Once you have the stew simmering away, about an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes before you want to sit down to your delicious Irish Stew, mix and bake some Brown Irish Soda Bread.

This recipe is courtesy of Mrs. O' Callaghan at Ballinalacken Castle Country House and Restaurant.  Their bread is baked in a rectangular pan but I prefer to shape it by hand into a round and cut the cross into it as it is made traditionally....


Mrs. O'Callaghan's Brown Irish Soda Bread 

Makes 1 loaf
March 2010


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled margarine or butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I prefer to use butter)
  • 2 cups buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray heavy baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk both flours, sugar, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Add margarine (I prefer to use butter) and cut in until margarine is reduced to pea-size pieces. Add buttermilk; stir until shaggy dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together, about 10 turns. Shape dough into 9-inch round (the round should be about 1 inch high). Place dough on prepared baking sheet. Cut large X, 1/2 inch deep, in top of dough, almost all the way to the edges of the round.
  • Bake bread in center of oven until deep brown and bottom sounds hollow when firmly tapped (a bamboo skewer inserted into the center of the bread should emerge clean without any stickiness or moistness), about 55-60 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely. 
    Serve with LOTS or fresh, soft Kerry Gold (if you can get it) butter!!!

s maith an t-anlann an t-ocras. (Or, "hunger is a tasty sauce")

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

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