Once again, we will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a quiet dinner at home. If corned beef and cabbage isn’t your style, here are a few of my favorite Irish dishes.
Beef Braised in Guinness
1 beef bouillon cube (OXO if you got ’em)
2/3 cup hot water
2 pounds chuck or round steak
2 heaping Tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Tablespoons oil.
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2/3 cup Guinness stout
1 teaspoon honey
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a large, shallow baking dish. Set aside. In a small bowl, put bouillon cube in hot water to dissolve. Set aside.
Cut the beef up into 3″ pieces. Mix the flour with salt and pepper to taste in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Dredge meat in seasoned flour and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 Tablespoon oil. Saute the onions until soft. Spread onions evenly around the prepared baking dish.
Add up to another Tablespoon oil to the same saucepan. Brown the meat over a medium flame. Arrange the meat in a single layer over the onions (Turn the flame under the saucepan to low). Arrange carrots around the meat.
There should still be oil in the saucepan. If there is not enough, add up to another Tablespoon (Turn the flame up to medium). Stir in the leftover dredging flour. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the basil and Guinness, and continue stirring, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the honey and dissolved bouillon cube and water. Return to a boil, stirring occasionally, then pour over the meat. Cover baking dish with lid or foil. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.
Dee’s Potato Bread
I am also not a fan of intense soda bread, authentic as it may be. This bread is light, airy, and a specialty of my mother’s.
3 Tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 package yeast
3 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup water (best if you use the water you boiled the potatoes in)
1 cup warm milk
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 or 7 cups flour
Add 1 teaspoon sugar to 1/2 cup warm water in a large ceramic or glass bowl. Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let sit about 5 minutes.
Once yeast is bubbling, add 2 cups flour, remaining sugar, butter, potatoes, cup water, milk, and salt.
Stir for 3 minutes. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, just until dough is no longer sticky.
Put dough in an ungreased pan and leave in a warm place.
After 1 1/2 hours, knead bread on a floured surface for about 5 minutes, adding flour as needed.
Allow dough to rest 5 to 10 minutes. Form into rolls (and set in a pan) or a bread loaf (and set on a baking sheet). Let rise for 1 hour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour for a loaf of bread, 20 to 30 minutes for rolls. The top should be golden brown (knock on the top of the bread and it should sound a little hollow).
(Recipe from Dee Thompson)
Well, I didn’t promise there wouldn’t be any cabbage at all. Use mild baby leeks, or omit the cabbage if you prefer. But it’s not an Irish meal without potatoes.
4 large Russet (brown, baking) potatoes
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup butter
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup whole milk
2 bunches green onions,(white and light green parts only) chopped
Set 2 large pots of water on stove to boil.
Peel potatoes and cut into large pieces. Cook until tender in boiling water with 1/2 teaspoon salt added.
Drain potatoes and return them to the pot. Cook potatoes over low heat a few minutes, shaking the pot constantly, until potatoes are dry. Mash well and set aside.
Meanwhile, boil cabbage in other pot and drain. Melt 1/4 cup butter in the pot. Saute cabbage and green onions in the butter until tender. Stir into mashed potatoes.
Heat milk until barely steaming, but do not boil (scald). Season milk with a little salt and pepper. Stir milk into mashed potatoes and cabbage, mixing well.
These delicious tartlet shells come out a little uneven and “rustic”. The whipped cream will hide the flaws, and believe me, no one has ever complained about them. You will need mini cupcake tins or “tart” pans. I like to use raspberries, but go with the sweetest berries you can find right now.
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup ground raw almonds (Coffee grinder or food processor is needed)
1 pint whipping cream, whipped (without sugar, as the tartlets are very sweet)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together butter, sugar, and almonds in a mixer.
Spread 1 teaspoon of mixture along the bottom and up the sides of each cup (the amount may vary depending on the size of your pans). Make sure to cover the bottom of the cup completely.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Let tarts partially cool in pans, but don’t allow them to harden completely before removing them to a wire rack – they are kind of flexible when warm, but delicate when cold.
Top each tartlet with berries and whipped cream immediately before serving.
(Adapted from recipe by Myrtle Allen)