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When Irish Eyes Are Smiling… and Cooking: Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

It’s no secret that Boston College students love St. Patrick’s Day.  Our festivities almost always involve shamrocks, green clothing and (for the 21+ crowd) some form of green alcohol.  This year, why not branch out and also try cooking some Irish dishes with your roommates?  Her Campus BC has gathered a few easy-to-make and delicious recipes for Irish fare from SimplyRecipes.
 


Irish Beef Stew Recipe
Serves 4 to 6.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces (NOT extra-lean)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
  • I cup of Guinness beer
  • 1 cup of fine red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

METHOD

1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Lightly salt the beef pieces.  Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over.  Continue to cook in this manner until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.  Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves.  Stir to combine.  Bring mixture to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2 While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat.  Add potatoes, onion and carrots.  Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes.  Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.

3 Add vegetables to beef stew.  Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes.  Discard bay leaves.  Tilt pan and spoon off fat.  Transfer stew to serving bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.  (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.  Cool slightly.  Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate.  Bring to simmer before serving.)
 


 
Corned Beef and Cabbage
This recipe has 2 different ways to prepare this dish – baked/sautéed or boiled.  In the taste test by the author, the baked version won!

INGREDIENTS

Corned Beef (baked)

  • 3 lbs corned beef (in package)
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup hot sweet honey mustard
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Corned Beef (boiled)

  • 3 lbs corned beef (in package, including spice packet)

Cabbage (sautéed)

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large head of cabbage, sliced into 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide slices
  • Salt

Cabbage (boiled)

  • 1 large head of cabbage, sliced into 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide slices
  • Additional vegetables such as a couple carrots (cut to 1 inch pieces) or several new potatoes (quartered)

METHOD

Corned Beef (Baked)
Serves 5.

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.  Drain the corned beef from the package and discard the spice packet.  Lay corned beef, fat side up, on a large piece of heavy duty, wide, aluminum foil (you may have to get creative with the way you wrap the beef if your foil isn’t wide enough).  Insert the cloves into the top of the slab of corned beef, evenly spaced.  Spread the top with the hot sweet honey mustard.  Sprinkle brown sugar over the top.

2 Wrap the corned beef with foil in a way that allows for a little space on top between the corned beef and the foil, and creates a container to catch the juices.  Place foil-wrapped corned beef in a shallow roasting pan and bake for 2 hours.

3 Open the foil wrapping, spread a little more honey mustard over the top of the corned beef, and broil it for 2-3 minutes, until the top is bubbly and lightly browned.  Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then place on cutting board and cut at a diagonal, across the grain of the meat, into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Serve immediately.

Corned Beef (Boiled)

1 Place corned beef in a large (6 to 8 quart) pot.  Cover the beef with an inch water.  Add the contents of the spice packet to the water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 2-3 hours, until the corned beef is fork tender.  Remove from pot to a cutting board.  (Reserve cooking liquid for boiling cabbage, if you plan to boil and not sauté the cabbage.)  Cut slices against the grain, into 1/2-inch thick slices.  Serve.

Cabbage (Sautéed)
Serves 5.

1 Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil (enough to well coat the pan) on medium high to high heat in a large, wide pot (8-quart if available) or large, high-sided sauté pan.  Add chopped onions, cook for a couple of minutes, then add garlic.

2 Add a third of the sliced cabbage to the pan.  Sprinkle with a little salt and stir to coat with oil and mix with onions.  Spread out the cabbage evenly over the bottom of the pan and do not stir until it starts to brown.  If the heat is high enough, this should happen quickly.  The trick is to have the burner hot enough to easily brown the cabbage, but not so hot that it easily burns.  When the bottom of the cabbage is nicely browned, use a metal spatula to lift it up and flip it, scraping the browned bits as you go.

3 Once the cabbage in the pan has browned on a couple of flips, add another third of the cabbage to the pan.  Mix well, then spread out the cabbage and repeat.  You may need to add a bit more olive oil to the pan to help with the browning, and to keep the cabbage from sticking too much to the pan.  Once this batch has cooked down a bit and browned, add the remaining third of the cabbage and repeat.

Serve with the corned beef.  Serve with boiled new potatoes.  Can be made ahead and reheated.

Cabbage (Boiled)

1 Once you have removed the corned beef from the pot, add the cabbage and any other vegetables (carrots, new potatoes) to the pot.  Taste the liquid.  If it is too salty, add more water to the pot.  Raise the heat until the liquid is simmering well.  Simmer until the cabbage and any other vegetables are cooked through, 15-30 minutes.

Place vegetables in a serving bowl, add a little of the cooking liquid to the bowl.
 


Irish Soda Bread Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk

METHOD

1 Preheat oven to 425°.  Whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.

2 Using a pastry cutter or two knives (can also use your fingers), work butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then stir in raisins.

3 Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.  Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix in with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir.  Dust hands with a little flour, then gently knead dough in the bowl just long enough to form a rough ball.  If the dough is too sticky to work with, add in a little more flour.  Do not over-knead!  Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a round loaf.  Note that the dough will be a little sticky, and quite shaggy (a little like a shortcake biscuit dough).  You want to work it just enough so that it comes together.  If you over-knead, the bread will end up tough.

4 Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet (it will flatten out a bit in the pan or on the baking sheet).  Using a serrated knife, score top of dough about an inch and a half deep in an “X” shape.  The purpose of the scoring is to help heat get into the center of the dough while it cooks.  Transfer to oven and bake until bread is golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 35-45 minutes.  (If you use a cast iron pan, it may take a little longer as it takes longer for the pan to heat up than a baking sheet.)  Check for doneness also by inserting a long, thin skewer into the center.  If it comes out clean, it’s done.

Remove pan or sheet from oven, let bread sit in the pan or on the sheet for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool briefly.  Serve bread warm, at room temperature, or sliced and toasted.  Best when eaten warm and just baked.
 
Sources:
http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/irish_beef_stew/
http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/corned_beef_and_cabbage/
http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/irish_soda_bread/

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