Posted 25th March 2010
17th March, the day everyone clings fiercely onto their most tenuous links to Ireland and a great occasion to indulge in all that is Irish, including food, and most importantly – drink!
Irish home cooking is usually Slow Cooked and is the ultimate comfort food. I’ve included some of my favourite Irish recipes which are perfect for celebrating St Patricks…
This recipe is taken from Anthony Worrall Thompson’s “Real Family Food”. Anthony recommends using cabbage as well but I chose to leave this out (with a clan of salad dodgers as friends I’ve learned that some battles just aren’t worth the fight and optional cabbage is one of them!)
1kg Unsmoked Bacon (or Gammon) Joint (you can use 2 packets of back bacon as an alternative but the joint is better) – Cut into 2 inch strips
450g Pork and Leek Sausages – Cut into 4 pieces
(Mixed Together) 450g sliced Onions, 1kg peeled and diced Potatoes
1 tsp Thyme leaves , ½ tsp white pepper, ½ tsp mustard powder
4 tbsp flat leaf Parsley, 2 bay leaves
1litre Chicken stock
55g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius/ Gas Mark 3 / 325 degrees Fahrenheit and Combine Onions, Potatoes, herbs and bay leaves into 1 mixture.
2) In a deep casserole dish, layer the bacon, sausages and potato mix alternately, ending with a layer of potatoes. Pour enough chicken stock to come level with the final layer of potatoes. Dot butter on top of potatoes.
3) Place casserole dish on medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in oven to slow cook for 2 hours
4) If required, increase the oven temperature and remove the lid for the last 30 minutes to brown the top layer (This is not traditional but does give a lovely crisp topping)
I served this with stir friend leeks and carrots
Braised Beef in Guinness with caramelised red onions
I cut this recipe out of a magazine years ago and cook it all year round, it’s very rich and full of flavour – comfort food at its best!
1 tbsp seasoned flour
6 – 8 slices of braising steak (or diced steak) about 1.5K in total
3-4 tbsp sunflower oil
4 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
2tsp light muscovado sugar (regular sugar works OK as an alternative)
2 carrots and 2 sticks of celery (finely chopped)
300ml bottle of Guinness, 200ml beef stock
2 Bay leaves, Chopped fresh parsley to garnish
1) Put seasoned flour in a food bag, toss steak pieces in flour so lightly coated. The Heat oil in a large heavy based pan and fry until coloured on both sides, once done remove the meat from the pan onto a plate.
2) Heat a little more oil in the pan, add half the onions and fry for 5 minutes or until soft, then add the sugar and cook gently until the onions start to caramelise.
3) Add the carrots and celery and stir well for a couple of minutes, then return the meat to the pan, add the Guinness and stock and bring to the boil – stirring.
4) Add the bay leaves, season well then turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 1h30 – 2hrs. 30 minutes before the end of cooking time add the rest of the onions.
Scatter with the Parsley to garnish and serve with Colcannon cakes (Mash Potatoes with salt, pepper, nutmeg, butter and steamed cabbage, Shape into patties, place on a baking sheet with a slice of streaky bacon on each. Bake in the over for 20-25 minutes at 200 degrees C / Gas 6)