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Archive | March 16th, 2010

Five Things to Eat or Drink That Really Are Irish

Five Things to Eat or Drink That Really Are Irish

If you ever make it to Ireland, don’t look for corned beef on any of the menus. You won’t find it, unless you’re in a tourist trap not known for its food.

That’s because corned beef is an Irish-American tradition adopted when newcomers to this land needed a way to preserve meat.

If you want to serve something authentically Irish this St. Patrick’s Day, here are five ideas.

  • Baileys Irish Cream: This is one of the top-selling liqueurs in the world (if not the top-selling liqueur). It’s a blend of Irish whiskey and cream, so we don’t think it needs anything added by way of improvement. But you’ll have a winner if you add the liqueur to cheesecake — making a perfect dessert for St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Colcannon: This is blend of mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage and more. It doesn’t sound impressive, but it tastes great.
  • Guinness Stout: Big and bold, this dark brew has been made in Ireland since 1759. Stout is based on the porter style of ales is often served at room temperature. Mix it with a Bass Ale to create a half and half. (Don’t use the phrase “black and tan” in Ireland. Though the name dates back more than 100 years, it refers, in many people’s minds, to British forces that were in Ireland in the 1920s.)
  • Irish Lamb Stew with Guinness Stout: The Irish are famous for their lamb and for Irish Stew. The stew can be made with beef or lamb, and really gets a boost of flavor from the country’s most famous dark brew.
  • Irish soda bread: Have this simple bread with really good butter. The Irish are known for the excellence of their dairy products.

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Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake

Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake

If a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream is good, this cheesecake just has to be better. Or, why not have a slice of cheesecake and the shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream?  Then, you’ve really nailed the luck of the Irish.

Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake

Crumb crust:
16 vanilla wafers or gingersnaps, crushed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Filling:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/4 ounce envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water

For Crumb Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and up around the sides of a 9-inch round springform pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Turn off oven.

For Filling: In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar and beat until smooth with an electric mixer. Add the cream and beat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until smooth. Stir in the Baileys. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir the gelatin into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the filling over the biscuit crust. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, or until firm.

From www.realirishfoods.com

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Irish Lamb Stew With Guinness Stout

Irish Lamb Stew With Guinness Stout

The richness of this stew is a real taste of Ireland — and makes me wish I were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day there. But we can certainly do so here with this rich, stick-to-your-ribs recipe that is so much more authentic than corned beef and cabbage.

Speaking of beef — you can also make your Irish stew with beef, if you prefer, as shown in the photo below. Make some simple but delicious Irish Soda Bread while you’re cooking, too.

Make this savory stew with beef or lamb.

Make this savory stew with beef or lamb.

Irish Lamb Stew With Guinness Stout

1 cup pearl barley (optional, see note)
3 (3-inch) stems fresh rosemary
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
3 pounds lamb shoulder with a little fat, cubed
1/2 cup flour
Salt, to taste, divided
Oil for browning meat
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
6 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into large dice
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces Guinness stout
3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 quarts lamb or beef stock, or as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen (optional)

Note: 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 and reserve.  Cut off the rest of the parsley stems and tie them into a bundle with the 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 carrots, celery, onions and garlic 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 cooked barley if you’re using it). Add enough stock to barely cover. Add the bundle of herbs. 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. Take out the bundle of herbs and discard. Stir in chopped parsley and the cornstarch (mixed into 4 teaspoons water) and stir. Add peas. 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.

Makes 6-8 generous servings.

From www.gumbopages.com

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