St. Patrick’s Day

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today we hosted a little Egan family lunch  for Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Henry to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. We started off with with a Black Velvet cocktail which I served in little glass milk bottles with a green straw. On the lunch menu was Traditional Irish stew made with Guinness and served with Irish Champ followed by Irish Soda Bread Pudding with Whiskey Caramel Sauce served with salted caramel ice cream. It all went down a treat. We even made a little pot of gold to put at the end of Rory’s rainbow for him to play with. A lovely family day. 

Traditional Irish Stew with Guinness

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping tbsp plain flour
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a pinch Cayenne pepper
  • 800 g diced beef
  • 4 medium carrots
  • celery stalk
  • 400 g potatoes
  • 1 bay leave
  • rosemary sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 250 ml Guinness
  • 500 ml beef stock

Finely slice the onion. Sautée the onion n a cast iron pot with some tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes, adding a dash of water to prevent the onion from browning too fast. Meanwhile, rub the beef with the olive oil and mix the flour with a pinch of salt, some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of Cayenne pepper. Flour the beef cubes and toss them to remove the excess of flour. Put themeat into the pot and add a drop of olive oil if needed. Brown all the sides of the beef cubes for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Pour into the pot 250 ml of Guinness and let it simmer and evaporate for about 5 minutes. Now add the sliced celery and carrots and the diced potatoes, 1 pinch of salt, the bay leave, the thyme and the rosemary. Pour into 500 ml of beef stock, stir and put the lid on the cooker and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 3 hours from this moment, then remove from the heat and let it cool down.

When it is done, remove the lid and check the meat. If necessary, bring to the boil to reduce the meat juice, but for me it’s perfect!  Serve with some fresh thyme.

 

Irish Champ

Ingredients

  • 500 g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled
  • 150 ml full-fat milk
  • 1 bunch spring onion, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • large knob of butter
  • sea salt
  • large handful watercress, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 heart celery, roughly chopped

1. Place a large pan of salted water on to boil. Cut the potatoes into medium-sized chunks and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft. About 5 minutes before your potatoes are done, pour your milk into a small pan and simmer gently over a low heat.

2. Drain the potatoes then put back into the pan and mash well.

3. Add the spring onions to the milk and stir around for a minute so that they soften, then pour the milk onto the potatoes. Add the butter and a good pinch of salt and mash in.

4. Add the chopped watercress and celery and stir well.

 

Irish Soda Bread Pudding

Yields: 6-7 individual, small ramekins or more depending on loaf size

1 day-old loaf of irish soda bread

2 Tbsp. melted butter

3 eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups milk

4 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

3 Tbsp. good irish whiskey

1 vanilla bean pod without seeds (you will be using them in the caramel!) or 1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut bread into small cubes and melt butter.  Pour melted butter into ramekins and swirl around to coat.
  2. Combine milk, eggs, maple syrup, whiskey,  and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix until combined. Add vanilla bean pod to mix and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes – if using vanilla extract, you can skip the refrigeration.
  3. Place cubes in ramekins and pour liquid mix over the cubes.  Pour enough to come just to the top of the inner lip of the ramekin.  Set in the fridge for at least an hour – overnight is better.  Add more liquid if needed.
  4. Bake bread puddings for about 30 minutes until the custard is set.
  5. Let cool and pour caramel sauce over the top. Enjoy!

 

Whiskey Caramel Sauce

1 ½ cup white sugar

1/3 cup water

2 Tbsp. irsh whiskey

seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup vanilla soymilk, divided

  1. Combine sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat.  Heat until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Turn heat up and allow sugar to boil. Do NOT stir if you can help it – swirl the pot around a bit.  Boil for about 5-7 minutes until caramel turns a deep bronze.  This happens very quickly and goes from caramel to burnt is a matter of seconds.
  3. Shut off the heat and very carefully add vanilla, 1/3 cup soymilk, and whiskey.  It will bubble up violently, so stand back!
  4. Turn heat back on medium and let boil, stirring occasionally until the caramel is smooth.  Add the remaining milk and stir to combine. Store in the fridge.

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