Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish Stew and Soda Bread

It seems that every blog I visited today had some shamrock showing,
or special green dish displayed,
or some little leprechaun dancing upon their shelves ...
I am ashamed to say I don't have anything decorative
that even resembled
a St. Patrick's Day celebration.

How sad for me and how boring for my family.
~ * ~
Now, that was my confession part
and here is what I did manage to do today:

Irish Stew with Irish Soda Bread
Irish Stew
1 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large onion, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 cups water, or as needed
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
1 cup coarsely chopped leeks
~ * ~
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large stockpot or Dutch oven, Add lamb pieces and cook, stirring gently, until evenly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add the onion and carrots and cook gently alongside the meat for a few minutes. Stir in the water. Cover and bring to a boil before turning the heat down to low. Simmer for 1 hour or longer, until meat is tender.
3. Stir in Parsnips, potatoes, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes before adding leeks and rosemary. Continue to simmer uncovered, until potatoes are tender but still whole.
Serve piping hot and enjoy!
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
~ * ~
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.
Serve hot with yet even more butter ..... Yummm!

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