Celebrating Ireland

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Irish all over the world. In some of the far corners of the globe the Irish gather together to celebrate the day with some good traditional dishes like Irish Stew or Potato Cakes along with a traditional Irish Apple Cake. Corned Beef would have been very popular also, but it can be hard to get a good piece, we are able to get quality pieces from Fran Feighery, Coliseum Lane. Just boil it like bacon, it does take a bit longer to boil and serve it with Parsley Sauce and Cabbage, it’s quite delicious.

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Irish all over the world. In some of the far corners of the globe the Irish gather together to celebrate the day with some good traditional dishes like Irish Stew or Potato Cakes along with a traditional Irish Apple Cake. Corned Beef would have been very popular also, but it can be hard to get a good piece, we are able to get quality pieces from Fran Feighery, Coliseum Lane. Just boil it like bacon, it does take a bit longer to boil and serve it with Parsley Sauce and Cabbage, it’s quite delicious.

2½lb/1.125kg Stewing Lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes

2lb/900g Potatoes

3lb/1.35kg Mixed Vegetables, to include, onion, carrots celery, leek, & a little bit of turnip

Bouquet Garni, parsley stalks, bay leaf & thyme tied together

Salt & Pepper

Chopped Parsley, to garnish

Cold Water

Place the lamb in a saucepan and cover with cold water, place on the heat and bring to the boil for 10 minutes, then drain off all to the water and wash the cubes of lamb in cold water, this is called blanching and refreshing the lamb. As lamb gets older it gets stronger in flavour and becomes dark and can overpower the flavour. Return the refreshed lamb to a clean saucepan, add the mixed vegetables, along with the bouquet garni, season with salt & pepper, cover with cold water, about 4 pints and bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the peeled potatoes and bring back to the boil and continue to simmer until the meat and all the vegetables and potatoes are cooked maybe a further 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the lamb you are using is from an older animal let it simmer for 1 hour before you add the vegetables. This stew can also be done with a selection of chops and neck end of lamb. Serve on warm plates and sprinkle with parsley.

1½lb/675g Potatoes, boiled and mashed

2oz/56g Butter

2oz/56g Onion, finely chopped

1tbsp Parsley, chopped

Salt & Pepper

2oz/56g Flour

Butter for Frying

Melt the butter and cook the onions until soft, then mix together with the potatoes, parsley, salt & pepper and the flour. Knead until smooth, roll out and shape into potato cakes. Fry in melted butter on a hot pan until golden on both sides.

Apple Cake

4oz/112g Sugar

4oz/112g Butter

8oz/225g Flour

2tspn Baking Powder

3 Eggs

3 – 4 tbsp Milk

½tsp Vanilla Essence

2lb/900g Sweet Apples

Juice of 1 Lemon

Icing Sugar

Cream the butter & sugar together, and then add in the beaten eggs with the vanilla essence, a little at a time followed by the flour. You should have a stiff batter; add some milk about 3 – 4 tbsp to make it a dropping consistency. Transfer the mix into a greased 9” dish or cake tin. Core and peel the apples and cut in half, then slice the apples very thin. Coat the sliced apples in the lemon juice to stop them from going brown, arrange the apples all around the cake mix in a spiral pattern until all used up. The apples should be sticking up a little bit. Place in a hot oven about 180º or what ever you would bake an apple tart at, it takes about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and sieve on some icing sugar, (a nice amount), return to the oven for 10 more minutes. This cake is great hot with custard or cold.