Friday, March 11, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Menu and Recipes

This is a holiday we really get into-- I think it's right up there with Christmas. Here is a list of our traditional recipes:

Most of our recipes are from the Joy of Cooking, with our own variations.

Corned beef and cabbage:

Briefly, follow directions on package: boil with seasoning packet for about 3 hours. Add carrots, cabbage and potatoes (as many as you want) for the last half hour of cooking time.

Place the brisket in a baking dish. Make a glaze to taste, with soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, and mustard. Some people like theirs sweeter, but we really like the mustard and ginger to come through. Bake 350 ish for about 10 minutes. You just want the glaze to set, the beef is already cooked through. This avoids the slimy texture you can find on meat that has only been boiled.

Slice against the grain and serve along with the veggies from the pot that don't make it into the colcannon.

Guinness and Beef Stew:

Season flour with salt, pepper, thyme, and paprika (we use smoke paprika which gives it a kick).

Dredge the chunks of stew meat (2 lbs. of beef or lamb) in the flour, shake off excess.

Brown the meat in small batches in bacon fat if you have it, otherwise use oil or butter.

Add to the crockpot. Cook a mirepoix (you can buy this precut in some grocery stores, but basically it's diced celery, carrot and onion) until the onions are translucent in the drippings, adding more oil if you need it.

Add the mirepoix to the crockpot. Add 1-inch cubed potatoes, carrots, parsnips, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 bottles of beer, preferably an Irish stout. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with potato rolls or dumplings.

I think I've posted the potato rolls before, but let's have it all together:

Refrigerator Potato Rolls (this is my great-grandmother's recipe):

Instant mashed potatoes, enough for 4
4 ½ to 4 ¾ c. flour
1 pkg. dry yeast
1 c. milk
½ c. butter
½ c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs

Prepare mashed potatoes according to pkg. directions.

In large mixing bowl, thoroughly stir 2 c. flour and the yeast. Heat milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a pan to 115-120° F, stirring constantly. I usually heat it too quickly and then have to cool it down to less than 120 before adding the yeast-- you don't want to kill the yeast! Add potatoes. Add to dry mixture in bowl, and add eggs. Beat low 30 sec. Beat high 3 min. Stir in enough flour to make a dough. Place in greased bowl, turning once to coat; cover and refrigerate several hours or up to one week.

To use: divide in half, shape half into 16 rolls. Place in a greased 9x9x2 in. pan. Repeat with other half. Rise to double in a warm place. Bake at 375° F 25-30 min. Turn out of pan onto a rack to cool. Break apart and serve with butter. Makes 32 rolls.

IRISH SODA BREAD (from Joy of Cooking, almost exactly)

One 8-inch round loaf

When this batter is made with the greater amount of sugar and baked in a loaf pan, it becomes a fine crusty tea bread that stays moist for 3 to 4 days. To make a tea loaf, use 1/3 sugar and 1 cup buttermilk.

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 F, 350 F if you are baking in the loaf pan. Grease a large baking sheet or an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch (6-cup) loaf pan.

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir in:

1 cup raisins, Craisins, or currants
2 teaspoons caraway seeds

Whisk together in another bowl:

1 large egg
2/3 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup for the tea loaf
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) warm melted unsalted butter

Add to the flour mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter will be stiff but sticky. Scrape the batter onto the baking sheet in a mound 6 to 7 inches in diameter or scrape it into the loaf pan and spread evenly. Use a sharp knife to slash a large X about 1/2 inch deep on top of the batter. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes on the baking sheet, 45 to 50 minutes in the loaf pan. Transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before serving. Or, if using a loaf pan, let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

Colcannon (Mark did a bunch of research and combined 5 recipes into this):

Chop finely 1 bunch of green onions or 2 leeks, 1 c. cabbage and 3 c. kale.

In a Dutch oven or stockpot, cook 6 slices bacon to crisp; drain and chop into pieces.

Sautee onions, kale and cabbage in reserved bacon fat.

When the kale is wilted, add chopped bacon and a bunch of the cooked potatoes, carrots and cabbage from the corned beef pot.

Mash with a little milk, salt, pepper, then mix in 2 Tbsp. butter.

For dessert, our son wants festive cupcakes this year but Mark (yes, Mark) is making an Irish Car Bomb Cheesecake; I'll let him post the recipe.

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