Irish tradition is part of our area with many decedents originating from Irish linage. Here are some traditional Irish staples that are sure to give you the luck of the Irish.
Irish Soda Bread
5 c. sifted all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter
2 1/2 c. mixed light and dark raisins, soaked in water for 15 to 20 minutes and drained
3 T. caraway seeds
2 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter 2 (9 by 5-inch) bread pans.
Stir together the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in the butter and mix very thoroughly with your hands until it gets grainy. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds.
Add the buttermilk and egg to the flour mixture. Stir until well moistened. Shape dough into 2 loaves and place in the pans.
Bake for 1 hour. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Cool in the pans for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Recipe Courtesy of Rick Curry
Guinness Cheese Spread
1⁄2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, cut up
2 oz. blue cheese, cut up
3 oz. cream cheese, cut up
1 tsp. caraway seed
1 tsp. paprika
1⁄2 c. Guinness stout
Combine cut up cheddar, blue cheese, and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor or blender.
Add caraway seeds, paprika and beer.
Process until smooth.
Transfer to a serving bowl or crock.
Serve at room temperature with crackers or spread on soda bread or hamburgers.
Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. black pepper
1 large onion, finely diced
3 -4 large carrots, finely diced
1 c. frozen peas
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 T. flour
1 T. butter
1 glass red wine
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. chicken stock
1 large quantity mashed potatoes (estimating 1 lb. or 6 c., fresh or leftover)
1 egg, beaten
Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
Sauté carrots in the olive oil until they start to become tender. Add in the onions and sauté for a minute or two, then add the meat. Season with black pepper and thyme. Cook until browned then drain fat.
Add the butter and peas. Sprinkle with flour and stir through. Add tomato paste, wine, and Worcestershire sauce.
Let this reduce slightly then add the chicken stock. Allow to reduce down until you have thick, meaty gravy. Season to your taste.
Remove from heat. Grease an oven proof dish** (9×13 works best) with butter and add the sauce.
Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top. Brush with egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if using.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top.
Serve as is or with some crusty bread to mop up that yummy sauce!