Bon Appetit: Ireland

Ireland: Irish Beef Stew, Brown Soda Bread, Irish Rice Pudding

My family is a wee bit Irish, and my dad is a fan, so when I was home before Easter I decided to cook Irish food for my parents.

I was fortunate to visit Ireland when I spent a semester studying abroad, and I loved it. My friend and I took a Paddwagon tour of southern Ireland and it was absolutely beautiful. My favorite place was the Cliffs of Moher. Out of all the places I visited in Europe, this was definitely in my top list of gorgeous sites. My visit was in the pre-digital camera age (at least for me), so I’ll just post a picture I found online.

http://www.irishviews.com/cliffs-of-moher.html

I decided to make Irish beef stew and soda bread, and my mom found a recipe for Irish rice pudding. Here’s the recipe for the stew:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Irish-Beef-Stew-104817

I followed the recipe except for two changes. I substituted one cup of red wine for one of the cups of stock to give it more depth of flavor. Also, after it was supposed to be ready to serve, it was still rather thin so my mom, brilliant as she is, added some flour mixed with water and it thickened into the perfect stew consistency. Gotta love cooking with mom 🙂 The stew ingredients:

Making the stew, which made the kitchen smell amazing, by the way, as it takes about two hours to stew (funny pun, huh? 🙂

I was feeling daring and didn’t measure the wine since it didn’t need to be exactly one cup and thought it would be more dramatic pouring it from the bottle. Note to self: watch cooking shows much?

Veggies pre and post sauteeing:

Here you can see that the stew is a bit thin:

But after adding the flour it was perfect, and totally delicious! Great for a rainy, cold day.

Making the soda bread was incredibly easy, and I won’t keep you in suspense about the verdict: We LOVED the bread. It was so delicious, and it’s a really easy and healthy recipe. No rising or kneading necessary! Fresh out the oven, it was divine. You should make it! Here’s the recipe, the only change I made was to double the wheat germ because we didn’t have wheat bran, and I used light buttermilk:

http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/stpatricks/sodabread/recipes/food/views/Brown-Soda-Bread-1916

Fresh out of the oven:

Look at that texture:

Did I mention you should make the bread?

For dessert we made Irish rice pudding. My mom and I love rice pudding, and this one was especially creamy and delicious. My non-rice pudding fan dad had an obligatory spoonful.

http://www.littleshamrocks.com/Irish-Dessert-Recipes.html

Adding water to bake the pudding pan in:

I halved the recipe, and there was still plenty:

Delicious!

Our lovely table setting:

And my wonderful parents. What a treat to cook and eat with them!

Notes for Next Time:

Keeping in mind the modifications to the recipes I made, I would do everything the same. Especially the company!

About couchcuisine

I like traveling, cooking and eating...especially with friends.
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2 Responses to Bon Appetit: Ireland

  1. Dd- says:

    The only thing l enjoyed more than reading your lreland post was eating your lrish dinner w/ you and your “helper cook” what do they call it – sous chef??? Totally enjoyable day, all the prep was part of the beauty of the day and evening – you are an awesome person and everything you do is beautiful. I am SO proud of you.

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