One of the traditions of St. Patrick’s Day in the US is to eat traditional Irish fare. Here are a couple easy St. Patrick’s Day recipes:
Irish Soda Bread
Brief history: Baking bread was a big part of how Irish families fed themselves, and most homes cooked their bread over an open hearth because they lacked ovens. The families lived in farmhouses far from towns, etc. making buying bread impossible. Instead they used natural leaven like buttermilk and salt, and let the smoke from their turf fires flavor the bread. Soda bread is the tasty product of these conditions.
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
Flour for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425, coat baking pan with cooking spray and flour. Add dry ingredients to a bowl, stir in buttermilk, lay out on floured surface, pat into shape, then flatten some, and bake for 20 minutes. At this time, turn oven temp down to 400 and bake until the bread is dark on the outside, and sounds hollow, usually 30 minutes or so. Let cool, and serve.
For a more complex, and tasty soda bread, try this recipe:
* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 eggs
* 1 pint sour cream
* 1 cup raisins
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, grease two loaf pans, mix dry ingredients, then add in wet until just combined. Put batter in the two pans, distributing it evenly, then bake for 1 hour.
Brief history: The Irish raised primarily sheep and found much meat too expensive for consumption. The sheep were used first for wool for clothing, milk for drinking and making cheese, and then when their usefulness was almost up, eventually they made food. In addition to sheep, most Irish had root vegetables; potatoes were the main food crop, prior to the potato famine. Thus, in order to eat well, with variety, and use what they had, Irish stew became a well-known and often eaten fare.
* 1 T olive oil
* 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into pieces
* 1/2 tsp salt
* Black pepper to taste
* 1 onion, sliced
* 2 carrots, peeled and chunked
* 1 parsnip, peeled and chunked
* water as needed
* 4 large potatoes, peeled and chunked
* 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
* 1 cup coarsely chopped leeks
Brown meat in oil over medium heat, season according to taste. Once brown, add in the root vegetbales other than potatoes. Cook for 5 mins. Add water until covered. Bring to a boil. Then cover, turn down heat, and simmer for one hour. Add in potatoes. Simmer another 20 minutes. Add rosemary and simmer until potatoes are tender.