As I’m largely of Irish ancestry, I always enjoy creating my Irish-American take on a St. Patrick’s Day feast. This year, I chose to make Lamb Stew – an Irish classic – paired with colcannon, soda bread, and sweet and savory stamped cookies. Full of hearty flavors, I know these leftovers will keep my hungry household happy well through the weekend!
4 T. olive or canola oil
2-3 lbs. boneless lamb sirloin (or shoulder), well trimmed and cut into 1-1/2" cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1" slices
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1" slices
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, brushed clean, stems freshly cut
2 leeks, white and light green part only, cut into 1/2" slices
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 T. water
4 T. sweet butter
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. tomato paste
1 bottle Guinness stout beer (11.2 fl. oz)
3 c. chicken stock
1/2 T. sugar
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1/2 t. minced fresh thyme; 2 T. minced chives; and 2 T. minced fresh Italian parsley
Heat large sauté pan or Dutch oven/braiser over medium high heat and add 2 T. of olive oil. Pat cubes of meat dry and season well with salt and pepper. Brown lamb on all sides in small batches (per batch about 7 mins.) and remove to holding bowl as needed to finish browning all cubes. Once meat is done, add remaining 2 T. of oil and root vegetables; season with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to brown (about 8 mins.) on medium high heat; add whole mushrooms and continue to sauté skillet of vegetables another 3-5 minutes. Remove browned vegetables and reserve in separate bowl.
To same unwashed pan add leek slices, smashed garlic cloves and water, stirring with wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits in bottom of pan (about 5 minutes). When water has evaporated and leeks are translucent, add butter to melt. Whisk in flour and tomato paste and cook roux, bubbling over medium high heat about 5 minutes. Whisk in beer, stock and sugar until thoroughly blended; add bay leaf, rosemary and thyme sprigs. Add the reserved browned lamb cubes and juices, bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, covered, for about 1-1/2 hours. Check on status of simmer and stir every 20 minutes. (Stew gravy can be thinned, if desired, with additional stock or water.)
Add reserved browned vegetables to Dutch oven; recover and continue to cook 45 mins. to one hour, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender and fork tines easily pierce lamb chunks.
Add fresh herbs before serving. Colcannon mash is a great hearty accompaniment.
2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
6 T. sweet butter
1/2 c. heavy cream
6 slices raw bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 medium Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Place quartered potatoes in saucepan in cold salted water and bring to boil; simmer until tender, about 15 mins.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and well rendered, about 8 minutes. Discarding fat, remove bacon to paper towel and set aside. Heat 2 T. of butter in same nonstick skillet and sauté shredded cabbage until just tender, about 4 minutes.
When potatoes are done, drain and rice. Heat remaining 4 T. of butter with cream in small saucepan. Beat hot liquid into mash until smooth. Add cooked bacon and cabbage and mix. Adjust seasoning.
Brown Sugar and Cardamom Stamped Shortbread
1 c. sweet butter at room temperature
1/2 c. dark brown sugar, packed
1 t. ground cardamom spice
2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In stand mixer, cream together brown sugar and butter for two minutes. In small bowl, place flour and cardamom; whisk to blend. Slowly add dry ingredients to mixer on low speed; add 1 T. heavy whipping cream. Remove dough mixture from bowl.
Roll dough into 1-1/2" balls and place on non-greased cookie sheet. Spray cookie stamp and press down the dough balls; remove stamp carefully. (Diameter of cookie stamp will determine how large the cookie balls should be and how many will fit on cookie sheet -- cookies do not spread -- and ultimately how many cookies are made. My cookie stamp made 18 cookies.)
Bake cookies until golden brown; mine took 20 minutes, but best to start peeking after 15 mins.
Gently remove baked cookies to rack.
Cook's Illustrated Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
(makes about 2 cups)
1-1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 c. sugar
3 T. lemon juice
Place metal spoon in freezer to chill. Combine strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Mash fruit with potato masher until fruit is mostly broken down. Simmer vigorously until fruit mixture thickens and spatula leaves trail that does not fill in immediately (about 15-25 minutes).
Remove saucepan from heat. Dip chilled spoon into jam and allow jam to run off spoon; jam should slowly fall from spoon in one thickened clump. If jam is runny, return to medium heat and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes before retesting. Transfer jam to jar and let cool completely. Cover with tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Cheddar Shortbread Stamp Savories
1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 oz. finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (I used Kerrygold Dubliner cheese instead in honor of St. Patrick's Day)
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. white pepper
1/8 t. cayenne pepper (as desired)
2 T. heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter and cheese together standing mixer, using whisk attachment until well blended and fluffy. Sift together dry ingredients in separate bowl and then gradually add to butter/cheese mixture; do not overmix. Scrape down sides of bowl and add cream; blend until incorporated for 5 more seconds.
Roll dough out into 1-1/2" balls (depending on size of cookie stamp) and place balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. How many cheese shortbread cookies will be determined by size of cookie stamp. Spray cookie stamp with cooking spray and press down each dough ball and release to leave imprint. Cookies do not spread while baking.
Bake until golden brown and firm to touch -- about 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before carefully removing shortbread stamp cookies from parchment paper; allow to cool on rack.
Grandma Clark's Soda Bread from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins
Featured previously on my blog, I soaked the currants in Irish whiskey to plump them and give them a kick. Once well-drained, they were then added to the dry ingredients.
Top: Deadly Dames Vamp Top in Mint (old, similar here)
Skirt: Deadly Dames Darling Dames Skirt in Monster Print
Lips: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in American Doll
Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in Ebony