Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Irish Stew with Soda Bread

The latest Violet's Pantry challenge has been set by Rhyley's Granny. No sooner had she posted it did I realise that I had everything in to make 2 of the recipes so thought I would strike while the iron was hot! The Irish stew is something I have always wanted to make, but it kept getting bumped down the list as something else would always come along! What appealed was the fact that it suited being done in the crockpot, which I am always really keen to use as it makes cooking so much easier!
Stupid me didn't read the recipe and just bunged it all in the crockpot, fortunately it didn't matter as it turned out really well, an incredibly deep flavour that developed over the next few days (I made enough to feed an army as usual!). I love food like that, so simple but so delicious.
To go with it, Granny suggested Brown Soda Bread. Another recipe I had wanted to try - and I am so glad I did! Using the buttermilk for this gives it a gorgeously light texture, it tasted amazing out of the oven, and kept well in an airtight container- I slathered it with lots of butter and honey to have with my cup of tea the next morning. I really will be making it again....and again!
Thanks Brenda for two lovely recipes!

Irish Stew (copied from Violet's Pantry with Granny's notes)There isn't really a recipe it's more a chuck in the pot thing but to enable me to share it I have tried to make it so.

Approx 1lb/500gms lamb cut into cubes (or beef)
6-8 potatoes cut up into pieces or less whatever your taste.
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 parsnips roughly chopped

1 large leek roughly sliced
2 onions chopped
oil for browning
Worcester sauce
chicken stock (2or 3 stock cubes)
Dried herbs as desired.
Salt and pepper

Brown Lamb and add onions in a large pot Stir around and add leeks leave a few mins and add about 1/2 pint water and 1 stock cube herbs and Worcester sauce. Leave to simmer until lamb is tender. Add more water as desired.

In another pot boil up potatoes carrot and parsnip in stock. Leave in stock until lamb is cooked.
When lamb is tender add cooked potatoes etc, with stock
Stir all around and keep heat low. The potatoes should be a bit mushy now
Taste and add more stock as desired.

Season to taste
Turn heat off and leave to absorb flavour

Brown Soda/Wheaten bread
A very simple very popular Irish Bread. No yeast required. Lovely warm from the oven with lots of butter. Excellent with cheese and lovely with smoked salmon or just butter and jam for an afternoon cuppa. This is the basic bread but it lends itself well to all sorts of additions as you like. It is basically a scone mixture.

8 ozs/225gms Wholemeal Flour
4 ozs/100gms Plain Flour
4ozs/100gms Porridge Oats Or 2oz/50gms Oats and 2oz/50gms bran
Approx. One pint/575mls Butter Milk
1oz/25gms Butter
1 teasp Bicarbonate of Soda/Baking Soda
1 teasp sugar or honey
1 teasp. salt

Greased and floured round sandwich tin
Oven temp 350F 180.C Gas 4
In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.
Cut the butter into small pieces and rub through.
Add enough buttermilk to form a soft but easily handled dough. It should not be runny.
Knead lightly and quickly into a round and place in prepared tin.
(It is essential you use light hands)
Cut a deep cross in the bread.
Sprinkle with oats if desired

Bake for approx 40 Minutes

Tastes great straight from the oven so don't hold back

Notes: If you do not have or cannot get Buttermilk add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar to ordinary milk and leave for ten minutes or so. Cover with a tea towel when it comes out of the oven to stop the crust getting too hard


eatingclubvancouver_js said...

It's supposed to be summer here in Vancouver but feels like November. This Irish stew is lookin' very good to me NOW.

Coby said...

It's handy to know that just bunging the lot into the slow cooker still presented you with a delectable meal. I don't have a slow-cooker (could I be the last person without one?) but I fancy giving it a go in a slow oven. Love the sound of the bread too - dare say I'd slather butter too;)

Oh my! Apple pie! said...

Lovely hearty winter food. Delicious!

JillyB said...

That looks so good Linda! I did the same as you and just bunged everything in the slow cooker and let it do its thing!!

Anonymous said...

Oh this makes me look forward to winter now!!