Recipe: Irish Stew & Soda Bread

IrishStewIn honor of St. Patrick’s Day on Monday, this edition of the Food Feed brings you two traditional Irish recipes: Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread!

Both recipes are from Vermont Lamb Tonight, published in 1982, available in the University of Vermont’s Department of Special Collections (call number: TX749.5 L35 O94 1982).

Irish Stew
This is unbrowned stew in which the meat can be removed from the freezer at 3:00 and the stew will be ready at 6:00 or 6:30.

The plainness of this stew is offset by the addition of the juniper berries and the Irish Soda Bread with its caraway and currants. It is a root-cellar stew, made from ingredients than [sic] can be grown in New England and stored through the winter.

2 lbs. lamb stewmeat
1 bay leaf
5 juniper berries
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cover meat with water in a kettle. Add bay leaf, juniper berries, and parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer 2 hours, (break apart as soon as possible).

When meat is tender, add as many vegetables as desired, all cut into fairly large chunks. Cook uncovered, until vegetables are tender, and liquid is reduced, about 45 minutes.

Irish Soda Bread (2 loaves)
Tip: Any quick bread is best when made with all ingredients at room temperature.

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar (or maple syrup, or honey – added to buttermilk)
6 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. caraway seed
1 cup raisins or currants
1 egg
1 2/3 cup buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in raisins and caraway. Mix buttermilk, egg (and syrup, or honey, if used). Add to dry ingredients, and stir until a ball forms which is slightly sticky. Add a bit more flour if it is too sticky to knead.

Knead on a floured surface for several minutes for the final blending.

Shape into 2 round loaves. Flatten them into 8” or 9” greased round cake pans. Cut a cross in the to pof each loaf with a sharp, buttered knife.

Bake at 375˚ for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm in wedges.

This blog post is part of a series highlighting recipes that interweave the culture and history of cooking in Vermont, and is related to the Vermont Foodways Digital Initiative.

Photo credit: Irish Stew via avlxyz on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Posted in: Recipe.