Don't worry, just stew about St. Patrick's Day meal

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thursday is St. Patrick's Day, and I just could not let the day go by without passing along a few Americanized Irish recipes. I know several people who like to celebrate St. Patrick's Day but do not like corned beef and cabbage, so I chose a couple of stew recipes, one with light and fluffy dumplings. I also included the recipe for McDonald's shamrock milkshake.

Irish Beef Stew

8 bacon strips, diced

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 pound whole fresh mushrooms, quartered

3 medium leeks (white portion only), chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

1 cup dark stout beer or additional reduced-sodium beef broth

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold water

1 cup frozen peas

In a stock pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. Brown beef in the bacon drippings. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, saute the mushrooms, leeks, carrots and celery in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in tomato paste until blended. Add the broth, beer, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and rosemary. Return beef and bacon to pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours or until beef is tender. Add potatoes. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour longer or until potatoes are tender. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add peas; heat through. Discard bay leaves.

Dublin Dumpling Stew

1 pound boneless pork, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 garlic clove, minced

5 medium carrots

3 cups water

1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cold water

1 package (10 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables

Dumplings:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons canola oil

In a Dutch oven, brown pork in butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic; cook until vegetables are tender. Quarter carrots lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces; add to pork mixture. Add the water, bouillon and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender.

Combine flour and cold water until smooth; stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add mixed vegetables; reduce heat to low.

For dumplings, in a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, caraway seeds, salt and mustard. Beat the egg, milk and oil; add to dry ingredients all at once. Stir just until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls over stew. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a dumpling comes out clean.

Shamrock Shakes

Note: When purchasing the mint extract, be sure to purchase just mint extract, not peppermint or spearmint. The one I use has a picture of a mint leaf on the bottle

2 cups vanilla ice cream

1 1/4 cups 2 percent milk

1/4 teaspoon mint extract

8 drops green food coloring

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth. If needed, stop blender and stir with a spoon to help blend in ice cream. Makes 2 servings.

Have a fun and safe St. Patrick's Day and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at news@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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