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IRISH RECIPES

APPLE-BARLEY PUDDING

4 TBSP Pearl barley
1 1/2 lb apples
Peeled, cored and sliced

3 TBSP Sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 TBSP lemon juice

Put the barley in the water and bring to the boil. Add the sliced apples and continue cooking gently until the barley and apples are soft. Press through a sieve, or put through the blender, and put back in the saucepan. Add the sugar and lemon juice and bring to the boil again. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, and then chill. Serve cool with the cream stirred in.

BAKED PARSNIPS

2 1/2 lb Parsnips
2 TBSP Butter or bacon fat
1 cup Beef Stock
Salt and pepper
Pinch nutmeg

Peel parsnips, quarter, and remove any woody core. Parboil for 15 minutes. Place in an ovenproof dish. Add stock and sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Dot with butter or bacon fat and bake for 30 minutes on a low shelf in a moderate oven. (Generally parsnips are baked in the same oven as the main meat dish, whose cooking temperature governs that of the parsnips.)

BARM BRACK
(Farm Bread)

2 1/2 cup Mixed dry fruit--currants, dates & raisins
1 c Boiling black tea
1 Egg, slighty beaten
1 Mixed spice (see note*)
4 tsp Orange Marmalade
1 1/3 cup superfine sugar
2 1/2 cups Self-rising flour

NOTE* Mixed spices: equal parts of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, and mace.

Place dried fruit in a bowl, cover with the hot and let soak overnight. The next day, add the remaining ingredients. and mix well. Preheat oven to 375 F. Pour batter into greased 7" square pan and bake in the center of oven for 1 1/2 hrs. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Slice and serve buttered with tea.

In Northern Ireland and in the Republic, BRACK is the Celtic word for salt and is used to mean "bread". Barm brack is leavened bread, the word BARM meaning yeast. The term "barmbrack" for an Irish fruit loaf or cake does not derive from barm or leaven. It is a corruption of the Irish word "aran bread" (Speckled Bread).

BOXTY
(Potato Griddle Cakes)

1/2 lb Raw potato
1/2 lb cooked mashed potato
1/2 lb Plain flour
Milk (see recipe for amt.)
1 Egg
1 medium onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper

Grate raw potatoes and mix with the cooked mashed potatoes. Add salt, pepper, onion and flour. Beat egg and add to mixture with just enough milk to make a batter that will drop from a spoon. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a hot griddle or frying pan. Cook over a moderate heat for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve with a tart apple sauce: or as part of an Ulster Fry, with bacon, fried sausage, fried eggs, black pudding, and soda bread...

An old poem says:

Boxty on the griddle, Boxty in the pan,
If you can't make boxty, You'll never get a man.

COLCANNON
(Winter Vegetable Casserole)

1 lb Potatoes, sliced
2 medium Parsnips,peeled and sliced
2 medium Leeks
1 cup milk
1 lb Kale or cabbage
1/2 tsp Mace
2 large Garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 TBSP butter
1 bunch fresh Parsley, chopped

Cook the potatoes and parsnips in water until tender. While these are cooking, chop leeks (greens as well as whites) and simmer in the milk until soft. Next, cook the kale or cabbage and have warm and well chopped. Drain the potatoes, season with mace, garlic, salt and pepper, and beat well. Add the cooked leeks and milk (be careful not to break down the leeks too much).

Finally, blend in the kale or cabbage and butter. The texture should be that of a smooth-buttery potato with well distributed pieces of leek and kale. Garnish with parsley. Colcannon is also made by cooking layered vegetables, starting with potatoes, in a slow-cooker during the day. Drain vegetables, blend with milk and margarine as above and garnish with parsley.

IRISH CHICKEN-LEEK PIE

10-12 inch pie pastry
1 Chicken, about 4 lb*
4 1 inch-thick Slices ham steak
4 large leeks, cleaned/chopped
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mace or nutmeg
2 cups Chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream

*Jointed, chopped, skinned and de-boned and cooked with salt, garlic, sage, 1 stalk chopped celery, and 1 chopped onion.

In a deep 1 - 1 1/2 quart dish, place layers of the chicken, the ham, leeks and onion or shallot, adding the mace, nutmeg and seasoning, then repeating the layers until the dish is full. Add the stock, then dampen the edges of the dish before rolling out the pastry to the required size.

Place the pastry over the pie and press the edges down well. Crimp them with a fork. Make a small hole in the center. Roll out the scraps of pastry and form a leaf or rosette for the top. Place this very lightly over the small hole. Brush the pastry with milk, and bake at moderate heat, 350F, for 25-30 minutes.

Cover the pastry with damp greaseproof paper when partially cooked if the top seems to be getting too brown. Gently heat the cream. When pie is cooked, remove from oven. Carefully lift off the rosette and pour the cream in through the hole. Put back the rosette and serve. (This pie forms a delicious soft jelly when cold.)

DUBLIN SUNDAY CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

5 lb Corned beef brisket
1 lg Onion stuck with 6 whole cloves
6 Carrots, peeled and halved
8 medium Potatoes, washed and quartered
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 sm Bunch Parsley
1 Head Cabbage (about 2 lbs), quartered

HORSERADISH SAUCE

1/2 pint Whipping Cream
2 TBSP mayonnaise
2-4 TBSP prepared horseradish

Put beef in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil with the lid off the pot. ADD thyme, parsley and onion.Turn to simmer and cook for 3 hours. Skim fat from top as it rises. Add cabbage, potatoes, and carrots.

Simmer for 20-30 minutes until cabbage is cooked. Remove the meat and cut into pieces. Place on center of a large platter. Strain the cabbage and season it heavily with black pepper. Surround the beef with the cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Serve with horseradish sauce.

Horseradish Sauce: Whip cream until it stand in peaks. Fold in mayonnaise and horseradish.

COUNTY CORK IRISH STEW

8 small Lamb Chops, Thawed
Salt And Pepper
1 TBSP Vegetable Oil
Parsley, Bay Leaves,
Peppercorns, Thyme, Rosemary
1 lb Potatoes, 3 To 4 Medium
2 cup Finely Shredded Cabbage
1 med Onion, Chopped
1 lg Leek White, Thin Sliced
12 small White Onions
1 1/2 cup Celery Stalks, Diced
1 1/2 cup Peas
Chopped Fresh Parsley

Season chops with salt and pepper. Heat oil in saucepan wide enough to hold all chops in a single layer. Brown on both sides. Spoon off any melted fat and add enough water to cover chops. Bring to a boil and add parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary enclosed in cheesecloth.

Lower heat and simmer. Meanwhile, quarter the potatoes. Add potatoes, cabbage, onion, well-rinsed leek, white onions and celery to chops and liquid. Simmer 20 minutes then add peas. Add a little more water if needed during cooking. Simmer 10 minutes more or until potatoes are tender. Correct seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve.

GLAZED IRISH TEA CAKE

-----CAKE-----

3/4 cup butter- room temperature
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
2 lg Eggs
3 oz Cream cheese- room temperature
1 3/4 cups Cake flour
1 1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 cup Dried currants (or dates)
2/3 cup Buttermilk

-----GLAZE-----

1/2 cup Confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tsp Fresh lemon juice

PREHEAT OVEN TO 325F, with rack in center of oven. Generously grease a 9-inch (7-cup capacity) loaf pan. Dust with flour; tap pan over sink to discard excess flour. Cut piece of parchment paper or waxed paper to fit bottom of pan. Set aside.

FOR CAKE, use mixer to cream butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating each until fluffy. Add cream cheese. Mix until well combined. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Put currants (or dates) in small bowl. Add 1/4 cup of flour mixture to currant and stir until well coated.

Add remaining flour to batter, alternating with buttermilk. Mix until smooth. Use wooden spoon to stir in currants and all of the flour. Stir until well combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth surface with spatula. Bake until well-browned and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 25 minutes (time will vary with individual ovens). Cake will crack on top.

Let cake rest in pan for 10 minutes. Use flexible metal spatula to separate cake from sides of pan. Carefully remove cake from pan to cooling rack. Spread glaze on warm cake. Let cake cool completely. Cake can be stored 3 days at room temperature in foil. Cake can also be frozen up to 3 months, wrapped airtight.

FOR GLAZE, combine sugar and lemon juice in small bowl. Stir until smooth.

GAMMON (Hamsteaks) WITH WHISKEY SAUCE

4 Ham steaks
2 tsp Finely chopped onion
1 tsp Brown sugar
2 tsp Whiskey
2 TBSP Flour
2 TBSP Butter
3/4 cup Water or stock
Salt or pepper to taste

Brush steaks with melted butter. Snip fat to prevent curling, and grill for 7-8 minutes each side. -- To make sauce, gently fry onions in remainder of butter until cooked. Remove from heat and stir in flour gradually. Add stock. Return to heat. Add sugar and bring to the boil.

Simmer gently for about 2 minutes to cook flour. If sauce seems a little thick, add more water. Add whiskey and season to taste. Place gammon steaks on a warmed serving platter and pour on sauce.

HERBED SUPPER SCONES

1/2 lb Mealy potatoes
4 TBSP Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
4 TBSP Oil
2 TBSP Chopped parsley
1/2 tsp Dried dill
1/4 tsp Savory
1/4 tsp Marjoram
1/4 tsp Powdered sage
Oil for frying

Boil or bake the potatoes, then pass through a foodmill or mash well. Mix the flour, salt, oil & herbs with the potatoes. On a floured board, roll this dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut into triangles 3 or 4 inches wide. Fry in very hot oil on both sides until light golden. Drain and serve with butter and hot, sweet coffee with milk.

STEAK & GUINNESS PIE

ie pastry for double 10-12 in. pie
1 2-lb Round steak
1 TBSP Flour
1 TBSP Brown sugar
1 TBSP Raisins
5 small-med onions
1 bottle Guinness stout
8 Slices bacon
3 TBSP shortening
Chopped parsley

For double-crust pie in deep pie dish. -- Cut the steak into bite sized cubes, roll in seasoned flour, and brown in the shortening with the bacon, chopped small. Place the meat in a casserole, peel and chop the onions, and fry until golden before adding them to the meat.

Add the raisins and brown sugar, pour in the Guinness, cover tightly and simmer over a low heat or in a very moderate oven (325-350F) for 2 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally, and add a little more Guinness or water if the rich brown gravy gets too thick.

Meanwhile, line a deep pie dish with half the pie crust: bake it: then add the Guinness/beef mixture from the casserole, cover with the top layer of pie crust, and bake until finished, probably about 10 more minutes.

IRISH SODA BREAD

3 cups Bread flour
1 cup graham flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 1/3 TBSP Salt
1 1/3 TBSP Butter
1 cup Raisins
3 TBSP Caraway seeds
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 tsp Dry yeast

In large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in cold butter with pastry blender or two knives until fine. Stir in raisins. In bowl beat eggs, stir in buttermilk and soda. Make well in dry ingredients and add liquids all at once, mixing lightly with fork until blended.

Turn dough on to floured surface and knead lightly for 10 seconds. Shape dough into ball and place on buttered baking sheet. Flatten ball into 8 or 9-inch loaf. Grease sharp knife with butter and cut 1/4-inch deep cross from edge to edge to mark into quarters.

Brush top with melted butter and sprinkle with caraway seeds ; bake in preheated 375F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool to lukewarm.

SEA SCALLOP PIE

15 Large scallops*
2 cups Milk
1 tsp each, Salt and pepper
2 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP Flour
1/2 lb Mushrooms, sliced
4 TBSP Medium sweet white wine or Sherry
1 lb Fresh mashed potatoes

* Or 6 scallops and an equal amount of any white fish. Or more scallops, if you like.

Clean the scallops and cut in half, then simmer in the milk for 15 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and stir in the flour, cook for about a minute, stirring, then add the milk gradually, stirring all the time to avoid lumps.

Season with salt and pepper, add the sliced mushrooms and simmer for about 10 minutes longer; then add the sherry or wine and finally the scallops. When hot, transfer to an ovenproof dish and cover with mashed potatoes, making sure they cover the fish right to the edges.

Dot with the remaining butter and bake in a moderate oven, 350F, for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is turning brown.

BAKED STUFFED HERRING

4 TBSP Breadcrumbs (heaping)
1 TBSP Parsley, chopped
Small egg, beaten
Juice and rind of lemon
1 pinch Nutmeg
Salt and pepper
8 Herrings, cleaned
2 cups Hard cider
Bayleaf, well crumbled
Fresh ground pepper

First make the stuffing by mixing the breadcrumbs, parsley, beaten egg, lemon juice and peel, and salt and pepper. Stuff each of the fish with the mixture.

Lay fish in an ovenproof dish, close together; add the cider, crumbled bayleaf and salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for about 35 minutes.

Good with mashed potatoes and a Guinness stout!