Irish Lamb Stew from Fionn MacCool's Irish Menu. (Vito Amati)
Ah, to be in Ireland for St. Paddy's Day! It's been a life-long ambition of mine — but every year another excuse comes along. Not enough time, money, planning; it's obvious I don't have the luck of the Irish on my side for this.
The good news is this is the year of The Gathering — Ireland's most ambitious tourism initiative, a year-long celebration of culture and tradition that includes well over 3,000 festivals and events.
Manager of Tourism Ireland Canada Jayne Shackleford says “every year we look forward to St Patrick’s Day celebrations as it's wonderful to feel that unmistakable bond around the world on Ireland’s national holiday, especially in this year, the year of The Gathering - the greatest Irish get together of all time!"
"St. Patrick’s Day has always been a big day of celebration with over 5 million Canadians claiming Irish ancestry, and with 2013 being the year of The Gathering, it’s the perfect time for travellers to head overseas for the party of a lifetime," adds Doug Patterson, president of Trafalgar Canada. "Whether you have Irish ancestry or just love to celebrate all things to do with the Emerald Isle, 2013 is the year to explore the country’s lively culture and fascinating traditions."
You don't have to be Irish to celebrate this centuries-old love affair with St. Patrick, patron saint of the Emerald Isle. Wear something green for St. Patrick's Day and eat something Irish — but whatever you do, please don't drink green beer.
Heat oil in Dutch oven on medium high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Add to Dutch oven and sear for 2 to 3 minutes until brown on all sides. Add onions, carrots and celery. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add garlic and sauté for additional 30 seconds. Add beef stock and Kilkenny. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
Add potatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes or until lamb is tender. When lamb is tender, add rosemary.
Prepare dumplings while stew is simmering.
Drop dumplings into stew 10 at a time. Cover with foil and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until dumplings are cooked. Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon and place on pan lined with parchment paper. Continue cooking dumplings until finished.
Add peas to stew and mix in. Cook for 5 minutes.
Serve stew in large crock. Top each portion with 2 to 3 dumplings and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
In bowl place flour, baking powder and salt and mix together. Add milk and oil to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Using tablespoon, add to stew.
Makes 20 dumplings.
Created by Chef Bryan Jurek of of Prime Pubs.
1/4 head of cabbage (1/2 head), cut into 1/4-inch by 3-inch strips
2 Tbsp. (30ml) olive oil
1 large onion cut into 1/4-inch by 3-inch strips
6 thick slices bacon, cooked, cut and diced
1 cup (250ml) baby spinach
1 1/4 cups (300ml) mashed potatoes
2 Tbsp. (30ml) panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
1/4 cup (60ml) old white cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 tsp. (2ml) nutmeg, ground
Sea salt/black pepper, to taste
4 5-inch pre-pkg. pie shells with tins
4 5-inch pre-pkg. top pastry rounds*
2 Tbsp. (30ml) 2% milk
Beef gravy, your favourite
Follow package directions to pre-cook pie shells. While shells are baking, prepare rest of recipe. Fry bacon in pan until just crisp. Drain on paper towel and chop into 1/8-inch pieces. Place large pot of water on stove and bring to boil. Add 1 Tbsp. (15ml) of salt to water. Place cut cabbage in salted boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain in colander. Add oil to large pan and place on stove on medium high heat. Add onions and saute for 4 minutes or until onions are tender. Add cabbage, bacon and spinach. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
Place cabbage mixture into large bowl. Add mashed potatoes, breadcrumbs, egg, cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Divide mixture into 4 pie shells. Top filled shells with pie pastry rounds. Firmly seal by pressing on edges with finger. Cut small slit into top of each pie with a knife and brush top with egg wash.
Bake in 375F (190C) oven until top is golden brown and crispy (approx. 15 minutes). Remove from oven. Cool slightly for 3 to 5 minutes then remove pie from tin and place on plate with your favourite beef gravy for dipping and a green salad.
Want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with flair? Here’s a tasty martini from Iceberg Vodka for the non-beer drinkers out there.
In a cocktail shaker, combine equal parts vodka, green apple schnapps, lemonade and Sprite/7-Up with ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of green apple.
TIP: Rim martini glasses with cinnamon sugar by dipping the rim of a martini glasses in a shallow dish with 1/4 inch water, then in a shallow dish with equal parts of sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Irish Cream Apple Cake
This moist apple cake with an Irish touch can also be made in a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan for special occasions. Recipe courtesy of Foodland Ontario.
1-3/4 cups (425 ml) all-purpose flour
2 tsp. (10 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt
3/4 cup (175 ml) butter, softened
1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
1/2 cup (125 ml) Irish cream liqueur
2 cups (500 ml) peeled, diced apples (McIntosh or Empire), about 2 medium
Irish Cream Sauce:
1 cup (250 ml) 18% cream
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) cornstarch
1/3 cup (75 ml) Irish cream liqueur
In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture alternately with liqueur until combined. Stir in apples.
Spread in lightly greased and floured 9-inch (23 cm) square baking pan. Bake in 350F (180C) oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean and top is golden brown. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or cold with sauce.
Irish Cream Sauce:
Pour cream into medium saucepan. In small bowl, mix together sugar and cornstarch; whisk into cream. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbles; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in liqueur.