Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

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Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Redwinger » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:56 am

We are hosting our group's March gathering of the Kasserole Klub on March 16th and are considering an Irish theme dinner for St. Pat's Day. But what to serve? I'm not fond of corned beef and abhor cabbage. So, any ideas for a guy who dares to put Irish and cuisine in the same sentence?
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:06 pm

Bangers and Mash? Fish & Chips?
My son Andy has been studying sausages recently and found out that bangers have the same seasoning mixture as brats, but only about half as much, so they're a bit milder.
Here's a link to a local Irish restaurant's menu for some ideas - the potato chowder is great - think New England clam chowder, with corned beef substituted for the clams.
http://www.shannonpub.com/pubmenu.htm
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:09 pm

Well, corned beef and cabbage is more Irish-American than Irish anyway. I think pork and maybe lamb/mutton is more prevalent than beef in Ireland. Only Irish dishes I know are colcannon (sp?) - kind of a mashed potatoes with greens- and Irish stew. I think lots of potatoes, sausages (inc. black sausage), etc.
It's an island nation so I'd assume lots of fish in coastal areas, but don't know that for sure.
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:28 pm

Irish food is pretty straight forward using what they have available to them from land and sea. I found this site that has recipes and and explanation about their foods It may give you some inspiration.

http://www.foodbycountry.com/Germany-to-Japan/Ireland.html
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:11 pm

Look for ideas on the menu of Louisville's Irish Rover, not just another faux-Irish American eatery but a real Irish pub run by real Irish people:
http://www.theirishroverky.com/index.php3?pageid=12
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Fred Sipe » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:38 pm

I love this stuff:

Irish Beef Stew

Ingredients

* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1 soup bone
* 6 large garlic cloves, minced
* 4 cups beef stock or canned beef broth (try Swanson Beef Stock)
* 1 14.5 oz can Muir Glen tomatoes
* I cup of Guinness beer
* 1 cup of fine red wine
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste (Amore)
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 tablespoon dried thyme
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
* 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 large celery stalk, chopped
* 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
* Salt and Pepper
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* Frozen baby peas

Method

1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, soup bone, tomatoes, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2 While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion, celery and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.

3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Add peas 15 minutes before done. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat.

4 Make a roux using 1/4 to 1/2 stick of unsalted butter and an equal amount of flour. Stir in roux a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Serves 4 to 6.
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Redwinger » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:48 am

Fred, that Irish Guinness stew sounds pretty darn good and is a contendah.
Thanks all, Keep those suggestions coming.
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Frank Deis » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:36 am

As Dale said -- corned beef has a lot to do with immigrant Irish and Jewish families swapping ideas in New York City, the original Irish salty meat is a thick cut bacon. I think I've talked about it here before, but I really dislike the very sweet American version of Irish Soda Bread. Here is a recipe that we like -- especially with some buttermilk replacing some of the yogurt

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/irish-b ... 000522965/

Done right it's crunchy on the outside, chewy (with the oat flakes) on the inside, and just tastes delicious and healthy. Try to find some Dubliner cheese and maybe some Kerrygold butter.

I love this website -- http://www.sodabread.info/

Smoked salmon is another easy thing to find that's authentic.

I don't know how authentic it is but this chocolate Irish whiskey cake is pretty good

http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2010 ... skey-cake/
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:29 pm

There's always the Irish seven-course meal, 'Winger: a six-pack and a potato :D What others have said pretty much covers the territory: Shepherd's Pie works as well (ground lamb surrounded by mashed spuds). Depending on what part of Ireland you're in, fresh fish is arguably the most Irish of meals.

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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Carrie L. » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:16 pm

I like Fred's idea too, or you could make short ribs or pot roast with Guiness.
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:09 pm

You sure can't go wrong with a wonderful beef stew or short ribs! Good stuff. Plus, I think the trend is toward comfort food more and more. Must be a sign of a not so good economy ahead of us. People always love comfort food, no matter what.
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Hoke » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:53 am

When I was in Ireland I was frequently offered:

Oxtail Soup

Cream Soups---with lots of greens

Thick rashers of bacon, almost slabs

Eggs and sausages and chips

Broiled tomatoes..the Irish seemed to be big on broiled tomatoes. So was I.

Savory puddings (more in the Anglicized zones)

Irish Lamb Stew (much more than beef stew)

Mutton in various forms

Salmon

Colcannon

Soda Bread at almost every occasion.

Seafood and shellfish
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Rahsaan » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:30 pm

Hoke wrote:Broiled tomatoes..the Irish seemed to be big on broiled tomatoes. So was I.


Makes perfect sense when you're unable to get ripe local specimens.
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Joy Lindholm » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:35 pm

Our local Irish pub serves this dish called a boxty. It is basically a potato pancake stuffed with cheese and an assortment of fillings and covered in a gravy-like sauce. Pretty tasty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxty
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Frank Deis » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:04 am

Joy Lindholm wrote:Our local Irish pub serves this dish called a boxty. It is basically a potato pancake stuffed with cheese and an assortment of fillings and covered in a gravy-like sauce. Pretty tasty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxty


I wonder if that's cognate with "Pastie" (pronounced kind of like PAWS-tea) which is popular in (Celtic) Cornwall as well as Northern Ireland?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastie

Similar dish it seems to me.
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Mark Lipton » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:13 am

Frank Deis wrote:
Joy Lindholm wrote:Our local Irish pub serves this dish called a boxty. It is basically a potato pancake stuffed with cheese and an assortment of fillings and covered in a gravy-like sauce. Pretty tasty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxty


I wonder if that's cognate with "Pastie" (pronounced kind of like PAWS-tea) which is popular in (Celtic) Cornwall as well as Northern Ireland?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastie

Similar dish it seems to me.


Pasties appear in Scotland as well. Linguistically, the word looks like French pâte and Italian pasta (and the English word paste), no?

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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Joy Lindholm » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:34 am

Frank Deis wrote:
Joy Lindholm wrote:Our local Irish pub serves this dish called a boxty. It is basically a potato pancake stuffed with cheese and an assortment of fillings and covered in a gravy-like sauce. Pretty tasty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxty


I wonder if that's cognate with "Pastie" (pronounced kind of like PAWS-tea) which is popular in (Celtic) Cornwall as well as Northern Ireland?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastie

Similar dish it seems to me.


No, pasties are more like savory meat pies encased in puff pastry. I had several while traveling in England and Northern Ireland. Boxtys have a texture like a crepe, but slightly thicker, and starchy/savory. They are wrapped around a filling, a bit like a burrito.
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:40 pm

Joy Lindholm wrote:No, pasties are more like savory meat pies encased in puff pastry. I had several while traveling in England and Northern Ireland. Boxtys have a texture like a crepe, but slightly thicker, and starchy/savory. They are wrapped around a filling, a bit like a burrito.

Pasties are also very popular in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and around Butte, Montana, two places where Cornish miners migrated to work on giant iron and copper mines in the New World. The U.P. in particular has (or had, when I visited there in the '80s and '90s) more drive-in fast-food pasty shops than McDonald's. Legend has it that a pasty made a filling portable lunch that a miner could carry to work on his shovel. :shock:
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Re: Need help on an Irish Theme Dinner

Postby Frank Deis » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:39 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Joy Lindholm wrote:No, pasties are more like savory meat pies encased in puff pastry. I had several while traveling in England and Northern Ireland. Boxtys have a texture like a crepe, but slightly thicker, and starchy/savory. They are wrapped around a filling, a bit like a burrito.

Pasties are also very popular in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and around Butte, Montana, two places where Cornish miners migrated to work on giant iron and copper mines in the New World. The U.P. in particular has (or had, when I visited there in the '80s and '90s) more drive-in fast-food pasty shops than McDonald's. Legend has it that a pasty made a filling portable lunch that a miner could carry to work on his shovel. :shock:


And, Robin, you may know this but often the tip of the pastie is filled with sweet cooked apples -- so you have apple pie for dessert.

I'm willing to give up on the boxty - pastie thing, but if you know about the Soundex (used to encode names for the Census indices) boxty and pastie line up nicely (as do Palmer and Balmer etc.)
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