Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Stew - Sis 1

I LOVE colcanon, as do the rest of my family, and that's what I traditionally make on St. Patrick's day for our dinner. (Breakfast is usually silly stuff like green eggs or green biscuits or green pancakes. You get the idea.) But this year, I will be taking dinner to a neighbor and I have my doubts as to how well mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage, onions and nutmeg will be received by any of her family.

So, I decided that the menu will be:

Irish Stew
Green Dinner Rolls
Donegal Oatmeal Cream

You should always make stew a day ahead if possible, because it tastes SO much better that way. (You can also remove excess fat much more easily, once it's cold and sitting on the top of the stew.) So, it's sitting in my fridge right now, aging. This was a BIG batch, so you might want to cut it in half. Here's how to make it:

Irish Stew

2 lbs bacon, cut in small pieces
4 lbs cubed meat (traditionally lamb, but I used beef)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon crushed rosemary
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 liter apple juice
1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
2-3 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped cabbage

Fry bacon in large skillet. Place the bacon in your big crockpot, leaving the grease in the skillet. Mix flour, salt, pepper and rosemary in large bowl. Add cubed meat and toss until coated. Brown meat in bacon grease. Place cubed meat in crockpot. Drain and discard bacon grease. Carmelize onions and garlic in same skillet that you just drained grease from. Place onions and garlic in crockpot. Pour about a cup of the apple juice in the skillet and deglaze. Pour contents of skillet and remaining apple juice into crockpot. Add carrots, potatoes and bay leaves and stir. Set crockpot to low, cover, and let cook several hours (4-8 depending on whether you're home or not.) Stir in chopped cabbage and refrigerate overnight. Reheat and remove bay leaves when ready to serve.

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