A New England St. Patrick’s Day Menu
by Chef Robin White
I sat down with my coffee the other day and began to research Irish food for St Patrick’s Day. The internet is full of ideas and it seems these days its harder and harder to come up with new ones. I stopped to think for a minute and wondered why I was always trying to reinvent the wheel? Truth is I don’t have to and I shouldn’t. St. Patrick’s Day traditions are way older than I am. They have worked so far and since I am such a traditionalist when it comes to food, I’m going to keep the original set of wheels on this buggy and move on.
I decided to skip the internet and started searching through my 1500 cookbook collection when the light goes on in my head. I do not own one single Irish cookbook in my entire library. Being a descendant of New England cooks, most of whose recipes were garnered from Irish recipes, I realized that all my best recipes were in the recipe files I inherited from my Grandma Laura and Auntie Annie’s.
Sharing those with you in celebration of St Patrick’s Day is my honor.
New England Lamb Stew
I learned this recipe from my Auntie Annie. I adored her. I added a twist of fresh ginger and rosemary over the years. She would say “what for?” I say just to add a little kick and to break out of my traditional box.
- flour for dredging your lamb chunks, seasoned with Salt and Pepper
- 3-4 pounds of Lamb, I like to cut up my own leg and shoulder, but you can use already cubed if you like.
- 5 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp veg oil
- 1 cup red wine (use a good one for good flavor) drink the rest!
- 5 cups good beef stock
- 2 large white onions peeled and large dice ( I saute the onions for about 5 minutes to soften them, set aside until needed later on )
- 4 stalks of celery, strings removed
- 3 potatoes, larger dice ( use a harder boiling potato like a Yukon Gold)
- 5 large carrots peeled and in chunks ( large cuts )
- 1- 2 inch long piece of fresh ginger ( your going to remove it so leave it whole)
- 5 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small branch of rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
1. Melt butter over medium heat in heavy bottom large pot or Dutch Oven, add the oil.
2. After dredging the meat in the seasoned flour, shake off the excess and begin to brown it in batches. Do not crowd the pan or your meat will not brown it will only steam. You do not want that.
3. Remove the browned meat to a plate as it is done.
4. Add the wine to the pan and let it cook off for a few minutes and then add the beef stock.
5. Return the lamb to the pot and add all the fresh herbs and ginger tied up in a piece of cheese cloth for easy removal later on. Cook the meat at a gentle simmer for about 1 hour.
6. Add to the pot the onion, celery, carrot and potato. Cook for another 45 minutes. Add beef stock to cover. Its okay the stock to cook down after veggies are added.
To serve: remove the herbs in the cheese cloth and ladle stew in to beautiful bowls and serve up with some Beer Bread.
Chef Robin White goes way back with Artisans List when we started out as The Daily Basics.
Chef Robin hails originally from Cape Cod where her roots go back to Colonial America and the Mayflower Pilgrims who inspired her to source food from as close to growing, hunting or fishing for it herself as did her ancestors.
She has lived all over the country where she has explored regional foods and flavors to add to her repertoire. With seven restaurants to her credit, she has dedicated herself to the fine arts of food sharing with her family, friends and us here on Artisans List.