Celebrating St. Patrick's Day
From a humble church in a barn by the Slaney River, Saul, Co. Down, Patrick began his ministry. He died there on 17th March in 461 the day his spiritual Irish sons and daughters now recognise his sainthood in celebrations around the world.
So, don your green apron, pop the top off a bottle of Guinness or two and try this fine Irish fayre.
In a large lidded pan, melt a good knob of butter and sweat off 1 finely chopped shallot, 2 sticks of chopped celery, 2 cloves of grated garlic, and 4 or 5 rashers on sliced smoked streaky bacon.
Stir in 1 tsp of thyme leaves, a handful of chopped parsley, 1 tsp of Stokes Cider & Horseradish Mustard and 3 tbsp of our Tomato Ketchup. Gently put 1 kg of mussels into the pan with 300ml of Guinness. Bring the liquid to the boil, lid on, for 3 minutes. Lift the mussels with a slotted spoon, discarding any that haven’t opened and reserving the rest.
Add 75ml of cream to the cooking liquors, season, pour the sauce over the mussels, serving with a good hunk of bread or Irish soda bread.
Hearty Irish Stew
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3. Trim and cube 700 g of lamb shoulder, coat it with 3 or 4 tbsp of seasoned flour and place it in an ovenproof, lidded casserole dish.
Add 1 onion, 1 leek, 2 carrots and 1 small swede all roughly sliced. Add 2 tsp of thyme leaves and 650 g of halved new potatoes and mix everything together.
Pour 450 ml of chicken stock into the meat and vegetables, 150 ml of Guinness and 3 tbsp of Stokes Brown Sauce. Bring this up to a simmer, put the lid on, then carefully heave the heavy pot into the oven.
Finish the remaining Guinness and perhaps another, leaving the casserole to do its own thing in the oven for at least 90 minutes. Check it, season to taste (I like to add a glug or two of Stokes Tomato Ketchup at this stage) and serve with Colcannon mash.
Colcannon & Bacon
Ireland is known for Colcannon and Champ. The latter adds chopped spring onions quickly fried in butter then folded into the mashed potatoes. Colcannon uses cabbage, kale, leeks and sometimes crispy bacon.
Cut a few rashers of bacon into thin slices and fry with kale and leeks in lots of butter. Mash your potatoes, add the bacon, butter and greens. Stir in 1 tbsp of Stokes Creamed Horseradish. Be careful when seasoning because the bacon will already have added salt.
As this wonderful mash soaks up the gravy from the stew, tip your forelock to St. Patrick and enjoy.
Boxty with Smoked Trout
The boxty is a potato cake unusually combining mashed and grated raw potatoes. yummy with anything.
To make a generous family serving of boxty, you’ll need 400g of flour, 450g of cooked mashed potato, 450g of raw potato, grated and dried out wrapped in kitchen roll and a tea towel. Mix all three thoroughly in a bowl with 2 tbsp of Stokes Creamed Horseradish Sauce.
Gradually add 200ml of milk, absorbing the liquid before seasoning. Divide and flatten the dough into patties, frying each gently to brown each side and cook through the raw grated potatoes.
Meanwhile mix 2 or 3 tbsp of Stokes Mustard & Dill Sauce with 4 tbsp of crème fraîche to make a creamy gravadlax-style topping to serve with delicious flakes of smoked trout.