A pig, allowed to live in Irish farmhouses in olden days, was once known as "the gentleman that pays the rent."
(And now... Ahem! No name calling, children! My advertising this bit o' trivia does not give you license to use the information maliciously...)
Some of our Favorite Irish Recipes:
2 pounds beef chuck steak, boneless and well trimmed, cut into 1 inch cubes (you can substitute mutton if you prefer)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup quartered mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of crushed thyme
Pinch (or two) of crushed cayenne
Pinch of black pepper
1 cup Guinness beer
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped potatoes
Chopped parsley for garnish
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
This is How You Put It All Together:
Heat the oil in a wide skillet or saute pan that has a tight fitting cover until hot
Add the beef and brown well, stirring occasionally to brown all sides.
Add the onion and garlic; cook until onion is slightly browned.
Combine the flour, thyme, black pepper and cayenne in a bowl and then add to the beef, stirring to make a roux
Continue to cook over medium-high heat until the roux is slightly browned (careful not to burn)
Stir in the Guinness and beef stock and bring to a boil, stirring until the sauce thickens and any lumps are cooked out
Add the carrots and potatoes, cover the skillet and place in a 325 degree F oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
Colcannon (Recipe link found below)
Simple Bread Pudding
(We double this)
2 cups whole milk (or 2 cups half & half)
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark, depending on taste preference)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups bread, torn into small pieces (french bread works best)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Sweetened Condensed Milk (optional)
This is How You Put It All Together:
1. In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk (or half & half) just until film forms over top. Combine butter and milk, stirring until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm.
2. Combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 1 minute. Slowly add milk mixture.
3. Place bread in a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole.
4. Sprinkle with raisins if desired. Pour batter on top of bread.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Serve warm. Drizzle with Sweetened Condensed Milk if you have a sweet tooth.
And, now, a Wee Bit O' Blarney Quiz:
1. What does "Erin go bragh" mean? (For extra credit: What language is it?)
2. What is the alternative title of the song "Danny Boy"?
3. What are the colors of the flag of Ireland?
4. What were the shapes of the marshmallow pieces in the original Lucky Charms cereal? (For extra credit: What does the leprechaun say as a sales pitch for the cereal?)
5. In the song "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," what can you hear in the lilt of Irish laughter?
6. Notre Dame derives from what language? (Aw... Too easy for us Catholics, huh?)
7. What is the name of the Irish priest depicted by Spencer Tracy in the 1938 classic movie "Boys Town"? (For extra credit: What is the Boys Town motto?)
8.Before baking Irish soda bread, why is a cross traditionally slashed in the top of the loaf?
9. What is the minimum number of years that Irish whiskey is aged?
10. What is the popular Irish dish composed from mashed potatoes, cabbage, minced onion, and butter?
11. In Irish folklore, what is the traditional profession of a leprechaun?
12. In the song "I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover," what does the fourth leaf represent?
13. In early television commercials for Irish Spring soap, a woman expresses her approval of the product by saying what phrase?
14. What is a 'shillelagh'?
15. What is the historical root definition of the word "whiskey"?
16. What type of meat goes into a traditional Irish stew?
17. What were the years of the Irish potato famine?
18. What is the title of the final novel by Irish writer James Joyce which is known for its experimental language and free associations?
19. Where would you start looking for Irish moss?
20. The Irish are said to be quite the drinkers. How many pups are there in Ireland per capita? a. One per every hundred? b. One per every 350? c. One per every 749? d. One per every 1423?
1. Ireland forever. (Extra credit answer: Gaelic.)
2. Londonderry Air. The lyrics were written by an English lawyer named Fred Weatherly to a traditional tune.
3. Green representing Roman Catholics, orange representing Protestants and white in between representing living together in peace.
4. Hearts, moons, stars and clovers. Shapes added to later versions of the cereal included horseshoes, pots of gold, rainbows and red balloons. (Extra credit answer: "They're always after 'me Lucky Charms." Or, "They're magically delicious.")
5. You can hear the angels sing. The lyrics are: "When Irish eyes are smiling, sure 'tis like the morn in spring. In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing. When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay. And when Irish eyes are smiling, sure they steal your heart away."
6. French. Notre Dame means "Our Lady" in French.
7. Father Flanagan. (Extra credit answer: "There is no such thing as a bad boy.")
8. To scare away the devil.
9. Four. The usual distilling age is 7 to 8 years. Premium Irish whiskies are aged many more years.
10. Colcannon (Recipe here! Yumm!)
11. A cobbler or shoemaker.
12. Somebody I adore. The lyrics are: "I'm looking over a four-leaf clover that I overlooked before. One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain, third is the roses that grow in the lane. No need explaining, the one remaining is somebody I adore. I'm looking over a four-leaf clover that I overlooked before."
13. "Manly, yes, but I like it too."
14. A big walking stick.
15. Water of life. It is a shortened version of the Irish word uisgebeatha. Uisge means water and beatha means life.
16. Lamb or mutton chops.
18. Finnegans Wake.
19. In the water. It is a seaweed found along the west coast of Ireland. Also called carrageen, it is used as a thickener in puddings, soups, ice creams, cosmetics and medicines.
20. b. One for every 350 people!
How'd you do?