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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Tuck of the Irish - recipes galore


Get into the Irish spirit this 17th March and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with quality food and drink from the Emerald Isle. The Irish are renowned for their traditional home cooking and for generations have been passing down their recipes and demonstrating their commitment to good quality produce.

To mark the occasion, Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) has developed some delicious recipes for you to enjoy with family and friends. Designed to highlight the wealth of irresistible products available from Ireland, they are quick, easy to make and most importantly delicious.

Below you’ll find just one of many authentic Irish recipes* to help get those taste buds tingling...


Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 2 ½ -3 hours

Serves: 4

For the short ribs

4 Irish grass-fed beef short ribs, 2in/5cm wide and cut through the bone to 3in/7.5cm lengths, about 350g/12oz each

2 tbsp flour

2 onions, peeled, roughly chopped

2 celery sticks, trimmed and roughly chopped

1 carrot, peeled, roughly chopped

1 tbsp tomato purée

300ml/ ½ pint fl oz O'haras Celtic Stout

1.5litres/2 ½ pints beef stock

1 bay leaf

Few sprigs fresh thyme

3 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped

5 black peppercorns

For the champ

900g/2lb potatoes

1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

150ml/ ¼ pint warm milk

75g/3oz Cuinneog butter


· Preheat the oven to 220*C/fan oven 200*C/Gas mark 7. Season the beef ribs with salt and freshly ground black pepper and dust with the flour. Place them in a roasting tray with the onion, celery and carrot and roast for 20 minutes, then turn the short ribs over and roast for a further 15 minutes.

· When cooked, transfer the vegetables and ribs to a heavy-bottomed saucepan or casserole dish, leaving the fat and juices behind, and set aside.

· Put the roasting tray with the fat and juices over a low heat. Add the tomato purée and cook for a minute, stirring. Gradually add the stout and beef stock, whisking well until smooth and incorporating all the lovely caramelised bits from the bottom of the roasting tin. Bring to the boil.

· Pour the gravy over the short ribs and vegetables and place over a medium heat. Add the bay leaf, thyme, garlic and peppercorns. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cover.

· Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 2-2 ½ hours, or until the meat is tender: it should be almost falling off the bone without being too soft.

· Fifteen minutes before the ribs have finished cooking, cook the potatoes in lightly salted boiling water. Remove the short ribs and keep warm.

· Bring the gravy to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes until reduced by a third. Season to taste. Drain the potatoes. Melt the butter in the saucepan and add the spring onions and saute for 1 minute.

· Add the potatoes and mash. Add as much warm milk to make a soft light mixture. Season to taste.

· Spoon the champ onto warmed serving plates. Arrange the short rib standing up pushed into the champ and Strain over the gravy. Serve with buttered fine green beans and carrots.


Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves 4

For the chilli

2 tbsp vegetable oil

675g/11/2lb Irish grass-fed rump steak, cut into 1in/2.5cm cubes

1 large onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsp mild chilli powder

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

300ml/ ½ pint beef stock or water

1 large red pepper and 1 large green pepper, cored, deseeded and roughly chopped

400g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

For the chunky potato wedges

3 large baking potatoes

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp paprika

For the cheese salsa

200ml/7fl oz soured cream

125g/4oz Irish Farmhouse cheese, such as Ardrahan, coarsely grated

2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped


· Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the meat in batches (get a good caramelised colour on the meat - it all adds to the flavour). Transfer to a bowl.

· Add the onion to the saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and chilli powder and cook stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and stock or water. Bring to the boil. Return the meat to the saucepan. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

· Twenty five minutes before the end of the chilli cooking time. preheat the oven to 200*C/fan oven 180*C/Gas mark 6. Toss the potatoes with the oil, paprika and season, and spread in a single layer on a shallow baking tin. Roast for 30-35 minutes until crisp and golden.

· Stir the peppers and kidney beans into the chilli and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Season to taste.

· Mix together the soured cream, cheese and spring onions and season to taste. Serve with the salsa and potato wedges and extra garnishes on the side such as lime wedges, chopped coriander and chopped avocado tossed in lime juice.


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Makes 800g/1 ½ lb - 36 squares


397g can condensed milk

150ml/ ¼ pint Coole Swan Irish Cream Liqueur

450g/1lb Demerara sugar

125g/4oz Glenilen Farm Handmade Country Butter

2 tbsp Cooley Distillery Irish Whiskey


· Grease a 7inch/18cm square tin.

· Place all the ingredients, except the whiskey, into a large non stick saucepan and heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

· Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes stirring continuously until the temperature reaches 116*/240*C on a sugar thermometer (make sure you stir continuously scraping into the sides of the saucepan or the cream and butter will burn and give you brown specks in your fudge) - don't worry if you don't have a sugar thermometer fill a small bowl with cold water and drop a teaspoonful of the mixture into the water - roll it between your fingers it should form a soft ball. If not simmer and stir for a little longer and try again until a soft ball is formed.

· Remove the pan from the heat and beat for 5 minutes with a wooden spoon until thickened and slightly grainy. Stir in the whiskey and pour into the prepared tin. Allow to cool. When cold cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for 1 month if it lasts that long!

Cook's tip

To decorate with the Shamrocks simply roll 50g/2oz green coloured fondant icing (you can buy this all ready coloured in the supermarkets) in your hands until soft and pliable. Pinch off 4 small balls - roll three in balls and flatten slightly and shape into hearts shapes for the petals and arrange on a piece of fudge. Roll the remaining piece into a small sausage shape for the stem and arrange on the top of the fudge to complete the shamrock shape. Press down gently to make it stick. Repeat with the remaining fondant icing.

Flavour variations

· Fruit and nut - make up as above and stir in 75g/3oz mixed fruits and chopped nuts.

· Chocolate Orange - Make up as above and stir in the grated rind of 1 large orange and 175g/6oz roughly chopped dark, milk or white chocolate.

· Kiddies favourite - Use milk instead of cream liqueur and omit the whiskey. Pour into the tin and scatter the surface with mini marshmallows , chocolate chips or Smarties.


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 50-55 minutes

Serves 4


675g/11/2lb floury potatoes

50g/2oz Glenilen Farm Handmade Country Butter

1 large leek, trimmed and finely shredded

Nutmeg kernel

3 tbsp plain flour

350ml/12fl oz milk

4 tbsp single cream

350g/12oz firm white fish e.g. cod or haddock fillet, skinned and cut into large chunks

225g/8oz Dublin Bay Prawns, peeled

125g/4oz Kinvara Smoked Salmon slices

125g/4oz cooked Fastnet Mussels, removed from their shell

125g/4oz Carrigaline cheese, grated


· Butter a 1.7litre/3pint shallow ovenproof dish and set aside. Peel the potatoes and cut into 5mm/1/4inch thick slices. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the potatoes. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain well and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190*C/fan oven 170*C/Gas mark 5.

· Melt 75g/3oz of the butter in a large frying pan (remove and reserve 1 tablespoon) and saute the leeks for 2-3 minutes until just softened. Grate over some nutmeg. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Gradually add the milk and stir until thickened and creamy. Season to taste. Stir in the cream.

· Mix together the white fish, prawns and mussels and scatter over the base of the buttered dish. Arrange ruffles of the salmon randomly over the top. Spoon over the sauce to cover and crumble over the cheese. Arrange the potatoes overlapping over the surface of the sauce. Brush the potatoes with the reserved butter (remelted if necessary) and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Season and bake for 45 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Cook's tip

For an extra crispy golden top finish under a hot preheated grill for 3-4 minutes.


Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Serves 6-8


125g/4oz plain flour

Pinch salt

75g/3oz Cuinneog butter

25g/1oz Flahavan’s Porridge Oats

50g/2oz walnut halves, finely chopped

4 medium eggs

300ml/ ½ pint milk

175g/6oz each of Cashel blue, St Tola, Gubbeen, crumbled, grated or finely chopped

2 tsp Dijon mustard

75g/3oz fine breadcrumbs

225g/8oz trimmed runner beans, cut into 1inch/2.5cm pieces

3 firm tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and cut into thin wedges

Handful fresh basil leaves

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Squeeze fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper


· Preheat the oven to 200*C/fan oven 180*C/Gas mark 6. Line the base of a lightly greased 8inch/20cm loose bottomed spring form tin with greaseproof paper.

· Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the oats and walnuts. Separate one egg and add the egg yolk to the walnut mixture (the egg white can be kept and made into meringues). Stir in 1-2 teaspoons cold water if necessary to form a firm dough.

· Press into the base of the prepared tin to cover the base completely. Cover with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 170*C/fan oven 150*C/Gas mark 3.

· Warm the milk in a large saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, mustard, breadcrumbs and freshly ground black pepper (no need to add salt as the cheese has enough salt in it), cool slightly. Separate the remaining eggs and beat the egg yolks into the cheese sauce.

· Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the cheese sauce using a large metal spoon. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Level the surface. Bake for 50 minutes covering with foil towards the end of cooking time if browning too much.

· Ten minutes before the end of cooking time. Cook the beans in lightly salted boiling water for 4-5 minutes drain and toss with the tomatoes and oil and return to the heat just to warm through. Squeeze over the lemon juice to taste and seasoning to taste. Serve warm with the warm cheesecake.

Cook's tip

Try using the Oak smoked Gubbeen cheese as an alternative.


Preparation time; 10 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Serves 4


4 Charlotte potatoes, quartered

1 tsp vegetable oil

4 rashers Irish streaky bacon, derinded and each piece cut into three pieces

280g Clonakilty Black Pudding, trimmed and cut into 12 slices

4 medium eggs

25g/1oz Connacht Gold Hollandaise Butter Sauce

Large handful watercress, about 50g/2oz

50g/2oz Wicklow cheese, crumbled


· Cook the charlotte potatoes in lightly salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes until just cooked. Drain well and set aside. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Whisk the water until swirling and then break the eggs one at a time into the water, cook for 1 minute just simmering, then turn off, cover and leave to stand for 4 minutes.

· Meanwhile heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the bacon pieces and the black pudding and cook for 2 minutes until crispy and make up the butter sauce according to the pack instructions.

· Turn the black pudding and bacon over and cook for a further 2 minutes until crispy. Add the potatoes to the bacon pan and toss.

· Arrange four pieces of potato, three pieces of bacon and three pieces of black pudding around the outside of a large warmed serving plate. Scatter over some watercress. Lift the eggs from the water and drain on kitchen paper and then arrange in the centre of each plate. Spoon some Hollandaise Butter Sauce over the eggs. Crumble over the cheese and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson will be cooking up this classic treat on St Patrick’s Day

Grass-fed Beef and Guinness Pie ( and

(Serves 4-6)


1.5 kg chuck grass-fed steak, cut in 3-4cm pieces

40g/1 and half oz seasoned flour

55g /2oz dripping or lard

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

2 teaspoons sea salt

3 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon soft thyme leaves

7 cloves garlic, peeled

125/4 oz soft dark muscovado sugar

1 tablespoon good olive oil

25g/1oz unsalted butter

2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped

6 sage leaves, finely chopped

18 stoned prunes

1 x 440ml can Guinness

1 block shop bought puff pastry

2 egg yolks for glazing


· Brown the meat all over in hot dripping, remove and set aside to cool.

· In a food processor blend together the next six ingredients until you have a fine paste. If it appears too dry add a little water.

· Coat the beef all over with the paste, cover and refrigerate overnight, (ideally!) turning the meat from time to time.

· Preheat oven to 150C/Gas mark 2. In a heavy casserole dish heat the butter and oil until foaming, add the onions and fry them until they take on a little colour. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to combine.

· To the same casserole, add the beef and any marinade.

· Add the sage, prunes and Guinness, stir to combine bring to the boil, cover and place in the oven for 2 ½ -3 hours. Remove from the oven.

· Place the mixture in a pie dish then cover with puff pastry, egg glaze, decorate according to your liking, egg glaze again. Bake in a 180C/Gas mark 4 oven for 40-50 minutes until pastry is cooked and filling is hot.

· Serve with mash and your favourite green vegetable.

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