Post # 228 Wearin’ o’ the Green

March 17, 2014 at 1:46 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 228 Wearin’ o’ the Green

Hey!  It’s St. Patrick’s Day on a blog day!  So not only do I get to wear green on purpose, I get to blog about green stuff, and Irish stuff, and St. Pat’s stuff.

First, celebrating St. Pat’s in a raucous party manner is totally an American custom, not from Ireland.  And most of the foods we eat about now aren’t found much in Ireland.  Guinness is about it.  St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish; he was English and was brought to Ireland as a raiding party captive.  He eventually returned to England for a time, but he’d fallen in love with Ireland so returned and brought Christianity with him.  The shamrock isn’t the national symbol of Ireland as we know it here in America.  The national symbol of Ireland is the Harp.

oak_harp03

In Trinity College in Dublin, there is an Irish Harp that dates from the 14th century.  And green isn’t the only color associated with Ireland.  Orange is the color worn in Northern Ireland.  Also, in many parades, we see men in kilts marching down the street playing bagpipes.  Kilts are from Scotland, and bagpipes were brought to Ireland from Scotland.

We Americans just cull what want to and create our own traditions.

However, one thing that comes from this wonderful land (I’m fifty percent Irish, btw) is a delicious stew based on their signature drink, Guinness beer.

guinness

Totally Irish, and look!  There’s the harp.

Let me tell you how to make this stew.  It’s easy and rich and filling.

First heat your oven to 275.  Take a two pound beef roast and cut it into 1/2″ chunks.  Brown those chunks in batches in a large dutch oven or skillet with a tight fitting lid.  Once all the beef is browned, cut up a medium to large onion into smallish pieces and brown them along with two cloves of garlic minced well.  When the onion is soft, add one teaspoon of thyme, and two table spoons of flour and make a roux, adding butter or oil if the pan is too dry.  Slowly add one cup of beef stock to make a thick gravy.  Stir until it’s smooth and the only lumps are the onions and garlic.  Once the gravy is smooth, add another half cup of beef stock, the meat, and one pound of carrots cut into one inch pieces.  Stir to coat everything, then add one cup of Guinness dark ale or beer.  It will be foamy so make certain there is a full cup.  Cover the pan tightly and put into the oven for three and a half hours.  After that time, take the pot out and add one pound of mushrooms that have been quartered.  Add as many potatoes as you like cut into one inch chunks.  Stir everything around, adding more stock so all vegetables and meat are just barely covered.  Cover and cook for another two and a half hours.  That will be a total of six hours cooking at 275.  At the end of that time, all the vegetables should be cooked and the meat should be falling apart tender.  If the meat is still a little tough, cover the pot and return it to the oven for another hour.  Once the stew is ready, serve it hot with some good Irish soda bread.  I’ve put a recipe for that somewhere in this blog.  Or you can buy a loaf from you store or bakery.

I’ll leave you now with a traditional Irish food blessing.

“Laughter is brightest in the place where the food is.”

Enjoy!
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