Smithwick’s Beef & Cheddar Pies

March 11, 2014

IMG_6502

Mmmmm….meat pies! I know lots of folks out there get real worked up about sweet, dessert-type pies. But around here, we’re all about the savoury meat pie. And we pretty much swoon for any type of meat pie whether it be pot pies, pasties or empanadas. We love them all. As if you couldn’t tell. Just look back at my recipe archive and you’ll find quite a few. But I’ve got to let you guys in on a secret…so far these are our favourites! I don’t think I’m supposed to pick a favourite. It’s sort of like parents not having a favourite kid (or should I say not “admitting” to it). Well, just don’t tell the other pies, but this Smithwick’s Beef & Cheddar Pie recipe can do no wrong in our eyes.

IMG_6630

Now I will say that these pies do take a bit of planning to get them done properly. You should allow yourself two days. I suppose you could throw them together in just one day. But why would you want to put all that pressure on yourself. With a wee bit of planning ahead, you’ll be much less stressed and have superior tasting pies.

IMG_6469

So, here’s the plan of action I recommend. Day one – make the beef and ale filling. First step is browning the beef. Browning not only gives the meat a much more appealing colour, but it also boosts the flavour. This is followed by a long cooking time. You just let that browned beef simmer away with all of those spices and that Smithwick’s Ale broth for a good 3 -4 hours.

IMG_6558

Not only will the beef be incredibly tender, but all those flavours will have time to come together and really intensify. If you are in a rush at this time you can move right along to making the crust and assembling the pies, but if you can wait, that beef filling will taste much better after an overnight rest in the refrigerator. And just think, your work is done for the day – on the pie front anyway. You should kick back and have a pint or two.

IMG_6484

And as for that crust… well, that was the huge surprize for me in this recipe. Whenever I have made a shortcrust in the past, I have had to cut chilled butter into a flour mixture, add liquid – in my favourite recipe a mixture of vodka and water, form the dough – handling it ever so gingerly – and then let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour, if not overnight. This recipe introduced me to a new way of making pie crust and I must say I am absolutely loving it. It is much less fussy. You just melt butter in a bit of water, add some flour until a dough forms and there you have it. How easy is that! You roll it out and bake it right away. No waiting time. Done in a jiffy! And the crust is just perfect for these pies, buttery and tender yet substantial enough that you can pick a pie up and move it around without it completely crumbling into a heap.

IMG_6632

I was able to make eight of these little pies with this recipe, which fed the husband and I for four meals. I served them up with a lovely green salad on the side and we never got tired of them. And once you make them and taste that tender beef in a tangy sauce, spiked with gooey sharp cheddar, all wrapped in a buttery pastry crust, I think you’ll see why they hold the most-favoured pie status with us. Comfort food at its best!

IMG_6508

Smithwick’s Beef & Cheddar Pies

recipe adapted from: Mel’s Creative Corner

yield: Eight 4 – 5″ pies

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus more for browning beef
  • 2 1/2 lbs. of beef brisket, cut into 2-3 inch pieces ( beef chuck will work fine as well)
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 stalks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups of Smithwick’s Ale, roughly 12oz bottle (or your favourite craft beer ale can be sub’ed in)
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 6 sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 ounces Irish Cheddar, grated
Pastry:
This recipe makes enough pastry for eight of the 4- 5″ pies. 
  • 3 sticks of butter
  • 1 1/3 cups of water
  • 5 cups of flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • sea salt, for sprinkling over top

Directions:

Heat oil in large dutch oven, sprinkle beef with salt and pepper, dust with flour and cook, in batches, 3-4 minutes each side and set aside

Heat oil  and sauté onions, celery until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste, beer, vinegar, beef stock, sugar and spices to pan. Bring to a boil. Add beef back to pan.

Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and cook for 3 -4 hours or until tender.

Remove beef to shred and then return to pan.

For pastry and pie assembly:
Place butter and water into a sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil

Remove from heat, stir in flour and salt until smooth dough forms. Knead until smooth and elastic.

Roll out pastry dough (roughly ¼ inch thick) and line your pie pans, make sure you save enough dough for later to cover the pies. Divide beef among the dishes. Top with grated cheddar.

Roll out remaining dough to cover pies. Make sure to adhere the pie crust together by pressing a fork along the side of the pie dish.

Cut a small slit on the top of the pies

Brush the top of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake at 400°F  for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!


Baileys Irish Potato Candy

March 10, 2014

IMG_7020

Only seven more days to go until St. Patrick’s Day! Phew….I can’t believe I’ve made it this far with the daily blogs. Hope folks have been enjoying it. I’ve got a fun, sort of silly recipe for you today. Baileys Irish Potato Candy! Truth be told, no potatoes are actually involved in making these delicious little devils, but they’ve got the look of tiny spuds down huh? What they actually are is a candy made of confectioners sugar, butter, pecans and cream cheese. They get their color from a dusting of cinnamon and cocoa powder and their eyes from slivered almonds.

IMG_7053

Irish Potato Candy originated in Philadelphia and has been a tradition there for over 100 years. The version you will find there in the “City of Brotherly Love” includes coconut flakes and forgoes the cocoa powder coating, using only cinnamon. I couldn’t resist throwing a bit of chocolate into the mix and while I was at it, I decided a bit of Baileys would go a long way here as well. This sweet and creamy candy is very easy to make, no baking involved, just a bit of chill time. I don’t know about you, but believe me, a bit of chill time sounds great right about now! Adorable, tasty spuds… who could ask for more? Whip up a sack of these potatoes for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations today.

IMG_7023

Baileys Irish Potato Candy

recipe slightly adapted from: Bake at 350

yield:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecans (or you could substitute in your favourite nut)
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 teaspoons Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lb. powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sweetened cocoa
  • slivered almonds

Directions:

Heat oven to 350° F.  Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 4-6 minutes, until fragrant and toasted.  Remove from the baking sheet and let cool.  Once cool, finely chop

Beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, Baileys and salt until light and fluffy.

Mix in the sugar and pecans until combined and a dough forms.

Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Place the cinnamon and cocoa in a shallow bowl.  Use a 2 tablespoon scoop, and form the dough into small potato shapes.  Roll in the cinnamon/cocoa mixture, using a pastry brush to brush off the excess.

Break the slivered almonds into small pieces, and press into the cookies to make the eyes.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!


Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart

March 9, 2014

IMG_6197

There’s more than one day to a weekend. At least that’s what I’ve been told, even though it often feels like the weekend only spans a couple of hours, whereas the work week seems to go on for a bit shy of eternity. Well yesterday, I gave you a great brunch recipe for that Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis, but I’ve got another great one all lined up for today and since the weekend seems to still be lingering around a bit, maybe you could jump on into the kitchen and whip up this Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart.

IMG_6139

Though this delicious tart should not be relegated to the breakfast/brunch time slot by any means. Truth be told though, we’ve added a simple green salad and eaten this tart for lunch or dinner just as many times as it has appeared in the morning. We are big leek fans around here and will gobble them up in no time flat even when they are just simply sautéed in butter, but once you add some stout beer, nutmeg, and thyme into the mix. Look out!

IMG_6182

The stout adds a real depth of flavour to those leeks. And the sharp Irish cheddar perfectly completed the dish, turning a tart with very simple ingredients into an indulgent delight. Categorize this recipe under “eat anytime” and often!

IMG_6178

Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart

recipe adapted from: Wee Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of Perfect Flaky Pie Crust recipe (recipe found below…or use store-bought if pressed for time)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. leeks, white and pale green parts, washed and chopped
  • 4 oz. ( 1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup Guinness or Murphy’s Stout beer
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 1/2 ounces mature Irish Cheddar Cheese ( I used Kerrygold)

Directions:

Make batch of shortcrust pastry, or open box if using store-bought. Roll out shortcrust pastry on lightly floured work surface. Line 9″ tart pan with the dough. Cover the dough with a piece of aluminum foil and freeze for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place dough-lined pan on a baking sheet with aluminum foil in place. Fill foil with beans or pie weights. Bake dough for 20 minutes, or until dough is beginning to turn golden.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In large saucepan melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook until tender, about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir the flour into the leeks and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Add the stout beer, stirring continuously until combined. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme. Let mixture simmer until beer is reduced and a thick sauce remains. Remove from heat and set aside.

In bowl, whisk milk and egg together.

Set tart pan on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle half of grated cheddar over the pastry dough. Add the leek mixture and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the tart pan over the leek/cheese filling. Return tart pan to oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until filling is puffed and golden brown.

Perfect Flaky Pie Crust

Originally adapted from: Inspired Taste but also appears in my Mushroom, Onion & Thyme Galette

Ingredients:

(this recipe makes dough for two pie crusts – you will only need 1 for this tart recipe)

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
  • 2 Tablespoons ice water

Directions:

This recipe will make enough dough for two pie crusts. You will only need one for this tart recipe. You can either half the recipe or go ahead and make the whole thing and freeze half so you’ll be ahead of the game next time you need shortcrust pastry.

Mix 6 tablespoons of vodka and 2 tablespoons of water. Put in fridge or freezer (don’t forget it) to chill.

Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water/vodka over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water/vodka and continue to press until dough comes together.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

Enjoy!


Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis

March 8, 2014

IMG_5191

Have mercy! Is it the weekend yet? I’ve got just the perfect weekend lazing around and drinking early brunch dish for you. A Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis! Wowzers right?!! A clafoutis is a french dessert that consists of baked fruit (usually cherries) in a flan like batter. I found this wonderful whiskey splashed Irish twist on that classic French dish over at Edible Ireland  (love that site! – great recipes, beautiful photography – what more could you want)and just couldn’t wait to make it. (as if the weekend could mosey on up any slower…)

IMG_5213

Now I know of few of you folks out there are probably smirking and thinking “Yeah, so much for her lazy weekend if she was making some sort of French thing, which you just know has to be time-consuming, complicated and annoying!” Oh I am so happy to say that you would be wrong. This dish, impressive – yet rustic – as it looks was quite easy to make and delicious to boot!

IMG_5206

IMG_5152

But if you’re still being a doubter, perhaps you would perk up a bit knowing that you can make the apple caramel mixture up the night before. That way when the weekend arrives, you won’t have to spend one more extra precious moment than necessary “slaving away” in the kitchen. You just heat the apples up, mix up the batter, add the apples in and pop it into the oven . Easy peasy. Then you can just sit around sipping your mimosa (or Buck’s Fizz). Before you know it that decadent brunch treat will be ready and your weekend will be off to a fantastic whiskey-caramel-apple-y start!

IMG_5181

Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis

recipe from: Edible Ireland

Ingredients:

for the batter:

  • 80 g (2/3 cup) flour
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder (optional – but it will keep the clafoutis from sinking as quickly when removed from the oven)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 g (6 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

for the apples:

  • 30 g (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 4 crisp eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 60 g (1/3 cup) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey*

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Butter a 25 cm (10 inch) pie plate or cast iron skillet or large individual ramekins.

To make the caramel apples, melt a knob of butter in a large pan over a medium-high heat. When it’s sizzling, reduce the heat to medium and tip in the apples, sugar and cinnamon, stirring to coat the apples in the butter and sugar. Cook the apples for about 5 minutes, until they have softened and the sugar has turned syrupy. Keep warm.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, milk and vanilla. Pour half of the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking until it looks like a paste, then add in the rest of the liquid, whisking until the batter is smooth and well blended. (Alternatively, you could just place all the batter ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.)

Place the pie plate or skillet on a baking sheet to catch any drips when the clafoutis is cooking in the oven. Pour in the batter, then using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to the plate or skillet, leaving as much of the caramel sauce in the pan as you can and making sure the apples are evenly distributed. Bake the clafoutis in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the clafoutis is puffed up and golden brown and the centre is set.

About 5 minutes before the clafoutis is done, reheat the caramel in the pan to loosen it again, then stir in the whiskey and allow to cook for 1 or 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Serve the clafoutis warm with the caramel whiskey sauce drizzled over.

*If you’ve had a “whiskey incident” and know you couldn’t smell, much less taste whiskey first thing in the morning, switch it out for some brandy or calvados.

** This is also a great dessert recipe. Just imagine serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with that caramel whiskey sauce. Yum!

Enjoy!

IMG_5144


Epic Chocolate, Porter & Potato Cake

March 7, 2014

IMG_6731

Anyone have any leftover mashed potatoes? It is rare that we have them leftover, usually gobbling them all up without a second thought. Yet it does occasionally happen. Truth be told I have started making ridiculous amounts of mashed potatoes when I actually do make them, for a couple of reasons. First of all, we have bee known to eat a whole bunch of mashed potatoes in one sitting. Second reason, I am always hoping there will be leftovers so that I can make them into potato farls the next day. And now I have another reason to scheme for leftovers. Believe it or not, I used leftover mashed potatoes in this Epic Chocolate, Porter & Potato Cake. Epic is the perfect word to sum up how I feel about this cake. Rich, chocolatey, moist and delicious! And with spuds and porter as featured ingredients, what cake could better boast of its Irish origins.

IMG_6815

I found this recipe at Bibliocook, the blog of award-winning Irish food writer and broadcaster, Caroline Hennessey. If you haven’t stopped by this great blog, you really must go take a peek. Caroline’s husband is one of the owners and brewers at Eight Degrees Brewing.  I first tasted one of their beers a couple of years ago at the Dingle Food Festival . My friend Theresa, being a fan of that craft brew, had brought along several of their beers for my husband and I to sample and we were instantly hooked. We are eagerly awaiting Eight Degrees arrival in the States. Make sure you keep it in mind if you are planning a trip over to Ireland. Indeed Caroline recommends that their Knockmealdown Porter, be the porter used in this Epic cake. And believe you me, I really wish I could have gotten ahold of a bottle, but alas, none was to be found in Virginia. So I decided to go with a locally brewed porter, looked to Baltimore Maryland (only about 1 hr or so away) and settled on DuClaw Brewing Company’s Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, a decision which I am not second guessing after tasting this amazing cake. All of the malty, chocolate, espresso and peanut butter notes of that porter really shine through in every decadent forkful.

IMG_6856

I love that this cake is really no fuss/no-nonsense. It comes together quickly and easily. And since Caroline had mentioned that its taste improves a bit with age, I made it the day before I was planning to serve it and then just frosted it before folks arrived. And even though I frosted the entire cake, it really isn’t necessary. I think simply spreading a thick pillowy cloud of that cocoa dusted cream cheese filling would be sheer perfection. So why did I frost the entire cake? Well, it looks like it is time for a true confessions moment. The original recipe called for a 23cm round cake tin. Of course here in the States, we never really got into that metric system thing and still do everything in inches. I quickly figured out that 23 cm is a 9″ pan. However, I grabbed a cake pan that was only 1 1/2″ tall. It really needed to be at least 2″, so there was a bit of batter overflow happening when I baked it. No big deal as I had the cake tin sitting on a baking sheet, which caught the spillage. However, the edge of my cake ended up looking a bit raggedy. So I made the executive decision of covering my mistake with that scrumptious frosting and no one would be the wiser. Which they weren’t…until I spilled the beans here. Oh well, live and learn and always use taller cake tins when possible!

IMG_6796

I served this substantial cake up at one of my husband’s band rehearsals and it easily fed a flock of hungry musicians, some of whom had seconds, raving about it all the while. I guess I do have even more of a reason to make extra mashed potatoes now. I’m going to have to arrange to have 20 lb. sacks delivered to my home soon if I’m not careful. The 5 lb. ones just won’t do anymore!

IMG_6830

Epic Chocolate, Porter & Potato Cake

recipe slightly adapted from: Bibliocook

Ingredients:

  • 75 grams dark chocolate – it’s worth using 70% here
  • 225 grams butter, at room temperature
  • 200 grams caster sugar (caster sugar is the same as superfine sugar)
  • 220 grams light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 75 grams mashed potato (either cook some potatoes and mash them or used leftover mashed potatoes)
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 25 grams unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 150mls porter – I wish I could have used Eight Degrees Brewing Company’s Knockmealdown Porter, but I used Duclaw Brewing Company’s Sweet Baby Jesus! Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter

For the Cream cheese icing:

  • 200 grams cream cheese
  • 50 grams butter
  • 50 grams confectioners sugar, sifted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F and line the base of a 9 X 2″ round baking tin.

Melt the chocolate and allow to cool.

Cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

Mix in the melted chocolate and mashed potato.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda together. Gently mix into the cake batter in three additions, alternating with the porter.

Spoon into the prepared tin, leveling the surface with the back of the spoon, and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour, 10 minutes or until the cake feels springy and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.

To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth, then mix in the confectioners sugar. Spread over the cold cake, dusting with a little sweetened cocoa.

Enjoy!


Irish Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Soda Bread Croutons

March 6, 2014

IMG_6329

I don’t know how the weather is in your neck of the woods, but around here there is really no sign of Spring. That groundhog varmint was right and we have been firmly in the grip of an arctic vortex with temperatures lower than they have any right to go here in the supposed southern state of Virginia. The latest go round of snow and frigid temps really had me craving a big bowl of French Onion soup. But since St. Patrick’s Day is nigh, I decided to Irish it up a bit. Just how do you do that you might ask. Well, how about adding in a splash or two of Irish Whiskey (you know my brand by now right – Jameson’s) and a glug or so of Irish Stout.

IMG_6289

This is where I’m going to get a little tricky on you though. I know a veritable river of Guinness has been flowing out of my kitchen lately. It is the Irish stout that is most widely known and I’m a fan. However, I went to college in Cork, Ireland and in that part of the country, Guinness is not King. Murphy’s Irish Stout- aka The Rebel Stout holds court there. You see Murphy’s Stout is similar to Guinness but a bit less heavy and with fewer bitter notes. It has been brewed in Cork since 1856. Why is it called “The Rebel Stout”? That has to do with its County Cork origins. Historically, Cork has been known as the Rebel County, a name it acquired due to the prominent role it played in the Irish War of Independence (1919-21) as well as the fact that it was an anti-treaty stronghold during the Irish Civil War (1922-23). Murphy’s Irish Stout is widely distributed outside of Ireland and you could likely easily find it at your local grocery, especially this close to St. Patrick’s Day. Next time you see it, grab some and give it a taste. You could even do a stout tasting with Guinness, Murphy’s and a few of your local brews. Sounds like fun huh? But I guess I should get back to this soup. Having spent all that time in Cork, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t give Murphy’s a shout out.

IMG_7012

I used it for this Irish Onion soup and I couldn’t have been more pleased! The malty notes from the Murphy’s Irish Stout gave this soup quite a rich and deep flavour. Yet, it still wasn’t quite Irish-y enough for me. So instead of topping my onion soup with the usual toasted french baguette slice, I baked up some mini Irish soda bread loaves which I split in half and used in lieu of the french standard.

IMG_6112

IMG_6231

Topped with grated Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese, you have a crouton worthy of this hearty Irish Onion Soup. guaranteed to warm you on the most polar vortex-y of days.

IMG_6296

Irish Onion Soup

recipe adapted from: The Fox & She

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 medium yellow onions, sliced in rings
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup Irish Whiskey (Jameson!)
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • Pinch kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 1 cup Stout Beer, Murphys or Guinness
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 12 cups beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Thick slices Irish Soda Bread (recipe to follow)
  • grated Irish Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

In a heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter, cook onions over medium to medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring every so often.

Add whiskey, flour and pinch of salt. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add Murphy’s (or Guinness) and simmer until reduced by 1/3, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, thyme, pepper and remaining salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove thyme sprigs.

Ladle into oven safe bowl and top with 1/2 of mini soda bread loaf and grated irish cheddar. Place under the broiler until cheese is bubbly and toast is browned. Be Careful! Some broiler are nuclear hot and will burn everything to a cinder if you turn your back for a second! (If you can’t do the broiler thing, just toast the soda bread, melt cheese over the top and then add to irish soup.)

Mini Irish Soda Breads

recipe adapted from: King Arthur Flour

yield: 6 mini loaves

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) King Arthur Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour (9 3/4 ounces) *
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 1/3 cups (10 5/8 ounces) buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • flaked sea salt
  • melted salted butter to brush top of loaves

Directions:

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda and salt. Using a mixer, a pastry fork or blender, or your fingers, cut in the butter until it is evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.

In a separate bowl (or in a measuring cup) whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The dough will be stiff; if it’s too crumbly to squeeze together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk.

Knead the dough a couple of times to make sure it’s holding together. If you are making individual mini loaves, divide into 6 equal sized pieces. ( 5 ounces each).  Shape each it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross, extending all the way to the edges, atop each loaf.

Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, and brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with flaked sea salt.

Enjoy!

* If you don’t have time to order your King Arthur Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour and you aren’t in Ireland with immediate access to Irish Wholemeal Flour, you can substitute in 10 ounces of King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour

**Recipe will also make 1 large loaf of Irish Soda Bread if you would rather not be bothered with the mini loaves :)


Arán Spíosraí with Irish Whiskey Glaze

March 5, 2014

IMG_5368

Alright! Here we go on day five of my annual St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-polooza with a recipe for Arán Spíosraí with an Irish Whiskey Glaze. Arán Spíosraí simply means Spice Bread and I think we all know what Irish Whiskey Glaze means. Isn’t that the look that your eyes take on after tasting a bit too much of your frosting recipe as you prepare it?  (Good old Jameson!) Well, in my defense, I had to make sure the recipe was good before I published it right? What kind of a cook would serve something up without tasting it? And some things require a bit more tasting than others…

IMG_5345

Anyhooo….This lovely quick bread can probably be thought of as more cake-like than bread-like. Quite sweet, it is chock full of chopped citron and raisins along with a veritable riot of spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice ginger – hence the name. Very versatile, this bread is great for breakfast slathered in butter, equally welcome along with your afternoon tea or can be a simple yet tasty dessert topped with a bit of fresh whipped cream. And leftovers are not a problem. It holds up well in the pantry and I think the taste even improves a bit with age. Perfect to have a loaf on standby for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

IMG_5355

Arán Spíosraí with Irish Whisky Glaze

recipe from: Bob Vivant

Ingredients:

For the Bread:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup candied citron, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 oz. Lyles Golden Syrup ( can substitute 1/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup molasses or 2/3 cup light corn syrup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk

For the Irish Whiskey Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line a 9×5″ loaf pan with parchment paper or grease it with butter.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the raisins and candied citron. Make a well in the center.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Remove it from the heat and stir in the brown sugar and Lyle’s Golden syrup. Beat in the egg and milk until combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. Place batter in prepared pan.

Bake for 60-70 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool loaf on a rack for 20 minutes and then remove from the pan. Allow to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and whiskey. Allow the glaze to cool for 15 minutes. Spoon the glaze into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe glaze in pattern of your choice across top of bread.

Enjoy!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,646 other followers