I love to cook special meals for special holidays. And since the DeWine family originally came from County Galway, Ireland, I love St. Patrick’s Day! Our traditional main course for St. Patrick’s Day dinner is Irish Stew. I have to admit that even though the traditional Irish Stew has lamb or mutton, I usually use beef. My children were in 4-H for many, many years and they raised market lambs. And they just couldn’t think about eating them!
2 pounds beef chuck roast (or lamb shoulder) cut in 2 inch chunks
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium size onions, peeled and cut in wedges
1 pound carrots cut in2 inch chunks
2 pounds potatoes (8-10 small), halved
4 quarts beef broth or water
1 sprig thyme or basil
Put oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium high heat. Brown meat on all sides. Set aside meat and add onions and carrots to pot. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Return meat to pot, add broth or water and bring to simmer. Add herbs, and arrange potatoes on top. Add salt and pepper to potatoes. Put on lid and transfer to 350° oven. Bake for about an hour. You can add a little flour-water mixture to thicken it if you like.
I also like to make Irish Soda Bread, and I have a special recipe from our “cousin” in Ireland for Irish Scones. They are great served at breakfast, or just served with a cup of tea. They contain no sugar so you can add a little if you like. I sometimes add raisins also.
Mona DeVine’s Irish Brown Breakfast Scones
1 cup whole meal flour
1 cup all purpose flour
½ stick butter
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
Sift flour and salt into bowl. Add whole meal flour and mix. Add butter and rub into flour. Add soda and mix. Add milk and mix to a loose sticky dough. Form into ball. Turn on to floured board. Flatten out into circle about ¾ inch thick. Cut into halves, quarters, eighths, like pie. Place on floured tin or greased cookie sheet. Brush tops with milk. Bake at 425° for about 15 minutes. Serve warm, split and buttered.
Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, wife of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and guest columnist. Her next cookbook, Fran DeWine and Tina Husted’s Family Favorites will come out this summer.