Halloween, Irish Recipes, Irish Traditions

Barmbrack Recipe

Barmbrack is the center of an Irish Halloween custom. The Halloween Brack traditionally contained various objects baked into the bread and was used as a sort of fortune-telling game. In the barmbrack were: a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring. Each item, when received in the slice, was supposed to carry a meaning to the person concerned: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be 12002851_1068039236547381_8260594681565605031_npoor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be wed within the year. Other articles added to the brack include a medallion, usually of the Virgin Mary to symbolize going into the priesthood or to the Nuns, although this tradition is not widely continued in the present day.

Barmbrack (Irish: bairín breac), also called Barnbrack or often shortened to brack, is a yeasted bread with added sultanas and raisins.

Barm Brack – Arán Breac (Speckled Bread)
Ingredients:
1 lb flour
6 oz sugar
1 lb mixed dried fruit
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tsp all spice/mixed spice
Pot of hot Irish tea

The Irish ‘lucky’ ingredients: (can be a choking hazard for small children)
‘gold’ ring, to foretell marriage within a year
small coin, to forecast wealth
small piece of cloth to forecast poverty
little piece matchstick to forecast the husband will beat his wife
thimble to forecast spinsterhood
button to forecast bachelorhood

Method:
Wrap each ‘lucky’ item carefully in wax paper.
The trick to making a Barm Brack like soda bread is the soaking of fruit overnight in the
tea. While this makes the dried fruit softer and more appealing in general,
one must be careful when mixing the dough not to over-knead or the
re-hydrated fruit will crumble. Add the sugar and egg to the fruit mix the next day. Sift in the remaining dry ingredients. Mix gently. Stir in the wrapped ‘lucky’ items and try to distribute them evenly. Use a 7″ round
baking tin at 350°F for 80 minutes. Cool on a wire baking rack.

The Brack can be made a week in advance and stored in an air-tight
container. It is traditional that only he/she who has baked the cake should
cut and serve the slices, as only he/she may know where are the ‘lucky’
items and will distribute them equitably!!

Halloween, Irish Recipes, Irish Traditions

Colcannon (I love this stuff) A tradition Halloween meal.

12042678_10156171951110245_934213265156568500_nColcannon Recipe

Ingredients:
• 1 lb potatoes
• 1 lb kale or cabbage
• Onion or leek
• 1/4 cup milk
• Butter, salt and pepper

Directions:
First peel and boil the potatoes. Then chop the kale or cabbage up small. Steam cabbage until tender, about 8 minutes. Then saute the onion until golden. Mash the potatoes well, and mix with the cabbage and onion. Add a wee bit of milk and butter to get that creamy consistency. Then salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a medium oven for about 15 minutes.

Irish Recipes

Irish Beef Stew with Irish Stout

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp plain flour (corn starch if you want it to be gluten free)
  • 1 ½lb stew beef, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2-3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups beef stock (from a stock cube is fine)
  • 1 cup of Irish Stout (omit for gluten free and increase beef stock by 1 cup)
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lbs even-sized peeled potatoes
  • 3 tbsp (1 ½oz) Irish Butter
  • salt and pepper

Coat beef with corn starch. Brown stew beef in a pot with butter and onions. Add carrots, thyme, potatoes, stock, stout and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours until beef is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Irish Beef Stew

Irish Christmas

Traditional Irish Christmas Plum Pudding

Our traditional Irish Christmas Plum Pudding has had humble beginnings. Plum pudding was originally a porridge flavored with scraps of meat or fish, thickened with bread crumbs and bound together with eggs, fruit and spices. During the Tudor and Stuart period dried prunes were added to the pudding which became known as plum porridge.

Today it is simply known as Christmas Plum Pudding. Although Plum Pudding is not the type of food generally thought of as a pudding today by commercial standards. It is exactly what one would expect of a traditional old fashioned Irish pudding. Plum Pudding drizzled with Brandy Butter is the essence of Christmas in Ireland and is deliciously served with a fresh cream sauce or Brandy Butter.

christmas pudding with custard


Irish Christmas Plum Pudding Serving Ideas…

Nutmeg Sauce

2/3 cup sugar*
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add boiling water and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes until ingredients are well blended.

Brandy Butter

4 tbsp softened, unsalted butter
1/2 cup superfine sugar
3 tbsp brandy
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until smooth and well blended. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm. Brandy Butter may be sprinkled with nutmeg before serving.

http://www.theirishjewelrycompany.com/irish-christmas-pudding.html

Irish Blessings, Irish Recipes

Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie

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This is what I’m fixing to make tonight. How about you?

Cottage pie or shepherd’s pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato.The term cottage pie is known to have been in use in 1791, when the potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor. (The term “cottage” meaning a modest dwelling for rural workers). In early cookery books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind (it was a recipe to re-purpose left overs) , and the pie dish was lined with mashed potato as well as having a mashed potato crust on top.
The term “shepherd’s pie” appeared around 1877, and since then it has been used synonymously with “cottage pie”, in America and Ireland regardless of whether the principal ingredient was beef or “mutton.”

Our families traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie recipe was born from many a cold nights at our family cottage. Often in Ireland you can find a mix package.
Ingredients
o 1 tablespoon olive oil
o 1 teaspoon black pepper and or salt
o 1lb – 1 1/2lb ground beef
o 1 large onion, finely diced
o 3 -4 large carrots, finely diced
o 1 cup frozen peas (or if you’re in a rush just use frozen peas and carrots)
o thyme, finely chopped to taste if you have it.
o 2 tablespoons flour or corn starch
o 1 or 2 tablespoon butter
o 1 can tomato paste
o 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
o 1 cup beef stock
o mashed potatoes made w/butter and milk (6 cups, fresh, or store bought or leftover if you’re in a rush)
o paprika and grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions…
Pre-heat oven to 400°.
Sauté carrots in the olive oil until they get tender if using fresh. Then  add the onions and sauté for a minute or two then add the chop meat. Season with black pepper, salt (I prefer sea salt) and thyme. Cook it all up until browned then drain fat away.
Add the butter and frozen peas. Sprinkle on flour or corn starch and mix well. Then  add tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix is all very well. Then add the beef stock. (I also add a wee bit of stout but that’s our family secret…shh!)
Allow mixture to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy. Season to taste.
Remove mixture from the heat. Then grease up an oven proof dish about 9×13 with butter and add the meat.
Spoon the mashed potatoes over top. Your can get creative with your pattern. Add some butter and sprinkle with paprika and Parmesan cheese if using. Bake for about 30 minutes, really until the mash potato are browned on top.
Serve with some crusty bread or traditional Irish Brown Bread to mop up that yummy sauce! You can purchase brown bread or a mix at your local Irish Shop.

Halloween, Irish Recipes

Lambs Wool

lambs wool

After you feast on traditional Irish foods on Halloween you will need to wash it down with an old drink called Lambswool. The name Lambswool is believed to be derivative of the Irish Gaelic, “La Mas Nbhal” meaning ‘Feast of the Apples. The Gaelic saying was pronounced “Lammas-ool”. This ultimately evolved into Lambswool. There are several of recipes for Lambswool that exist. But the drink basically consists of baked crushed apples(cored and crushed without skins), which are added to milk, and hot spiced ale, hard cider and or wine. Grate in nutmeg and some ginger. Add sugar according to taste.

About This Recipe

“This is a traditional cider drink that was made and enjoyed on Twelfth Night (January 16-17) in Elizabethan England. It is said that it gets its name from the whiteness of the roasted apples as they fluff out of their skins while they cook. I haven’t made it yet, but I cant let go of the recipe every time I go to clean out my recipe box.”

Ingredients

    • 4 pints real ale ( Newcastle or similar)
    • 2 -3 large apples
    • 1 cup hard alcoholic cider ( such as Woodchuck or Hornsby’s)
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 3 cloves
    • sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C: 350°F: Gas 4.
  2. Core the apples and bake in 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes until very soft.
  3. Squeeze all of the pulp from the apples and discard the skins then fluff the puree with a fork.
  4. Heat the ale and cider with the cinnamon stick and cloves.
  5. Add the apple puree and sugar to taste.
  6. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Food.com