Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Due to busy mid-week schedules, we celebrated Saint Patrick's Day a few days early. This Irish Stew was a good project for a Sunday afternoon. My Sous Chef was on baseball practice duty so I was left with all the chopping, but he made it home in time to whip up the scones.

We made this stew (from Cuisine at Home, October 2008) back in the fall and really enjoyed it, a nice alternative to the traditional Corned Beef.

2 lb. lamb or beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2" chunks, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 C. olive oil, divided
2 C. onion, diced
2 T. garlic, minced
2 T. Tomato paste (I recommend this)
1/4 C. all purpose flour
1/4 C. dark beer (such as Guinness)
2 C. beef broth
2 C. chicken broth
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 C. carrot, chopped
1 C. frozen peas
1 C. savoy cabbage, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown stew meat in 2 T. oil in a large pot over meduim-high heat, 8 minutes. Transfer meat to a bowl and set aside; reduce heat to medium.
Add 2 T. oil and onion to the pot and sweat, covered, until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste, and cook until paste darkens, 2 minutes. Add flour, stir to coat, and cook 1 minute.
Deglaze with beer, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pot, then add both broths, meat and it's juices, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 hour.
Stir in potatoes and carrot. Cook until potatoes are tender, 12 minutes, then add peas, cabbage, salt, and pepper; simmer 5 minutes.

Mini Cheddar Scones
Makes 32

2 3/4 C. all purpose flour
2 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. table salt
1/4 t. baking soda
10 T. unsalted butter, cold, cubed
1 C. Cheddar, shredded
1/3 C. minced fresh chives
1 C. buttermilk
2 T. water
1 egg blended with 1 T. water

Preheat oven to 375°; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until pea-sized.
Stir in Cheddar and chives, then add buttermilk and 2 T. water; knead gently just until blended. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into an 8" square. Cut into 2' squares, then cut squares into triangles. Arrange scones on baking sheet, spacing 1" apart.
Brush tops with egg-water mixture and bake until golden, about 25 minutes.

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