Sunday, 12 October 2014

I for Ireland

Dee:  “Now we’ve reached letter I we’ve encountered our first set of cuisines which we’ve tried all of.  After much deliberation we decided that it had been a while since we cooked an Irish meal, and with Autumn now upon us, a nice Irish Stew and a slice of fruity Porter Cake would go down a treat.  We didn’t have to make any compromises with regard to the ingredients, as all were readily available.  All we needed was enough time to get everything ready.”

Irish Stew (Mum’s version)
Recipe from The Hairy Bikers Cookbook
Dee:  “I love everything about this dish.  The stripped down list of ingredients, careful preparation and of course the amazing flavour which is achieved by the long slow cooking process.  There are myriad recipes for Irish Stew and arguments abound over which is the definitive one, but this has been my favourite so far.  We served it with steamed kale, parsnip mash and very finely diced carrot which, when laid out together presented the colours of the Irish Tricolour.”

Irish Porter Cake
Dee:  “We left out the chopped mixed peel from this recipe as neither of us are particularly fond of it and upped the glace cherries a little to compensate.  We kept checking on the cake while it was in the oven, to make sure the top wasn’t starting to burn but it was fine.  The cake was not as heavy or dense as I was expecting.  It had a pleasant chewy texture and every bite was packed with fruit.  It went surprisingly well with the Irish Whiskey that we had with it.  Just before we poured out the whiskey we realised that we don’t have any whiskey tumblers, so out came the Crocodillo glasses.”

Soundtrack:  Neck – Come out Fighting
Dee:  “Neck are based in London but they are to all intents and purposes an Irish band.  Their music takes traditional Irish folk and dance tunes and injects them with the fury of oi!-punk.  They are a spectacular live act, but have also managed to transfer that sound to their studio recordings, as showcased on this album by ‘Always upsetting somebody’ and the live favourite ‘everybody’s welcome to the hooley’.  They do slow the pace down on a couple of songs, such as ‘the homes of Donegal’ and ‘I’ll still be blue over you’ but for the most part this is a full on Irish Punk Rock assault on your ears.  Check out their web site:  www.neck.ie  ”

We’re not heading too far away next week:  J is for Jersey.

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