The Main Course

Irish Stew:

Serves 6


2 tblsp rapeseed oil

1 kg (2lb 3oz) lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm(1in) chunks

2 onions, peeled and roughly choppedIrish Stew

3 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced

1 bay leaf

4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 l (1¾ pints) beef or lamb stock

900 g (2lb) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm (½in) slices

Good knob of butter

sea salt and ground black pepper

slices of white bread, to serve


Place a large, flameproof casserole pot over a high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and brown the lamb pieces in two batches. Remove and set aside on a plate. Reduce the heat to medium–high, add another tablespoon of oil and fry the onion, celery and carrot for 4–6 minutes or until the onions have softened.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F/Gas 3). Return the meat to the pot, along with the bay leaf and stock, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and push the slices of potato down into and across the top of the stew, dot with a little butter and give a final seasoning of sea salt and ground black pepper. Cover and place in the oven to cook for about 1½ hours or until the meat is tender, then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes until the potatoes have coloured.

You can serve the stew straight away or leave it covered overnight in the fridge for the flavours to develop. Serve in deep bowls with slices of white bread to soak up the liquid.

Bacon and Cabbage:

Serves 4


900g of Shoulder of bacon

1/2 head of savoy cabbage, sliced finely

2 Carrots, chopped

1 onion sliced

2 tablespoons of butterYear: 2003 Month: 02 Page: 122 & 128

A good pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Creamy Leek and Parsley Sauce:

2 tablespoons of butter (a generous knob)

2 tablespoons of flour

2 large leeks, sliced finely

100-150ml bacon stock

1 teaspoon of English mustard

A good handful of parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon of fresh cream


Remove the bacon from any packaging and place in a pot of cold water over heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 40 minutes or until cooked. Remove from the water, place on a plate and set aside. Save the bacon stock.

To make the creamy leek and parsley sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pot and sweat the leeks until soft but not coloured. Add the flour, mixing to combine, then add a little of the bacon stock stirring until the sauce thickens. Judge the consistency of the sauce by eye, and you may want to use a little more or less to your taste. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper and stir through the English mustard.

Keep warm until you have the consistency you require and then stir through the chopped parsley and tablespoon of cream.

To make the cabbage, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion and carrots, cooking until soft. Add the cabbage to the pan and allow to wilt down slowly, turning every now and then until it has wilted down and become tender.

Serve the bacon in slices topped with the creamy leek and parsley sauce alongside the cabbage. Enjoy!



Eaten hot or cold, spiced beef is traditionally served on St. Stephen’s Day (26th December) and is usually served decorated with holly and red ribbons.


• 4 lb rolled salted silverside

• 1 onion, peeled and sliced

• 1 small turnip, peeled and sliced

• 3 carrots, peeled and sliced

• 1 bay leafspiced beef

• 12 cloves

• 2 oz soft brown sugar

• Juice of 1 lemon

• ½ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg

• 1 level teaspoon mustard powder



Soak the meat overnight in cold water.

Next day, rinse well and tie up with kitchen string to form a firm, neat joint.

Put the onion, turnip and carrot in a large saucepan, place the meat on top, add the bay leaf then cover with cold water.

Bring to the boil, skim then cover and simmer gently for 3 ½ to 4 hours. Leave to cool completely in the liquid.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drain the meat very well, place in a roasting tin and stick with the cloves. Mix together the remaining ingredients and spread over the meat.

Bake for 40 minutes, basting from time to time.

Remove the string.

Serve hot or cold.

Serves 4-6

If desired, a little Guinness can be added to the water in which the meat is boiled for that extra flavour.




• 1-2lb boneless Monkfish cut into small-medium pieces

• 1 beaten egg

• 1 cup of beer (I usually use Beamish)

• 1 cup of white flourmonkfish

• Frying Oil

• Salt for seasoning


First mix the white flour, beaten egg and the beer (it is ok to add a little more beer if you wish for a stronger taste) in a bowl to make a light batter which will cover the fish. Add some salt for a little seasoning if preferred.

Take each piece of monkfish and coat in the batter ensuring they are completely covered.

Using at least 15-18cm of the frying oil heat a pan and then add fish pieces one lot at a time and cook for 3-4 minutes each time. Make sure that you drain the oil from the fish pieces once removed from the pan. I use kitchen paper towels or paper napkins for this as they are easy to discard afterwards.

Serve with a wedge of lemon and chips or simply put in a small bowl drizzled in lemon juice and tartar sauce for a tasty snack!


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This page was added on 22/02/2015.

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