Slow-cooked Irish Stew



1 tbsp sunflower oil

200g smoked streaky bacon, preferably in one piece, skinned and cut into chunks

900g cheap stewing lamb like middle neck or scrag (ask at your butcher counter), cut into large chunks

Small bunch thyme

3 onion, thickly sliced

5 carrot, cut into big chunks

6 medium potato, cut into big chunks

700ml lamb stock

3 bay leaf

85g pearl barley

1 large leek, washed and cut into chunks

Small knob of butter


Heat the slow cooker if necessary, then heat the oil in a frying pan. Sizzle the bacon until crisp, tip into the slow-cooker pot, then brown the chunks of lamb in the pan. Transfer to the slow-cooker pot along with the thyme, onions, carrots, potatoes, stock, bay leaves and enough water to cover the lamb. Cover and cook on Low for 7 hrs.

Stir in the pearl barley and leek, and cook on High for 1 hr more until the pearl barley is tender.

Stir in the butter, season and serve scooped straight from the dish.

Recipe via BBC Good Food

Loin of Bacon with Colcannon Butter Sauce


900g whole piece of rindless, unsmoked back bacon

3 tbsp clear honey

8 cherry tomato

Chopped parsley, to serve

For the potato cakes:

2 leek, trimmed, green and white parts separated and both finely sliced

Small knob of butter

3 potato, boiled and mashed

1 heaped tbsp plain flour

3 tbsp double cream

1 medium egg yolk

For the colcannon sauce:

50g butter

5 Savoy cabbage leaves, finely shredded

1 small potato, finely diced

4 tbsp white wine

200ml double cream


Place the bacon in one tier of a steamer, cover and steam for 45 mins, then allow to cool. Once cooled, slice into 4 thick chops and set aside.

To make the potato cakes, fry the dark green part of the leek in a little butter, and mix well with the potato, flour, cream and egg yolk, then mould into four small round discs. Set aside until ready to serve.

To make the sauce, melt half the butter in a pan and add the cabbage and potato. Cook slowly for 5 mins, then pour in the white wine and reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce by half. Season and remove from the heat. Stir the rest of the butter into the sauce and keep warm until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Lay the bacon on a roasting tray and brush with the honey. Roast for 10-15 mins, until the honey caramelises, brushing the chops with the sticky juices halfway through. Sweat the remaining white part of the leeks and tomatoes in some butter for 3 mins, then season. Fry the potato cakes in the remaining butter for 2 mins on each side. To serve, place a potato cake on each plate with a spoonful of leek and cherry tomatoes. Lay a bacon chop over the top, drizzle the sauce on the plate, scatter over a little chopped parsley and serve.

Recipe via BBC Good Food

Wild Garlic Irish Soda Bread



200g of wholegrain flour

275g strong white flour

350ml buttermilk

1 generous tsp of bicarbonate of soda

1 large free-range egg

1 tsp honey

1 handful of wild garlic leaves, roughly chopped

A pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Grease and flour a 900g loaf tin. Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, wild garlic and salt in a mixing bowl. In a Pyrex measuring jug, measure out the buttermilk and then whisk in the egg and honey.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and then pour in the wet mixture. Add a little extra flour if you find the dough is too wet and sticky. Using a wooden spoon, bring the mix together to form a dough. Shape into a rough oval and place in the loaf tin.

Sprinkle with a little flour on top and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. The bread is cooked when you can turn it out on a wire rack, and when the bottom is tapped it should sound hollow. Allow to cool before slicing and enjoying with a little butter.

Recipe via Donal Skehan

Guinness Pudding with Whisky Cream



140g raisin

140g sultana

140g currant

140g date, chopped

50g mixed peel

1 large Bramley apple (about 125g), peeled and finely chopped

250ml Guinness Extra stout

Zest 1 orange

Zest 1 lemon

100g cold butter, plus extra for the basin

100g dark muscovado sugar, plus 2 tbsp

100g fresh white breadcrumb

50g self-raising flour

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp nutmeg

2 egg, beaten


Mix the dried fruit and apple, then add the Guinness, orange and lemon zests and stir. Cover and leave overnight to soak. Butter a 1.25 litre/2 pint pudding basin, then spoon in 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar. Turn the bowl at an angle, jiggling the sugar around as you go to coat the inside of the bowl.

Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl. Grate the butter, then add to the bowl along with the eggs and fruit, and stir well. Spoon into the basin and level the top.

Take a sheet of foil about 30cm long, cover with a same-size sheet of greaseproof paper and butter the paper. Fold a 3cm pleat in the

Sit the pudding on a heatproof saucer in a saucepan, then pour in just-boiled water to come halfway up basin. Cover and steam for 6 hrs, topping up water occasionally. Re-cover with fresh paper and foil and store in a cool place. To reheat, steam for 1 hr or microwave, without foil, for 10 mins on Medium.

Recipe via BBC Good Food

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