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song being played is "The Morrison Jig"

"Come in here and give me a hand," commanded Gran. "Bruise that pot of potatoes for me and peel me a dozen apples."

Obediently, I turned the pot of steaming potatoes onto the baking board and bruised them with the bottom of a mug. While Grandmother sacraped the mashed potatoes into her bowl, scattered over them salt and melted butter and kneaded into them barely sufficient flour to bind them, I peeled the early green cookers from the orchard behind the house. Grandmother halved the dough and rolled out each half into a flat round. She cut the rounds into eight triangular pieces. Half of these were covered with sliced raw apple. She placed the other half on top and then nipped the edges of the cakes to seal them.

"Is my baker ready, Judy?" she called. "Coming with the cakes."

There was a clatter of tongs as Judy raked the glowing red embers under the pot oven, and in the cakes went. Later, when they were browned and risen, the sides were slit and the tops turned back.

Slices of butter and plenty of brown sugar were added to the apples. The tops were replaced and the cakes returned to the baker just long enough for the sugar and butter to melt deliciously into a syrupy sauce that oozed from the sides as we ate."

Never No More (1942, reprinted as a Virago Modern Classic in 1985) Maura Laverty

For Irish Cookbooks please see:

The Recipes

Here are a few recipes which came from the Ireland Mail List and other sources. Please keep your eyes open on the other Pages of this site for more recipes.

Apple-Barley Pudding

4 TBSP Pearl barley
1 1/2 lb apples Peeled, cored and sliced
3 TBSP Sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 TBSP lemon juice

Put the barley in the water and bring to the boil. Add the sliced apples and continue cooking gently until the barley and apples are soft. Press through a sieve, or put through the blender, and put back in the saucepan. Add the sugar and lemon juice and bring to the boil again. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, and then chill. Serve cool with the cream stirred in.

Baked Parsnips

2 1/2 lb Parsnips
2 TBSP Butter or bacon fat
1 cup Beef Stock
Salt and pepper
Pinch nutmeg

Peel parsnips, quarter, and remove any woody core. Parboil for 15 minutes. Place in an ovenproof dish. Add stock and sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Dot with butter or bacon fat and bake for 30 minutes on a low shelf in a moderate oven. (Generally parsnips are baked in the same oven as the main meat dish, whose cooking temperature governs that of the parsnips.)

Barm Brack (Farm Bread)

2 1/2 cup Mixed dry fruit--currants, dates & raisins
1 c Boiling black tea
1 Egg, slighty beaten
1 Mixed spice (see note*)
4 tsp Orange Marmalade
1 1/3 cup superfine sugar
2 1/2 cups Self-rising flour

NOTE* (Mixed spices: equal parts of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, and mace.

Place dried fruit in a bowl, cover with the hot and let soak overnight. The next day, add the remaining ingredientss. and mix well. Preheat oven to 375 F. Pour batter into greased 7" square pan and bake in the center of oven for 1 1/2 hrs. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Slice and serve buttered with tea.

In Northern Ireland and in the Republic, BRACK is the Celtic word for salt and is used to mean "bread". Barm brack is leavened bread, the word BARM meaning yeast. The term "barmbrack" for an Irish fruit loaf or cake does not derive from barm or leaven. It is a corruption of the Irish word "aran breac" (Speckled Bread).

Boxty (Potato Griddle Cakes)

1/2 lb Raw potato
1/2 lb cooked mashed potato
1/2 lb Plain flour
Milk (see recipe for amt.)
1 Egg
1 medium onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper

Grate raw potatoes and mix with the cooked mashed potatoes. Add salt, pepper, onion and flour. Beat egg and add to mixture with just enough milk to make a batter that will drop from a spoon. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a hot griddle or frying pan. Cook over a moderate heat for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve with a tart apple sauce: or as part of an Ulster Fry, with bacon, fried sausage, fried eggs, black pudding, and soda bread...


An old poem says:

Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan,
If you can't make boxty,
You'll never get a man.

Colcannon (Winter Vegetable Casserole)

1 lb Potatoes, sliced
2 medium Parsnips,peeled and sliced
2 medium Leeks
1 cup milk
1 lb Kale or cabbage
1/2 tsp Mace
2 large Garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 TBSP butter
1 bunch fresh Parsley, chopped

Cook the potatoes and parsnips in water until tender. While these are cooking,chop leeks (greens as well as whites) and simmer in the milk until soft. Next, cook the kale or cabbage and have warm and well chopped. Drain the potatoes, season with mace, garlic, salt and pepper, and beat well. Add the cooked leeks and milk (be careful not to break down the leeks too much). Finally, blend in the kale or cabbage and butter. The texture should be that of a smooth-buttery potato with well distributed pieces of leek and kale. Garnish with parsley. Colcannon is also made by cooking layered vegetables, starting with potatoes, in a slow-cooker during the day. Drain vegetables, blend with milk and margarine as above and garnish with parsley.

Irish Chicken-Leek Pie

10-12 inch pie pastry
1 Chicken, about 4 lb*
4 1 inch-thick Slices ham steak
4 large leeks, cleaned/chopped
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mace or nutmeg
2 cups Chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream

*Jointed, chopped, skinned and de-boned and cooked with salt, garlic, sage, 1 stalk chopped celery, and 1 chopped onion.

In a deep 1 - 1 1/2 quart dish, place layers of the chicken, the ham, leeks and onion or shallot, adding the mace, nutmeg and seasoning, then repeating the layers until the dish is full. Add the stock, then dampen the edges of the dish before rolling out the pastry to the required size. Place the pastry over the pie and press the edges down well. Crimp them with a fork. Make a small hole in the center. Roll out the scraps of pastry and form a leaf or rosette for the top. Place this very lightly over the small hole. Brush the pastry with milk, and bake at moderate heat, 350F, for 25-30 minutes. Cover the pastry with damp greaseproof paper when partially cooked if the top seems to be getting too brown. Gently heat the cream. When pie is cooked, remove from oven. Carefully lift off the rosette and pour the cream in through the hole. Put back the rosette and serve. (This pie forms a delicious soft jelly when cold.)

Dublin Sunday Corned Beef and Cabbage

5 lb Corned beef brisket
1 lg Onion stuck with 6 whole cloves
6 Carrots, peeled and halved
8 medium Potatoes, washed and quartered
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 sm Bunch Parsley
1 Head Cabbage (about 2 lbs), quartered

---------------------HORSERADISH SAUCE---------------------

1/2 pint Whipping Cream
2 TBSP mayonnaise
2-4 TBSP prepared horseradish

Put beef in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil with the lid off the pot. ADD thyme, parsley and onion.Turn to simmer and cook for 3 hours. Skim fat from top as it rises. Add cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until cabbage is cooked. Remove the meat and cut into pieces. Place on center of a large platter. Strain the cabbage and season it heavily with black pepper. Surround the beef with the cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Serve with horseradish sauce.

Horseradish Sauce: Whip cream until it stand in peaks. Fold in mayonnaise and horseradish.

County Cork Irish Stew

8 small Lamb Chops, Thawed
Salt And Pepper
1 TBSP Vegetable Oil
Parsley, Bay Leaves, Peppercorns, Thyme, Rosemary
1 lb Potatoes, 3 To 4 Medium
2 cup Finely Shredded Cabbage
1 med Onion, Chopped
1 lg Leek White, Thin Sliced
12 small White Onions
1 1/2 cup Celery Stalks, Diced
1 1/2 cup Peas
Chopped Fresh Parsley

Season chops with salt and pepper. Heat oil in saucepan wide enough to hold all chops in a single layer. Brown on both sides. Spoon off any melted fat and add enough water to cover chops. Bring to a boil and add parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary enclosed in cheesecloth. Lower heat and simmer. Meanwhile, quarter the potatoes. Add potatoes, cabbage, onion, well-rinsed leek, white onions and celery to chops and liquid. Simmer 20 minutes then add peas. Add a little more water if needed during cooking. Simmer 10 minutes more or until potatoes are tender. Correct seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Glazed Irish Tea Cake


3/4 cup butter- room temperature
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
2 lg Eggs
3 oz Cream cheese- room temperature
1 3/4 cups Cake flour
1 1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 cup Dried currants (or dates)
2/3 cup Buttermilk


1/2 cup Confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tsp Fresh lemon juice

PREHEAT OVEN TO 325F, with rack in center of oven. Generously grease a 9-inch (7-cup capacity) loaf pan. Dust with flour; tap pan over sink to discard excess flour. Cut piece of parchment paper or waxed paper to fit bottom of pan. Set aside. FOR CAKE, use mixer to cream butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating each until fluffy. Add cream cheese. Mix until well combined. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Put currants (or dates) in small bowl. Add 1/4 cup of flour mixture to currant and stir until well coated. Add remaining flour to batter, alternating with buttermilk. Mix until smooth. Use wooden spoon to stir in currants and all of the flour. Stir until well combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth surface with spatula. Bake until well-browned and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 25 minutes (time will vary with individual ovens). Cake will crack on top. Let cake rest in pan for 10 minutes. Use flexible metal spatula to separate cake from sides of pan. Carefully remove cake from pan to cooling rack. Spread glaze on warm cake. Let cake cool completely. Cake can be stored 3 days at room temperature in foil. Cake can also be frozen up to 3 months, wrapped airtight.

FOR GLAZE, combine sugar and lemon juice in small bowl. Stir until smooth.

Gammon (Hamsteaks) with Whiskey Sauce

4 Ham steaks
2 tsp Finely chopped onion
1 tsp Brown sugar
2 tsp Whiskey
2 TBSP Flour
2 TBSP Butter
3/4 cup Water or stock
Salt or pepper to taste

Brush steaks with melted butter. Snip fat to prevent curling, and grill for 7-8 minutes each side. -- To make sauce, gently fry onions in remainder of butter until cooked. Remove from heat and stir in flour gradually. Add stock. Return to heat. Add sugar and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 2 minutes to cook flour. If sauce seems a little thick, add more water. Add whiskey and season to taste. Place gammon steaks on a warmed serving platter and pour on sauce.

Herbed Supper Scones

1/2 lb Mealy potatoes
4 TBSP Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
4 TBSP Oil
2 TBSP Chopped parsley
1/2 tsp Dried dill
1/4 tsp Savory
1/4 tsp Marjoram
1/4 tspPowdered sage
Oil for frying

Boil or bake the potatoes, then pass through a foodmill or mash well. Mix the flour, salt, oil & herbs with the potatoes. On a floured board, roll this dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut into triangles 3 or 4 inches wide. Fry in very hot oil on both sides until light golden. Drain and serve with butter and hot, sweet coffee with milk.

Steak & Guiness Pie

pie pastry for double 10-12 in. pie
1 2-lb Round steak
1 TBSP Flour
1 TBSP Brown sugar
1 TBSP Raisins
5 small-med onions
1 bottle Guinness stout
8 Slices bacon
3 TBSP shortening
Chopped parsley

For double-crust pie in deep pie dish. -- Cut the steak into bite sized cubes, roll in seasoned flour, and brown in the shortening with the bacon, chopped small. Place the meat in a casserole, peel and chop the onions, and fry until golden before adding them to the meat. Add the raisins and brown sugar, pour in the Guinness, cover tightly and simmer over a low heat or in a very moderate oven (325-350F) for 2 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally, and add a little more Guinness or water if the rich brown gravy gets too thick. Meanwhile, line a deep pie dish with half the pie crust: bake it: then add the Guinness/beef mixture from the casserole, cover with the top layer of pie crust, and bake until finished, probably about 10 more minutes.

Irish Soda Bread

3 cups Bread flour
1 cup graham flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 1/3 TBSP Salt
1 1/3 TBSP Butter
1 cup Raisins
3 TBSP Caraway seeds (or poppy seeds)
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 tsp Dry yeast, tablespoon sugar, 1 cup warm water

In a small bowl combine yeast sugar and warm water,and let yeast rise.In large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in cold butter with pastry blender or two knives until fine. Stir in raisins. In bowl beat eggs, stir in buttermilk and soda. Make well in dry ingredients and add liquids & yeast mixture all at once, mixing lightly with fork until blended. Turn dough on to floured surface and knead lightly for 5 minutes. Shape dough into ball and place on buttered baking sheet- cover & let rise one hour. Flatten ball into 8 or 9-inch loaf. Grease sharp knife with butter and cut 1/4-inch deep cross from edge to edge to mark into quarters. Brush top with melted butter and sprinkle with caraway seeds ; bake in preheated 375F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool to lukewarm.

Sea Scallop Pie

15 Large scallops*
2 cups Milk
1 tsp each, Salt and pepper
2 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP Flour
1/2 lb Mushrooms, sliced
4 TBSP Medium sweet white wine or Sherry
1 lb Fresh mashed potatoes
* Or 6 scallops and an equal amount of any white fish. Or more scallops, if you like.

Clean the scallops and cut in half, then simmer in the milk for 15 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and stir in the flour, cook for about a minute, stirring, then add the milk gradually, stirring all the time to avoid lumps. Season with salt and pepper, add the sliced mushrooms and simmer for about 10 minutes longer; then add the sherry or wine and finally the scallops. When hot, transfer to an ovenproof dish and cover with mashed potatoes, making sure they cover the fish right to the edges. Dot with the remaining butter and bake in a moderate oven, 350F, for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is turning brown.

Baked Stuffed Herring

4 TBSP Breadcrumbs (heaping)
1 TBSP Parsley, chopped
Small egg, beaten
Juice and rind of lemon
1 pinch Nutmeg
Salt and pepper
8 Herrings, cleaned
2 cups Hard cider
Bayleaf, well crumbled
Fresh ground pepper

First make the stuffing by mixing the breadcrumbs, parsley, beaten egg, lemon juice and peel, and salt and pepper. Stuff each of the fish with the mixture. Lay fish in an ovenproof dish, close together; add the cider, crumbled bayleaf and salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for about 35 minutes. Good with mashed potatoes and a Guiness stout!

Irish Potato and Leek Soup
Courtesy of Steeler059

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups leeks (about 2 medium leeks), chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium white potatoes, coarsely chooped (peeled, if desired)
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups light cream or milk
1/4 cup fresh herbs (parsley, dill, or tarragon, chopped)

Servings: 6 - 8

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the leeks, celery, onion and garlic, Saute over medium heat for about 7 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the vegetable stock or water, potatoes, salt, pepper and thyme; bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Add the light cream and herbs and return to a light simmer, stirring occasionally.

Remove the soup from the heat and let sit a few minutes before serving. To thicken, either mash the potatoes against the side of the pan with the back of a spoon or puree batches of the soup in a blender or food processor. Serve with warm bread

Irish Apple Cake
Courtesy of Steeler059

5 medium apples (Macintosh preferred)
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Peel apples and cut up as for pie.
Combine egg, sugar, butter to a creamy texture.
Add milk and mix well.
Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
Pour half the batter into a well greased and floured cake tin.
Add cut up apples and cover with remaining batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.... until top just begins to brown. Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Turn upside down on serving plate. Pat with butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Serve warm with ice cream or cool with whipping cream.

Irish Flag Cookies
Courtesy of Steeler059

1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a large bowl, cream together butter and confectioners' sugar.
Beat in egg andvanilla extract. Mix well.
In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.
Blend into the butter mixture. Divide doughinto thirds and shape into balls.
Working with 1/3 of the dough at a time,
roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface.
With a knife, cut dough into rectangles about 2 inches high by 3 inches long. (6 x 8 cm).
lace rectangles on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven until lightly browned.
Cool completely on wirerack. Frost cookies with Irish Flag Frosting.
Make a 1 inch green stripe on the the left side of the rectangles and a 1 inch orange strip on the right side,leaving the middle one inch unfrosted.
Makes 3 dozen.

Irish Flag Frosting


1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
2 drops orange food coloring
2 drops green food coloring


1 Blend confectioners' sugar, salt and vanilla. Add just enough water to make frosting easy to spread.

2 Divide frosting into 2 small bowls. Add 2 drops of orange food coloring to one bowl and 2 drops of green food coloring to the other bowl. Mix each until the colors are even.

3 Frost 1 inch of the left side of each Irish Flag Cookie with the green frosting and 1 inch of the right side of the cookies with the orange frosting, leaving the middle inch unfrosted.

Hope you enjoy the food. :)

Crusty Roast Lamb (Uaineoil faoi chrusta)
Courtesy of Steeler059

Crusty Roast Lamb (Uaineoil faoi chrusta)

1 Shoulder of Lamb 4lbs
1 cup Fresh Breadcrumbs
Pinch mixed herbs
2 Tbs Butter, soft
1 1/2 lbs Potatoes, peeled, sliced
1 Lge onion, diced
1 Lge cooking apple (peeled, cored & sliced)
10 oz Chicken stock

Wipe the lamb over, and cut criss-cross slits around the top.
Mix together the breadcrumbs, herbs, butter, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture onto the top of the meat, pressing down well so that it sticks.
Fill the bottom of the roasting pan with the vegetables and apple, mixing them and the seasoning well. Put the joint on top, then pour the stock into the pan, but not over the meat.

Cover loosely with a piece of foil and bake at 400 F for halfan hour. Then lower the heat to 350F, and cook for a further 20-25 minutes to the pound.

Take off the foil for the final half hour, and check that the vegetables are nearly cooked.

Finish the cooking without the foil, to let the top get brown and crusty.

Simnel Cake (Marzipan-iced)
Courtesy of Steeler059
Traditional Irish Easter cake

"This traditional Easter cake has a layer of almond paste baked into the centre and a thick layer of almond icing on top and is decorated with eleven little marzipan balls, representing eleven of the twelve apostles - - Judas is missing because he betrayed Jesus."

350 g / 12 oz / 2 generous cups best-quality sultanas (golden raisins)
350 g / 12 oz / 1 1/2 generous cups best-quality currants
350 g / 12 oz / 1 1/2 generous cups best-quality raisins
110 g / 4 oz / 1/2 cup natural glace cherries, washed and chopped
110 g / 4 oz / 1/2 cup best-quality candied peel
55 g / 2 oz / scant 1/2 cup whole almonds, skinned
55 g / 2 oz / generous 1/2 cup ground almonds
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
60 ml / 2 1/2 fl oz / generous 1/4 cup Irish whiskey, optional
225 g / 8 oz / 2 sticks butter
225 g / 8 oz / 1 1/2 cups pale soft brown sugar
6 eggs, beaten
285 g / 10 oz / 2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)
1 large or 2 small baking apples, grated
450 g / 1 lb / 4 cups ground almonds
450 g / 1 lb / 4 cups caster sugar
2 small eggs
50 ml / 2 fl oz / 1/4 cup Irish whiskey
optional a drop of almond essence

Line the base and sides of a 23 cm / 9 inch round, or a 20.5cm/8 inch square tin with brown paper and greaseproof paper.

Mix the dried fruit, nuts, ground almonds and orange and lemon zest. Add the whiskey and leave for 1 hour to macerate.

Meanwhile, make the almond paste. Sieve the sugar and mix with the ground almonds. Beat the eggs, add the whiskey and one drop of pure almond essence, then add to the other ingredients and mix to a stiff paste (you may not need to all the egg).

Sprinkle the work top with icing (confectioner's) sugar, turn out the almond paste and work lightly until smooth. Set aside.

Cream the butter until very soft, add the sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs bit by bit, beating well between each addition so that the mixture doesn't curdle. Mix the spice with the flour and fold in gently. Combine the grated apple and the fruit and stir gently but thoroughly into the cake mixture (don't beat again or you will toughen the cake). Put half of the cake mixture into the prepared tin.

Roll out half the almond paste into a 21.5 cm / 8 1/2 inch round, place this on top of the cake mixture in the tin and cover with the remaining mixture. Make a slight hollow in the centre and dip your hand in water and pat it over the surface of the cake; this will ensure that the top is smooth when cooked.

Bake in a preheated 160 deg C / 325 deg F / gas3 oven for one hour, then reduce the heat to 150 deg C / 300 deg F / gas2 and bake for a further two hours, or until the cake is cooked (a skewer inserted in the centre should come out perfectly clean). Leave to cool in the tin.

Next day remove the cake from the tin. Do not remove the lining paper but wrap in some extra greaseproof paper and tinfoil until required.

When you are ready to ice the cake, roll two-thirds of the remaining almost paste into a 23 cm/9 inch round. Brush the cake with a little lightly beaten egg white and top with the paste. Roll the remaining almond paste into eleven balls about the size of a large walnut.

Score the top of the cake in 4 cm / 1 1/2 inch squares and brush with beaten egg or egg yolk. Stick the apostles' around the outer edge of the top and brush with beaten egg. Toast under a grill in a preheated 220 deg C / 425 deg F / gas7 oven, for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden. Protect the sides with tin foil.

Irish Apple Cake
Courtesy of Steeler059

5 medium apples (Macintosh or other *cooking* apple preferred)
1 egg
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk

Peel apples and cut up as for pie. Combine egg, sugar, butter, flour, salt, baking powder and milk. Pour half of the batter into a greased 8 inch cake tin. Add cut up apples and cover with the rest of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes...until top begins to brown. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn upside down on serving platter. Pat with butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Serve warm with ice cream or cool with plain cream, milk or whipped cream.

Jaffa Cake Pudding
Courtesy of Deborah


1 packet orange jelly cut into squares
375 ml/ 13 oz orange juice
275g/ 10 oz plain chocolate pieces
350ml/ 12 oz double cream
1 25cm/ 10 in sponge flan case
pouring cream to serve
raspberries or strawberries to garnish
mint leaves


1. Put orange jelly into bowl and add 150ml/5oz boiling orange juice. Stir until dissolved and then add rest of the orange juice. Pour into 23cm/ 9in shallow round cake tin lined with clingfilm and chill.

2. Put chocolate and half the cream into a bowl and melt over simmering water. Remove and leave to cool. Whip the rest of the cream into peaks. Fold into melted chocolate. Mix and chill for a few minutes to a spreading consistency but do not let it set.

3. Turn jelly out of clingfilm and sit in the sponge flan case, spread with topping making sure the jelly is completely covered.

4. Leave in fridge to set for at least 30 minutes before serving.

5. Add Cointreau, Grand Marnier or orange syrup jelly extra flavour.


My "Irish" Swedish Meatballs
Courtesy of Mary Jo

1 lb. ground beef
1-1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. onion flakes

Combine all ingredients, roll into balls, brown in frying pan.
Remove balls & add 1 can cream of mushroom soup: (may use any cream soup, chicken, celery, etc.) to frying pan, bring to a boil.
Pour over meatballs. May be used as appetizer or served with rice or noodles. Recipe may be doubled or tripled.
May add green coloring if desired.

Ballymaloe Irish Stew - By Darina Allen
Courtesy of George

Irish Stew is the quintessential Irish dish known from Tokyo to Toronto, from Ballydehob to Bahrain. People who know virtually nothing about Irish food can generally come up with Irish Stew and perhaps Corned Beef and Cabbage if pressed to name an Irish dish. Most are a bit fuzzy about its content, not surprising, because even Irish people themselves can't seem to agree about what exactly constitutes an authentic Irish Stew.

Like any peasant dish, it would have varied depending on circumstances and the season and would have included what was to hand on that particular occasion. Most people would allow that lamb, hogget or mutton was the preferred meat, with lots of onions and potatoes.

It seems reasonable to assume that Irish stew was the inevitable result of combining simple, available ingredients in the big, black, three-legged pot and cooking them over the fire. After all, this dish originated in Irish cabins where utensils were scarce. A griddle, a kettle, a frying pan, a three-legged pot and a bastible or pot oven would have constituted the entire batterie de cuisine. Florence Irwin, a Northern Irish cookery instructor and cookery writer of fifty years ago, tells us how in the 'big house', when a pig or sheep was killed, the griskins, spare ribs or scrag end of mutton were shared among the farm labourers and neighbours. The meat was put straight into the big pot with onions and peeled potatoes and then covered with water. (The potatoes were peeled for stew, otherwise they were boiled in their jackets.)

Stew would sometimes have provided soup first, because the bones from the neck would have given tremendous flavour to the liquid. In my grand-aunts's house in Tipperary this was often the case.. Purists maintain that carrots would not have been added to an original Irish stew, but they were certainly part of Irish stew in many parts of the Midlands and also in Cork and Kerry, this however was considered a sacrilege further North. Some afficionados like to slice a few potatoes into the bottom of the pot to thicken the juices, others prefer to steam the potatoes whole on top of the meat and vegetables. A few tablespoons of pearl barley added to the broth was a favourite in many families and helped to make the dish more filling and substantial.

Whatever the recipe a really good Irish stew is comfort food at its very best, a one-pot meal with meltingly tender meat, plump onions, chunks of carrot and lots of yummy juices to mash the floury potatoes into with a knob of melting butter.

Buy shoulder of lamb chops on the bone, make sure the chops are nice and thick, at least one inch. For our version of Irish Stew, we divide the chops into two or at most three pieces. Some people prefer to cut the meat into large cubes, either way it is essential to include the bone for flavour. If the carrots are young leave them whole, otherwise cut into biggish chunks or they will disintegrate in the cooking. Small whole onions are best, but young onions with their green tops trimmed a little are also delicious in early Summer. In fact, even though stew sounds more like Autumn or Winter food, the best Irish Stew is made in early Summer with young lamb and new season's carrots and onions.

Choose large potatoes and pop them on top of the meat to cook in the steam, if your potatoes are smallish postpone adding them to the pot until later, adding them perhaps half way through cooking. Some people like to thicken the juices, others not, we degrease the juices when the stew is fully cooked, the meat should be soft and tender, literally falling off the bones. We then whisk just a little roux into the boiling degreased juices to thicken it ever so slightly. Add lots of chopped parsley and a few snipped chives, pour this flavoursome broth over the meat, vegetables and floury potatoes and serve your feast immediately in hot deep bowls.


2½ - 3 lbs (1.35kg) lamb chops (gigot or rack chops) not less than 1 inch
(2.5cm) thick
8 medium or 12 baby carrots
8 medium or 12 baby onions
8 -12 potatoes, or more if you like salt and freshly ground pepper
1¼-1½ pints (750 ml-900 ml/3-3¾ cups) stock (lamb stock if possible) or water
1 sprig of thyme
1 tablesp. (1 American tablesp. + 1 teasp.) roux, optional - see recipe Garnish
1 tablesp. (1 American tablesp. + 1 teasp.) freshly chopped parsley
1 tablesp. (1 American tablesp. + 1 teasp.) freshly chopped chives
4 ozs (110g/1 stick) butter
4 ozs (110g/scant 1 cup) flour

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/regulo 4

Cut the chops in half and trim off some of the excess fat. Set aside. Render down the fat on a gentle heat in a heavy pan (discard the rendered down pieces).

Peel the onions and scrape or thinly peel the carrots (if they are young you could leave some of the green stalk on the onion and carrot). Cut the carrots into large chunks, or if they are small leave them whole. If the onions are large, cut them into quarters through the root, if they are small they are best left whole.

Toss the meat in the hot fat on the pan until it is slightly brown. Transfer the meat into a casserole, then quickly toss the onions and carrots in the fat. Build the meat, carrots and onions up in layers in the casserole, carefully season each layer with freshly ground pepper and salt. De-glaze the pan with lamb stock and pour into the casserole. Peel the potatoes and lay them on top of the casserole, so they will steam while the stew cooks.

Season the potatoes. Add a sprig of thyme, bring to the boil on top of the stove, cover with a butter wrapper or paper lid and the lid of the saucepan.

Transfer to a moderate oven or allow to simmer on top of the stove until the stew is cooked, 1-1½ hours approx, depending on whether the stew is being made with lamb or hogget.

When the stew is cooked, pour off the cooking liquid, de-grease and reheat in another saucepan. Slightly thicken by whisking in a little roux if you like. Check seasoning, then add chopped parsley and chives. Pour over the meat and vegetables. Bring the stew back up to boiling point and serve from the pot or in a large pottery dish.

Melt the butter and cook the flour in it for 2 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Use as required. Roux can be stored in a cool place and used as required or it can be made up on the spot if preferred. It will keep at least a fortnight in a refrigerator.

Add 1-2 tablespoons pearl barley with the vegetables.
Increase the stock to 2 pints (1.2L/5 cups) as the pearl barley soaks up lots of liquid.

Recipe for Barmbrack Bread
Courtesy of George

Recipe for Barmbrack Bread
Ná mól an t-arán go mbruithear é.
(Don't praise the bread until it is baked)

IH member Jean has sent out this recipe and interesting story about Barmbrack Bread

Perhaps the most distinctive cake is the Barmbrack. It is the only surviving example of the use of yeast in our traditional cooking. In the earlly days of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Lady Gregory would always arrive from Coole Park, her home in County Galway with a barmbrack in her holdall. It was custom for her to preside at tea in the Green Room surrounded by writers and actors; W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Lennox Robinson, Sean O'Casey and a supporting cast that included Barry Fitzgerald, Arthur Shields, Sara Allgood, Maire O'Neill, and a host of others who later went on to make international reputations in the Theatre. This Barmbrack Bread became affectionately known as the Gort Cake. A Barmbrack is a light, yeasty, fruitcake that is always sliced and spread with butter before eating. At Hallow's Eve (October 31) the Barmbrack is baked with a wedding ring wrapped in paper and mixed into the dough. If your slice of Barmbrack contains the wedding ring, you will be engaged before the year is out.


4 cups flour. 2 eggs. Well beaten
1/4 teasp. nutmeg. l 1/2 cups sultana raisins.
pinch of salt 1cup currants
2 Tablespoon Butter 1/3rd.cup chpped candied peel
. 1 cake yeast (3/4 ounce) 2 Tablespoons sugar
l 1/4 cups milk.

Sift Flour and nutmeg together. Rub butter into the flour. Cream the yeast in a cup with a teaspoon of sugar. Add the rest of the sugar to the flour mixture and mix well.Warm the milk to body temperature. Add tothe liquid yeast and most of the well beaten eggs. Beat the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until the batter is stiff but elastic. Fold in the raisins, currants and fruit peel. Turn into an 8 inch x 4 inch deep cake pan so that the dough only fills half the pan. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise for about an hour or until it doubles in size. Brush the top with a little of the beaten eggs to give a glaze. Bake at 400 for approx. 1 hour, or until a skewer pushed into center of cake comes out clean.

My Mother's Irish Meat Sauce
Courtesy of Irish Mom

Bacon, diced, 6 slices
Ground beef, 1 pound
Onion, chopped, 1/4 cup
Celery, chopped, 1/2 cup
Garlic, finely chopped 2 cloves (optional)
Mushrooms, sliced or chopped, 1/2 pound or 1 small can
Tomatoes, canned, whole pack style, 3 to four cups
Tomato paste, 1 can
Salt, 2 teaspoons
Pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
Bay leaf, small piece or one leaf broken in two
Paprika, 1/2 teaspoon
Cayenne, dash

In large Dutch kettle, preferably the nonstick variety, brown bacon till crispy. Remove to paper towel. In bacon grease brown: ground beef, onion, garlic, celery and mushrooms till veggies are soft and transparent (now you will begin to smell something yummy!) Add salad oil for additional fat if needed, but I have never needed to.

Add tomato paste and stir for a couple of minutes (I think this leads to a thicker sauce). Add tomatoes with fluid, seasonings and cooked bacon.

Now simmer over a very low heat for several hours. I usually have mine started at 10 or 11 A.M. if I want it ready for dinner. Stirring carefully throughout the day, removing the grease with a spoon as it rises to the top. By the end of the cooking process there should be little or no grease remaining. Add a small can of tomato sauce (or two) to thin down a bit, to your preferred consistency, does not take away from the flavor.

cook your dry spaghetti as directed on the package. Pour your sauce over spaghetti! Enjoy!

This recipe can be doubled or tripled (I always double or triple the above recipe) for a larger family or crowd. It freezes very nicely, and is very yummy the second day.

Courtesy of George

A traditional dish served on Halloween. Halloween was a fasting day, no meat was eaten. Old customs were to add a coin, a button or thimble, and a gold ring to this dish (the New Orleans Kings Cake comes to mind). The individual who finds the coin is bound for wealth and riches. The unlucky or lucky (depending on your point of view) is destined of an eternal bachelorhood (button) or spinsterhood (thimble). The finder of the ring, next for marriage. serves 6

3 pounds potatoes
1/2 pound white cabbage or kale, shredded
1 bunch spring onions
1/2 cup milk
salt & pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes until tender; mash.
While potatoes are cooking, cook the cabbage until tender.
Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan, then add the scallions, cook until tender
. Combine the milk/scallions with the potatoes.
Stir in the cabbage
. Season to taste.
Top with a butter.

Irish Potato and Leek Soup
Courtesy of George

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups leeks (about 2 medium leeks), chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium white potatoes, coarsely chopped (peeled, if desired)
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups light cream or milk
1/4 cup fresh herbs (parsley, dill, or tarragon), chopped

Servings: 6 - 8

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the leeks, celery, onion and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for about 7 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the vegetable stock or water, potatoes, salt, pepper and thyme; bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Add the light cream and herbs and return to a light simmer, stirring occasionally

Remove the soup from the heat and let sit a few minutes before serving. To thicken, either mash the potatoes against the side of the pan with the back of a spoon or puree batches of the soup in a blender or food processor. Serve with warm bread.

Courtesy of Irish Mom

6-7 lb. chicken
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing
1 cup uncooked popcorn
salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush chicken well with melted butter, salt and pepper. Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan in the oven. Listen for popping sounds. When the chicken's ass blows out the oven door and flies across the room, the chicken is done.

Potato Soup
Courtesy of Janet Rude

4-6 potatoes, cubed & peeled
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
1 can mushroom soup
Milk, to fill
salt to taste

In a medium size pot saute potatos, garlic and onions in butter for 5 mins. Pour enough water over potatos to cover, bring to a boil and cook until tender. Add mushroom soup and enough milk to fill pot 2-3 inches from top. Turn heat down to low and let simmer 15 mins being careful to make sure it doesn't burn. ten minutes before serving drop egg dumplings by the spoonful into soup.

Egg Dumplings
Courtesy of Janet Rude

3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 - 2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Mix ingredients together until dough is stiff Drop into soup by tspful.

"'Sickness and starvation, Carraroe, County Galway."

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