Tag Archives: Irish mule

My favourite Irish stew recipe for St. Patricks Day


Like all good stews this simple Irish stew is warming, comforting, hearty, cheap and leaves you feeling extremely cheerful.

I will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday along with every other person of Irish descent and ancestry! I have an Irish father….and of course my husband is a full-blown Paddy so we will be sporting our green shirts, having a wee drink and eating this as we attempt to ignore our Welsh neighbours celebrating winning the Rugby 6 Nations (I know that is a little pre-emptive…but its a sea of red round here and expectation is high!)

I’d also recommend mutton, a much overlooked meat it produces a deeper richer flavour when cooked slowly and gently.

Irish stew

2 tbsp sunflower oil

50g  butter

1.5k mutton, whole on the bone

500g diced onion

2 sticks of celery

500g peeled chopped carrots

500g peeled sliced potatoes (keep them quite chunky)

Bouquet garni with a couple of bay leaves, a sprig of rosemary and a good sprig of thyme tied together.

Two good handfuls of pearl barley

1 pint lamb or chicken stock or just water.

Chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat the oil and half the butter in a large pan. When hot add the mutton and brown well. Spoon out and put to one side. Add the rest of the butter, diced celery, carrot and onion and sweat gently for about 10 minutes.  Add the bouquet garni and continue cooking for a minute or so. In the pan add a layer of potatoes, then a layer of meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat the layers finishing with a layer of potato.

Throw in the barley then pour over the stock or water. Slap on a lid and allow it to cook gently for about two and a half hours.

When the meat is very tender and the sauce rich and slightly reduced remove the mutton and place on a chopping board taking care not to lose any sauce. Cut the meat from the bone in hefty chunks and return to the saucepan. Add a good handful of chopped parsley and serve in big bowls.

PS. for a treat you could make Nigellas Guiness cake and my version of Irish Mule.…both are very good

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St Patrick’s Day dinner

With St Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday this year it would have been rude not to invite people round to celebrate our household ancestry with us. Even though the diners were (with one exception I think) not Irish at all, it was fun to cook and serve lots of traditional dishes made with a few authentic ingredients ..a bit of Clonakilty black pudding, some white pudding, Cashel Blue cheese, Guinness and rather a lot of Jameson’s whisky…mixed with the best of Welsh produce thrown in for good measure.

Making soda bread

Irish blaas fresh from the oven…to go with the soup

With home-made soda bread and Derimon smoked salmon plus a generous ‘Irish Mule’ to begin, the party got off to a flying start.

IRISH MULE MOEL FABAN STYLE (I looked at a few versions of the Irish Mule but the best version came from the Jameson’s website)

Half fill a tumbler with ice, add a drop of Angostura bitters, a double shot of Jameson’s, juice squeezed from a quartered lime (the quarter added to the glass as well) and topped off with either ginger beer or ginger ale

We continued in true Irish fashion with hearty, belly warming portions of some of the most well-known dishes…plus the odd cry of ‘aah go on..are ya sure ya wont have more now?‘ when people declined seconds!

I’ve never visited the family in Ireland without being plied with enough tea to float a ship and enough ‘sangwiches’ to sink one! Eating, drinking and being merry (in the happy sense) are three Irish imperatives and it of course it would be rude not to offer.

Not a mouthful was left of the creamy potato, leek and onion soup, topped with black and white pudding and a sharp lemony wild garlic puree, although of course I forgot to take a picture….as usual!!

Next came a gorgeous beef and Guinness pie, topped with a rough puff pastry crust and accompanied by colcannon, purple sprouting broccoli and chard (veg supplied by Pandy farm & Moelyci…neighbouring farms in Tregarth). Apart from the colcannon needing a little more butter it was perfect…even if I say so myself! This almost did for our guests who were pretty full already by this point.

Individual beef & Guinness pies ready for the oven

Cooked and served with Colcannon and purple sprouting broccoli

But for me the piece de resistance was the sticky dark chocolate and Guinness cake, topped with a cream cheese frosting and served with confit orange and vanilla cream. I searched high and low for Guinness cake ideas and finally came cross this Nigella recipe. It was unbeatable. Not a bit of tinkering necessary, except to add the bitter-sweet confit orange, which complimented the cake perfectly. I loved the way it looked like a pint of Guinness, although there was only a hint of it in the cake itself.

Chocolate Guinness cake

I think a few people left feeling rather fuller than they’d expected, but then Irish cuisine is not on the light side after all! The cheese was barely touched….pretty unusual for a supper club.

Apart from our waitress going AWOL and not turning up the night went without hassle or incident. It was a rather chilled St Patrick’s night…although I definitely felt as though I’d been kicked in the head by a ‘Irish mule’ when I woke the next morning (they did slide down a little too easily!!)


CAKE: 250ml Guinness, 250g unsalted butter, 75g cocoa, 400g caster sugar, 1 x 142ml pot sour cream, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract, 275g plain flour, 2 1/2teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, half teaspoon baking powder (I didn’t add this but I will in the future as my cake sunk slightly in the middle)

TOPPING: 300g Philadelphia cream cheese, 150g icing sugar, 125ml double or whipping cream

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C, and butter and line a 23cm springform tin.

Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan and begin to warm. As it does add the butter a slice at a time until the butter’s melted. It will be quite hot so remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Next beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla in a jug and then add to the brown, buttery, beery mixture in the pan. Finally whisk in the flour, bicarb and baking powder.

Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.

To make the icing lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time and beat together. Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency then spread over the top of the black cake so it looks like the frothy top of the famous pint!

Thanks Nigella for a fab cake!!


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