Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Favorites - Beef & Smithwick's Stew & Irish Soda Bread

Beef and Smithwick's Stew

I love St. Patrick's Day!  What a great holiday - no pressure, just good traditional food, festive music, the "wearin' of green", and a beer or two.  Since I am half Irish (my mother is 100% Irish), I like to celebrate each year.  Oh, and a great way to start the day is a green bagel (not Irish but very Jersey Shore)!   This year I made an Irish stew instead of the Irish-American classic of corned beef and cabbage.  I saw the recipe for Beef and Guinness Stew in the March issue of Cooking Light and decided that would be dinner on St. Patrick's Day.  I followed the recipe fairly closely but substituted potato for the turnip and Smithwick's for the Guinness Extra Stout.  Smithwick's (pronounced smitiks) is an Irish Ale from the Guinness Brewery in Dublin.  When we were in Ireland, it was the favorite of the local pub goers (it is a lighter ale).  My husband prefers it to the Guinness, so I figured why not try it in the stew.  It was absolutely delicious! 

Irish Soda Bread
What would St. Patrick's Day be without a slice of Irish Soda bread slathered with Kerrygold butter?  I have been searching out a good Irish soda bread recipe and finally found one that I loved.  I prefer a moist and slightly sweet soda bread that I can enjoy with my Bewley's Irish tea.  This family recipe is courtesy of  Kathleen Reynolds, an editor for Edible Jersey Magazine.  I am so glad that Kathleen shared it in her e-newsletter!

3 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar (scant)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 TBS carroway seeds
1 cup raisins
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350
Grease loaf pan.
In large bowl, mix dried ingredients well- including raisins.
Add buttermilk, stir until blended.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes.


  1. That stew is worth extending for another 6 weeks!

  2. No Irish blood here, but that stew is calling out to me. And the bread looks wonderful too.

  3. Both look delicious. Never heard of Smithwicks...learn something new everyday.

  4. Your stew looked spot on and I loved the way your soda bread looked made in loaf form. I found your blog by chance, but now I've found you I'll be back often to see what you're cooking up.

  5. Both the stew and the soda bread look amazing - what a perfect St. Patrick's Day meal.

  6. I have been wanting to make Irish soda bread. Thanks for sharing!

  7. This looks like the perfect St. Paddy's Day meal! I recently made soda bread, but I'd love to try your recipe! The raisins sound delicious in there!

  8. You know how to celebrate the Day! Gorgeous, warming stew and your irish soda bread is perfect. I am bookmarking this recipe although if I could - I'd grab it off the page.

  9. Jen,
    Great photos! Did you get a new camera? or is the college student taking them again!
    Lovely soda bread!
    What a beautiful spring week it's been! Hope you are enjoying it.

  10. Hahaha I love how you said a green bagel is "not Irish but very Jersey shore!" Hahaha awesome! And this dish looks awesome, too! The photos are gorgeous!