I decided I don’t want to do the Corn beef and Cabbage thing for St Patrick’s Day this year and have been searching around for something different, but still under the tradtional Irish dinner catergory. I found a delicious looking recipe by Martha Stewart. Irish Beef and Stout Stew. I am so looking forward to doing this for our St Patrick’s Day dinner. I am also going to do some nice herb dumplings to go with it. Here is a little history on the dish and St Patrick’s Day.
Irish stew is a filling, flavorful peasant dish made with the cheapest, most readily-available ingredients. The Irish raised primarily sheep and root crops for subsistence. The sheep provided wool for warm clothing, milk for drinking and making cheese, and eventually food. Potatoes were the main food crop, prior to the potato famine.
When the Irish people began immigrating to the United States, fleeing from the ravages of starvation caused by the potato famine, they naturally brought along their wonderful hearty food traditions. The stew evolved and adapted to include the local offerings. Sheep were not as plentiful in America, so other types of meat were often substituted. The recipe has evolved to often include Guinness stout.
Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century. The day generally involves public parades and festivals, and wearing of green attire.
Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world; especially in Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.