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irish stew and apple pear crumble

October 31, 2008

I’m travelling a lot.  First to Calgary (with a decadent dinner at River Cafe on Prince’s Island Park of duck breast and plum dumplings.  That place has the nicest decor of any restaurant I’ve ever been in) and next to Washington DC for the American elections.  I think I’ll be working like a dog there, but I’ll let you know what stale snacks I eat at the Democratic campaign office.

But tonight, pre-Halloween, we indulged in Irish Stew and biscuits.

Irish Beef Stew
(adapted from Epicurous)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds beef stewing meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, minced
8 cups beef broth
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves

2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
7 cups baby potatoes, cut in half
1 large red onion, chopped
2 cups peeled chopped carrots (to 1/2 inch)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil and brown meat for about five minutes, constantly stirring.  Add garlic and saute for a minute.

Add beef stock, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, worcestershire sauce and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer, cover, and simmer for one hour.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large frying pan.  Throw in veggies for 40 minutes.  Add to beef stew and simmer uncovered for another 40 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Then I had purchased a bag of pears, so I made apple pear crumble.  The recipe is here, but I caution that the dried cherries made the whole thing STICK to the buttered pan.  I’m still soaking it.  It looks daunting to clean. I’d leave out the cherries and also cook it in an 8 x 8 pan, well greased, so it isn’t so thin.  Otherwise, it was tasty.  Particularly because I added both maple syrup and bourbon to the whipping cream.

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