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Presenting Irish recipes for your St. Patrick’s Day

This year over the Fourth of July the Klein Museum’s Living History presentation is called “They weren’t all Norwegians.” Marlys Jundt has written the script and is highlighting the Irish, Greek, Italian and Germans who also settled this area. In order to honor these different ethnic groups we will feature recipes each month, including Norwegians, for the next five months. For March we are looking at Irish recipes since March 17 is also St. Patrick’s Day.
For the Living History, Peg Byrne Dixon will be telling the story of the Byrne family who have been in Walworth County since 1883. The 1840s was the decade of starvation in Europe and the Irish were hit especially hard with the potato famine. More than 1.5 million Irish emigrated during the 1840s and 50s.
The Byrnes weren’t the only Irish family in Walworth County. We have the O’Herns, the O’Connells, the O’Donnells, the O’Connors, the O’Culls the O’Tooles, the Fergusons, the Rileys, the Corkens, the McCorkles, the McPhees, the Mulligans, the Flannigans, Kelleys and Kellys, and Finneys.
– Fay Jackman –

Corned Beef and Cabbage
3 lbs corned beef brisket, with spice packet
10 small red potatoes
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
l large head cabbage, cut into small wedges
Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add spice packet, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.
Add whole potatoes and carrots and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove the meat and let rest 15 minutes. Slice meat and serve vegetables with some liquid in a large bowl.

Irish Stew
1 ¼ lbs well-marbled chuck beef stew meat or lamb, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
3 tsp salt
Brown the meat on all sides and then add 2 cups boiling water and let simmer for 1 hour. Add 1 cup ½-inch carrot pieces
1 cup cubed white turnip
1 large potato cubed
1 onion roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 30 minutes more. Can add 1 can of dark beer, such as Guinness.

Here’s a hearty oatmeal bread to go with your meal.

Oatmeal Bread
1 cup instant oats
2 cups water
1 package dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
½ cup molasses
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter or vegetable oil
5 ½ cup flour more or less
Put the oats in a large bowl, Bring 2 cups water to a boil, pour over the oats and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Stir the yeast in the ¼ cup warm water and let stand 5 minutes to dissolve. Add the molasses, salt butter and dissolved yeast to the oats. Work in enough of the flour so the dough is easy to handle. Knead for a minute or so let rest for 10 minutes resume kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic adding flour as necessary. Put in greased bowl, cover let rise in a warm spot. Punch down and shape into two loaves. Let rise again until double. Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.

This Pistachio Cake is not an Irish recipe, but it is a colorful and good tasting cake for St. Patrick’s day.

Pistachio Cake
1 box vanilla cake mix or yellow cake mix
1 3/4 oz box instant pistachio pudding
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup milk
green food coloring optional
Mix cake mix and pudding mix. Add eggs, oil and milk and food coloring if desired. Pour into cake pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Topping
green food coloring optional
1 3.4 oz box instant pistachio pudding
½ cup milk
1 8-oz tub frozen whipped topping
Mix pudding mix and milk and then add to whipped topping. Add food coloring as desired. Spread on cool cake. Can top with chopped pistachios

One might think with a last name like Zerr, I wouldn’t have much to contribute to this column, but I am Irish on my mother’s side. Her maiden name was McLaughlin.
I also lived in Minneapolis for 20 years and had a roommate whose last name was Palin. We hosted many a St. Patrick’s Day party at our home.
The following are recipes I either learned from my mother (Calcannon is delicious) or served as part of our St. Partrick’s Day bashes.
– Katie Zerr –

Calcannon
6 potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 cups cabbage, rough chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter (or more, depending on your taste )
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Directions
Cook potatoes in water until tender; drain. Cook cabbage and onion together in a small amount of boiling water for 15 minutes; drain. Mash potatoes using an electric mixer. Beat in butter and enough milk to make fluffy. Add salt and pepper. Stir in cabbage mixture.
For extra special Calcannon sprinkle crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar and or chopped parsley on the dish before serving.

Irish Brown Bread with Guinness
1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (11- to 12-ounce) bottle Guinness extra stout beer, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for brushing the pan
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Salted butter,
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the beer, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. With your fingers, stir the batter from the middle of the bowl to the outside, until it’s well mixed. It will look more like cake batter than bread dough.
Brush a 9 x 5 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan with melted butter. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle the top with oats. Put the bread in the oven, immediately turn the temperature down to 400 degrees, and bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn the bread out onto a baking rack and allow to cool completely. Slice and serve with salted butter.

At these parties we used a lot of Irish Cream. There are several on the market, but we used Bailey’s.
For dessert we would serve warm brownies, with vanilla ice cream, topped with chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios or your favorite) and poured Irish Cream over the top.
For cocktails we would serve a mix of Irish Cream and Frangelico called a Nutty Irishman. Add this to coffee with dessert.
Being a brandy drinker at the time, I enjoyed a mix of E&J Brandy and Irish Cream, calling it a Dirty Irishman.