Corned Beef Stew

It's green week around the world in honor of the wee Emerald Isle, and it would only be fitting to celebrate it with an Irish recipe. I could give you an authentic one for Pig Haggis. In Ireland, this calls for taking the stomach of the pig that was just slaughtered and stuffing it with mashed potatoes and onions and cooking it for three hours. But, as pork innards might be a bit difficult for you to find, I thought Corned Beef Stew might sound a lot better.

These ingredients call for corned beef. Actually, I like to make my own corned beef by soaking a beef brisket in brine. It saves you money and it's fun to make your own. I'll save that treat for a future article. To make a delicious Irish smelling stew for two people, you'll need:

1 cup             Irish Whiskey
3/8 cup           oil, divided
1 ea.             large onion, diced
3 ea.             carrots
2 TB              garlic
1 quart           chicken stock
2 pounds          corned beef
1/2 head          cabbage, diced
10 ea.            red skin potatoes, cut in chunks
3/4 cup           flour
1/2 tsp.          thyme
1 tsp.            caraway seed
to taste          salt and pepper

Take a sip of the Irish whiskey, then place a little oil in a soup pot (about 1/8th of a cup). Saute the onions and carrots in the oil. Taste the whiskey again, then add the garlic and chicken stock, then the corned beef and spices. Let simmer one hour, and relax and enjoy some more of the Irish whiskey. Add the cabbage and potatoes and let cook another 20 minutes......

At this point, we need to thicken the stew with a roux. While sipping the whiskey, mix 1/4 cup of oil with 3/4 cup flour, then stir into the pot. Simmer 15 minutes. If not thick enough, add a little more roux.

And don't forget to finish the Irish Whiskey--that was strictly for the cook. Now, what to drink with the stew? Green beer, of course! Have a wonderfully green St Patty's Day. And as always, a good cook appreciates nature and what it has to offer.