The Meat

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Top o' the morning to you, foodie friends.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, this week’s food pages are filled with Irish-inspired meals. But before you go pulling out your crockpot and corned beef recipe — hold on to your Shamrock pin — don’t!

Instead, we’ve got a delicious lamb stew, directly from the stovetop of a farm in County Donegal. Bob Luhmann (who you might know from his talks at the cheese counters at Nejaime's Wine and Cheese in Stockbridge and at Guido's Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield) started making this Irish stew in the winter of 1973-74 when he moved to his family’s farmhouse in Ireland.

“I wasn't in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day in 1974, but in conversation on the subject with my neighbors I learned that most of them had never heard of corned beef, much less eaten it,” he writes. “The primary meats that my neighbors cooked, when they either could afford it or they'd raised it, were pork, chicken and mutton, perhaps a bit of lamb in the spring.”

But if corned beef and cabbage is really your thing, why not take the time to “corn" the meat yourself? Or, if you’re looking for a faster nod to your Irish roots, make Maggy Button’s simple Irish Soda Bread that was always a winner in her mother’s kitchen.

In my house, leftover corned beef is honored with a Reuben Casserole (all you need is some good rye bread, leftover corned beef, Russian dressing and sauerkraut — yum!).

Whatever you decide to make, just be sure not to imbibe too much green beer — it is a Sunday after all.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Lindsey Hollenbaugh
Managing editor of features

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