Irish Soda Bread


True Irish soda bread has caraway seeds and/or raisins in it ~ both of which I can live without so I never put them in but you can add them to this recipe if you want.  This is an easy recipe that I found in Bon Appetit a few years ago.


Irish Soda Bread

2 cups flour
5 tbsps sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
3 tbsps cold butter, cut in cubes
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375º and grease an 8-inch round cake pan.

Blend flour, 4 tbsps sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the cubes of butter and using your fingers, rub into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Make a well in the center of this mixture and add the buttermilk. Gradually stir in the flour mixture into the buttermilk. Blend well but don’t over mix.

Shape dough into a ball using floured hands if needed. Transfer to greased pan and flatten slightly (dough may not come to the edges of the pan). Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar over the top.

Bake until brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean ~ about 40 minutes.

Cool in pan 10 minutes and then transfer to a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. This is best if eaten on the day it is baked.

Slice into 8 wedges.


Happy Cooking!


Guinness and Beef Pot Pie


This pot pie is really, really good.  It does take some planning since it needs to cool completely before adding the puff pastry but other than that it’s easy.  I added some baby carrots to it just because.  I found this recipe in Gourmet a few years ago and changed it around to suit my fancy.


Guinness and Beef Pot Pie

2 lbs stew beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tbsps flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsps vegetable oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minces
3 tbsps water
1 cup beef broth
1 cup Guinness
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 of a package of frozen puff pastry (one sheet), thawed
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350º.

Stir flour, salt and peper together in a shallow dish. Add the beef, making sure all sides are coated with flour then transfer to another plate.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot, then brown meat in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer meat to a bowl and set aside.

Add onion, garlic, and water to the pot and cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir beef back in the pot, add the broth, beer, Worcestershire and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to the oven. Bake until beef is tender and sauce is thickened ~ about 1 1/4 hours. When done, discard thyme and cool stew completely, uncovered.

Increase oven temp to 425.

Put stew in a baking dish (or you can use individual dishes), top with the puff pastry. Slice some vents in the dough. Stir together the egg and water and brush over the top of the pastry.

Bake the pot pie until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 400º and bake for 5 more minutes to thoroughly bake the puff pastry.

Serves 3-4


Happy Cooking!