Dia Duit*, everybody…
What are you upto this St. Patrick’s Day?
I’m not sure what I am doing, but I can tell you what I did do a few days ago…
(You could think of it as ‘preemptive celebrations’ or something)
So I had an early St. Patrick’s Day feast in the hope of coming up with something that would be…
- Relatively easy to make,
- Feeds 4
- Priced at just under £50.
So, roping in some of my family (I am half Irish) and luring my girlfriend (who is fully Irish) to our house with promise of Aberdeen Angus bone in rib and a pile of sweet potatoes (and raiding some old Irish cookbooks since I suck at cooking ‘proper food’), here’s the meal that we concocted…
In order of serving…
- Dressed crab meat, about 250 grams, or one large dressed crab (we used Waitrose's Orkney Mini Dressed Crab)
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- Some mixed salad leaves
- Juice of half a lemon
- 4 little crab- shaped dishes, or little pots if you have them. Otherwise the crab meat can go directly onto the plate with the other ingredients.
- Divide the crab meat to make 4 portions.
- Divide the salad leaves between the plates, shell the eggs and put a half onto each plate on top of the salad leaves, along with two cherry tomatoes.
- Squeeze lemon juice over all, especially on the crab.
- That’s it. Eat with teaspoon (crab) and the rest with fingers, if liked.
- We took the easy route in buying pre-dressed crab in a shell, but you could probably get away with tinned crabmeat (which would require draining first and perhaps a little butter for richness).
- 115g Quark
- 75g Cashel Blue cheese
- 30-45ml single cream
- 115g walnuts
- 4 ripe pears
- 15ml lemon juice
- Mixed salad leaves, portion at your discretion
- A dash of cinnamon
- Mash Quark and Cashel Blue together in mixing bowl with some black pepper.
- Then add and blend cream 'til smooth
- Portion the pears into thirds and scoop out the cores
- Arrange a bed of salad leaves onto plate then add the cheese and pears on top of them
- Sprinkle a few walnuts onto the cheese
- Add a dash on cinnamon on some free plate space
- (optional) drizzle some honey onto if you want to intensify the cream cheese!
- If you freeze the pears and microwave them on high for 20 seconds beforehand, they're sweeter and have a softer consistency.
- Increase the ratio of Quark to Cashel Blue to lower the caloric content of the dish.
- 1kg white cabbage
- 75g lightly salted butter
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 lemon
- Slice the cabbage into 1cm strips
- Pare the zest from the lemon into wide strips and squeeze out the juice
- Melt butter in saucepan large enough to bear out all the cabbage
- Add cabbage, lemon zest, salt and pepper
- Turn to mix, then cover lightly and cook over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally until cabbage is meltingly tender and all the liquid has pretty much evaporated off or been absorbed into the cabbage
- Optional: If it still seems a little watery, remove the lid and leave it to burble for another 5-10 minutes until excess water has dissapreared
- Then add lemon juice, cover and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Taste, add seasonings as appropriate and serve
- The cabbage will reduce down in size a lot as a lot of the liquid inside it disappears. This is OK!
- Ideally you want the liquid surrounding the cabbage to have evaporate, but you want the cabbage itself to appear moist and juicy (as in, the cabbage has absorbed the water)
- 1.9kg Beef Bone-In Rib Joint
- 4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- Sprig of thyme
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 300 grams scrubbed sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Heat oven to 190c / gas mark 5 and sprinkle roasting tray with cooking oil
- Season beef generously with salt and pepper
- Place on roasting tray, sear and seal on all sides for about 2 minutes on each side
- Any bone trimmings, if available, can now be put on tray and placed underneath beef
- Roast in pre heated oven for about half an hour (which makes it rare) - allow 15 minutes for each 450g
- Baste beef every 15 minutes (set a timer to remind you, this keeps it juicy!)
- Half way through cooking, turn beef over and sprinkle the shallots, garlic and thyme around the tray.
- Once cooking time is complete, remove beef from oven and roasting tray. Leave to rest for 20-30 minutes and cover with tin foil
- Carve and serve as appropriate and pour some of the concentrated beef jus that will have collected on your roasting tray onto just about everything for extra BEEF.
- Enjoy the party in your mouth.
- Put olive oil in roasting tin on top shelf of cooker and turn gas/electricity on (Gas Mark 7 or equivalent).
- When oil is smoking, drop sweet potatoes into the pan and shake about so they don’t stick.
- Baste the potatoes with the oil and put into the oven on a high shelf.
- Turn the tin round after about 15 minutes and give it a little shake to make sure the sweet potatoes are not sticking to the tin.
- Give them another 15 minutes and prod with a knife to make sure they are cooked; they should be quite soft.
- Drain on kitchen paper and serve.
I’ve broken down the costs below just in case you fancied following our recipes. Go on, I dare you…
(FYI: these were correct as of 06.03.14)
- Aberdeen Angus Bone-In Rib Beef Joint £33.23
- Cashel Blue Farmhouse Cheese 125g £2.65
- Orkney Mini Dressed Crab Waitrose 120g £4.29
- Savoy Cabbage £0.80
- Ocado Watercress 75g £0.88
- Golden Acre Virtually Fat Free Quark 250g [x 2] £1.50
- Mini Pears – essential Waitrose 6 per pack £1.40
- Sweet Potato – essential Waitrose 1.25kg £1.85
- Mixed Salad – essential Waitrose 100g £1.00
- Walnut Pieces – Waitrose 100g £1.25
- Cherry Tomatoes – essential Waitrose 250g £0.94
(which supposedly means ‘delicious’ in Irish Gaelic). Particularly the second course. The beef was simple and spectacular. I felt good about my abilities as a party planner/chef and roaming stomach, and the meal wasn’t so complicated or taxing as to detract from the celebrations.
So, whatever you’re doing for this St. Patrick’s Day 2014, Tasting Britain wishes you a very happy time indeed …
* I don’t really know any words in Irish and am making it up as a go along with Google’s help…