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A Little Coffee In Your Irish

What's the problem, ociffer?

You wouldn’t guess it to smell my breath, but I’ve never actually gone out for St. Patrick’s Day. Even though I’ve always referred to Hibernian folk as my people, and even though legend says my great-great-grandfather was the 2nd son of an Irish earl, I’ve yet to publicly broach March 17th with my particular brand of mayhem (the CDC should send flowers). Will this year be different? Find out in Sunday’s newspaper—provided you can read anything through that hazmat suit.

Backing up a bit… I get that everyone has a license to be Irish on St. Paddy’s Day. (It’s “Paddy,” not “Patty.” Click here to find out why.) However, white people tend to take it way too far for the rest of the year. I’ve noticed that a lot of my caucasian contemporaries suffer from a need to be Irish. They play genealogical hopscotch, desperately pruning their family tree for tiniest patch of gingery goodness. I understand why they do this: So many Europeans intermarried after coming to America it can be hard to find a singular heritage with which to identify.

This wasn't just baked, it was forged.

There’s also an immaturity factor at work. People love to delegate fault wherever they can and (loose) genetics make that easy. After all, what are the Irish if not adorably blameless? I mean, hey, you’re not drunk, you’re charming. You don’t have a childish temperament, you have deep Gaelic origins. Right? Who are you bullshitting, girlie? A Celtic tattoo does not a cailín make. Seriously, if you were any less Irish, you’d be Chinese. Maybe take the money you were saving for that dysfunctional green wedding and spend it on a consultation with Dr. McTherapy. I can’t be kind about this. But! The good news is that you are now part of a minority I’m dubbing “Irish-ish” or “sham-rocks.” By the time my blogging days are over, Urban Dictionary is going to weigh a metric ton.

Poser or not, I give unto you the following Irish dish. Everyone has my permission to enjoy it. Well, not vegans of course, but that’s their own damn choosing. Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig to all!

Drunken Lamb Stew

Corn beef and cabbage, meet real Irish cuisine.

  • 2 lbs leg of lamb, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 leeks, white part only
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 12 oz bottle of beer
  • 24 oz water (more or less)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme

Place lamb in bowl and toss with flour, salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in stockpot. Cook lamb in olive oil until browned. Remove from pot. Add remaining tbsp of olive oil to pot and follow with all the chopped vegetables. Saute for 2–3 minutes. Add beer and scrape bottom of pot to get up all the bits stuck down there. Add lamb back to pot and add water to cover. Bring stew to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 1/2–2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add thyme and taste broth for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve with Irish Soda Bread (here’s an amazing recipe). Eat.

I seem to reserve the space down here so I can apologize for my venomous ranting above. Well, duh. I have real Irish anger—it’s not my fault. Yet, I’m gonna try to end on a sunnier note from now on by closing each post with an ism of mine. They’re little pearlescent incentives to get you to read all the way to the end. Thus:

TWTG says, “I don’t crash parties. I save them from a lack of me.”

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10 responses »

  1. Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Dublin, Ireland. Thanks for helping the world think of us over here. It’s nice to be in the green spotlight on one day a year, at least.
    Best,
    Conor

    Reply
  2. Irish earl? Your mother’s side, right? I’ve only encountered peasants and puritans on your father’s side. :D
    Happy St Paddy’s!

    Reply
    • It is on my mom’s side, however I think it might be a ruse. I did find ancestors that came over from England in the 1600s. And they were puritans too! Lots of preachers and whatnot. Shoot, even if he was the son of an earl no money came along with the blue blood.

      Reply
      • Yeah, well, my 500 years of protestant priests produced a diamond hard atheist and evolutionist. So happy religion isn’t part of the DNA… :D

  3. “A Celtic tattoo does not a cailín make.” – love that! The soup looks delicious as well – I don’t have much experience cooking lamb, but I would be more than willing to start with this recipe!

    Reply
    • Bill – My grandma grew up on a sheep farm in Montana and I don’t think I ate lamb until I was an adult. I’m guessing she was sick of it! It’s pretty simple. Cooks up like beef. A good way to start is with a nice boneless leg of lamb in the Crockpot. Can’t go wrong and turns out so tender.

      Reply
      • TWTG–
        I’m an Okie, and we don’t eat a lot of lamb in my Small Town World. In fact, I’ve had it once in my life, and that was one Easter right after a cousin married a girl from New York.
        I’m not sure if the lamb was supposed to taste like it did or not. Does it have a strong flavor, almost like liver? Or was the cousin-in-law just a bad cook?
        Enjoyed your rant, btw.

      • Susan – Lamb is on the stronger side as far a flavor goes, however I personally love it. If you haven’t tried it more than once I’d give it another chance. I try stuff 3 times before I write it off as something I don’t like. (Tripe falls into this category.) I am a pretty brave eater though.

  4. this one made me literarily laugh out loud. i loved it.

    Reply

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