Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
When I was a naive starving (starving not only because I was a poor college kid but also because I was in London in the early 1990s before Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver, the food really was awful) Richmond University student in Dublin for the weekend, all I wanted was some corned beef and cabbage like my Mom had always made every St. Patrick’s Day growing up. Well we searched high and low walking all over Dublin for hours looking in every pub but no one had corned beef and cabbage. WHAT!
We were so broke we were staying in a youth hostel that was 4 quid a night. There were two sets of bunk beds in our room. When my friend and I got to our room, someone had left the window open and there was an inch of snow on the pillows of the lower bunks. We had left London that morning not knowing the weather and all I had on my feet were black ballet flats and no socks. My feet were pink and practically frostbitten. After dropping off our knapsacks we headed out first to Clarks on the high street for a pair of boots and one pair of socks, then to find some grub. Hours went by and no luck. With heavy hearts we broke down and ate McDonalds. Then later that night while sound asleep, into our hostel room came two Danish girls to share the bunks. This just pushed us over the edge.
Next morning we walked around the neighborhood and found a lovely bed and breakfast that was £26 a night. The room we were given had three beds in it, no room to walk between the beds that were sunken in the middle like hippos had slept on them and one bathroom down the hall. Who cared? We were just so happy there was no snow in the room. The lady who ran it was lovely and made the best Irish breakfast, grilled tomato, sautéed mushrooms, blood sausage, eggs and homemade bread. She told us to go to the Guinness Brewery for the tour and sadly confirmed that they don’t eat corned beef and cabbage in Ireland. The Guinness brewery was tons of fun and ended with a pint. Our trip was turning around.
The next day we went to Bray, a coastal town in County Wicklow. At the top of Bray Head is a large concrete cross above a cliff going straight down to the sea.
For some crazy reason we decided we had to climb to the top. We walked for hours and scaled a dangerous precipice to reach the top. It was so windy at the top we had to hold onto the cross to not get blown away. Of course us silly Americans, we then noticed that there was a not so steep path that led up to the cross on the other side. Down we walked back to town famished. We stopped in the first pub we saw, I don’t even remember the name, but I remember the Rosemary Lamb I had. It was so delicious and fortifying. Our faces were red with wind burn, our muscles were aching, our bones frozen with the type of cold that comes from damp sea air but our bellies were full and satisfied. It is this memory that inspired me to make this year’s St. Patrick’s Day recipe Rosemary Braised Irish Lamb Shoulder.
Avec Amour, Victoria and Alexander
Rosemary Braised Irish Lamb Shoulder
Yield – 4 servings
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 1/2 Pounds Lamb Shoulder sliced into 4
Salt and Pepper
1 Can 14.5 oz Beef Broth
2 Cups Water
1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
3 Sprigs of Rosemary
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat, sauté onions until golden,
place in a 2 1/2 quart baking dish, salt and pepper lamb,
in the same skillet brown both sides of lamb,
put on top of onions in dish.
2. Pour beef broth and water over lamb,
cover with tin foil and braise for 1 hour, remove foil and continue to braise for another hour.
Serve with juices from dish.
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 Pounds Lamb Shoulder sliced into 4
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Can 14.5 oz Beef Broth
- 2 Cups Water
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 3 Sprigs of Rosemary
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat, sauté onions until golden, place in a 2 1/2 quart baking dish, salt and pepper the lamb, in the same skillet brown both sides of lamb, put on top of onions in dish.
- Pour beef broth and water over lamb, add seasonings, cover with tin foil and braise for 1 hour, remove foil and continue to braise for another hour. Serve with juices from dish