Hearty St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Even if you're not Irish, you'll relish this repast of stew and bread from The Better Homes Test Kitchen.
Serve this hearty stew and let the March winds blow!
  • 12 ounces lean, boneless lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 cup cold beer or water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dairy sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh mint

1. In a large saucepan or pot combine lamb, broth, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim fat off meat mixture. Add potatoes, onions, carrots, thyme, and basil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

2. In a small bowl stir together beer or water and flour. Stir into meat mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more.

3. To serve, stir together the sour cream and mint. Spoon some of the sour cream mixture atop each serving. Makes 4 servings.

Make Ahead Tip: Cut up potatoes, onions, and carrots and store in separate storage bags in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Nutrition facts per serving: 327 calories, 10 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 65 mg cholesterol, 625 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 23 g protein.

This bread is a perfect complement to the Irish Stew.
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • All-purpose flour

1. In a saucepan combine the water and potato. Bring to boiling. Cook, covered, about 12 minutes or untill very tender. Do not drain. Mash potato in the water. Measure the potato-water mixture. If necessary, add additional water to make 1-3/4 cups total. Return mixture to saucepan. Add buttermilk, sugar, margarine or butter, and salt. Heat or cool as necessary to 120 to 130 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl combine 2 cups of the all-purpose flour and the yeast. Add the potato mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a spoon, stir in as much of the remaining 6 to 6-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour as you can.

3. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough of the remaining 6 to 6-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (45 to 60 minutes).

4. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Lightly grease two 8x4x2-inch loaf pans. Shape each half of dough into a loaf. Lightly dip tops of loaves in the additional all-purpose flour. Place in prepared loaf pans, flour side up. Cover and let rise until nearly double (about 30 minutes).

5. Bake in a 375 degrees F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or till done (if necessary, cover with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning). Remove bread from pans and cool on a wire rack. Makes 2 loaves (32 servings).

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare and bake bread. Cool completely. Place in freezer bag and freeze up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition facts per serving: 98 calories, 1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 151 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein. Daily Values: 0% vitamin A, 0% vitamin C, 1%calcium, 7% iron.


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