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Saint Patrick's Day by Club Advisors Executive Chef, Bill Ballard, CEC, AAC

For many in the United States, Saint Patrick’s Day is a holiday that receives little more attention than an occasional pinch and regrets over not having worn green clothing. While small children in schools may be taken to search for Leprechauns, and sporadic signs of shamrock decorations may be found, the day tends to pass largely unnoticed. This is not to say that the holiday is not worthy of attention and grand celebration, but perhaps there are too few people who understand Saint Patrick’s Day or where it came from to celebrate the day properly.

Saint Patrick’s Day is to honor a man who put resentment aside to forgive people who deprived him of freedom; and beyond that, to offer them service of his own free will. The degree of selflessness exhibited by Saint Patrick to those who persecuted him is a standing example of a quality of goodwill that others should seek to achieve. Above all, the strength of Saint Patrick’s character is the most overlooked aspect of the day meant to honor his life.

So, after enjoying this stew, Irish soda bread and dessert, I hope it helps you find the strength within to follow the fine example of Saint Patrick!

Irish Leprechaun Stew

1/2 pound thickly sliced bacon, diced 6 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped 1/2 cup water 4 cups homemade beef stock or use canned 2 teaspoons sugar 4 cups carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces 2 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced 3 pounds potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 pounds cooked corned beef 1 bay leaf 1/2 cup dry white wine chopped parsley

Method Using a large frying pan, sauté the bacon. Reserve the fat and the bacon. In a large mixing bowl place, the lamb, salt, pepper, and flour. Toss to coat the meat evenly. Reheat the frying pan. In batches, toss the meat in the flour to coat evenly, then brown in the reserved bacon fat. If you run out of fat, use a little oil. Transfer the browned meat to a 10-quart stovetop casserole, leaving about 1/4 cup of fat in the frying pan. Add the garlic and yellow onion to the pan and sauté until the onion begins to color a bit. Deglaze the frying pan with 1/2 cup of water and add the garlic-onion mixture to the casserole, along with the reserved bacon pieces, beef stock, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, or until tender. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Check for salt and pepper before serving. Top with the parsley garnish before serving.


Irish Soda Bread

-Whisk together:
12/3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
-Stir in:
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
-Whisk together in another bowl:
1 large egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons warm melted unsalted butter


Add to flour mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape into a mound on a baking sheet 6 to 7 inches in diameter or smaller if you wish. slash an X in the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a rack until service.


Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake

For the crust:
Graham cracker crumbs 1 cup
Sugar 3 tablespoons
Butter, melted


Mix together and press into springform pan.
For the filling:
Flour 3 tablespoons
Sugar 1 cup
Vanilla 1 tablespoon
Cream Cheese 40 ounces
Eggs 3 each
Sour Cream 1 cup
Baily’s Irish Cream ½ cup


Mix together flour, sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese. Incorporate eggs. Add sour cream and Baily’s Irish Cream.  Pour into graham cracker lined spring form pan. Bake at 500 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for an hour more. Turn the oven off, leave the oven door ajar and let the cheesecake set in the oven for 30 more minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool completely before unmolding it. Cover and let sit for at least 6 hours. 24 hours is ideal, and 48 hours intensifies the cheese flavor.


Happy Saint Patrick's Day Everyone!!

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