Sunday, December 3, 2006

Sunday Lunch

Just a quick post as it's already Sunday night and time to get organised for the work week again (boo urns!) I received an email from my friend Dunny who said that she was loving the blog but that from the frequency of my posting it looked like I have a wee bit of time on my hands (you were all thinking it!) Maybe so. Anyway, I somehow found time midst all this blogging to put up our little (and I do mean little!) tree this evening. Wish you all could come over for a cup of hot c - it's seriously cosy in here now.
We had a very nice afternoon with Stu's fam all over for Sunday lunch. The most popular guest was of course our nephew wee Dan who was generally very intrigued by the new surroundings (see pic - that's Stu's Dad happily lurking in the background!)

We had Stu's Irish Stew for lunch (love that - Stu's Stew - ha.) I wanted to post the recipe because you see, traditional Irish Stew is usually fairly un-good. Some variations involve ground beef and lots of potatoes making for a fairly mushy concoction. Anyway, this recipe from Rachel Allen (she's an Irish chef who I really like - Sara, in my humble opinion she is even cooler than Nigella - controversial!) is decidedly not mushy and really flavourful.

Irish Beef Stew
1.5kg stewing beef
175g streaky bacon
3 tbsp olive oil
12 shallots, peeled
18 button mushrooms, left whole
3 carrots, cut into quarters
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped thyme
2 tbsp chopped parsley
10 cloves of garlic, crushed
425ml red wine
425 ml chicken or beef stock
For the roux:
50g butter
50g flour

Brown the beef an
d bacon in the olive oil in a hot casserole or heavy saucepan. Remove the meet and toss in the onions, mushrooms and carrots, one ingredient at a time, seasoning each time. Place these back in the casserole, along with the herbs and garlic. Cover with red wine and stock and simmer for one hour or until the meat and vegetables are cooked. To make the roux, in a separate pan melt the butter, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. When the stew is cooked, remove the meat and vegetables. Bring the remaining liquid to the boil and add 1 tbsp roux. Whisk the mixture until the roux is broken up and the juices have thickened, allowing to boil. Replace the meat and vegetables, and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with Pea and Spring Onion Champ and Irish Soda Bread.

P.S. Stu is watching School of Rock. Jack Black is funny.


katevp said...


I have been perusing your knitty links and I am feeling like it is high time I learned to knit. I can crochet, I've been making Christmas cards, I have also made a few baby quilts this year, but so far, my many attempts at knitting have failed. But this winter, I am going to buckle down and learn to knit!!!!

love kate vpa

Julie said...

that is very good to hear - you will be a natural. there are lots of good knitting blogs for inspiration too! i suggest the book 'stitch 'n bitch' by debbie stoller - good, clear instruction on the basics and beyond and some cool patterns. i recently bought her crochet book 'the happy hooker' but haven't really gotten into it yet :) let me know how it goes - i bet there are some good wool shops in o-town. hope you had a great weekend!

Nancy Jean said...

you are the best blogger ever. we all obviously have a lot of times on our hands to be checking you out! :) -- i appreciate how you make note of the finner/funny things in life and give random commentary.
your abode looks very cozy. i convinced mom not to put up a tree this year, as it will just take away from their planning days, and im leaving on xmas day anyway. I mean Christmas. don't take the Christ out of's monday morning in sask - njb

Julie said...

Why you little Scrooge!! I will be sad thinking of 2504 sans tree! What about just getting a little tiny one like mine to put on the hearth??

Stu said...

Julie- stop blogging dinner is ready!

Santosh said...

This is the best blog ever. I am going to make that Irish stew this week and call it Irish Stu.

Sara said...

I don't know this Rachel Allen, but if you like her, I'm prepared to keep an open mind :) Also, by a strange coincidence I also watched School of Rock on TV last night! But of course it was a cleaned-up American TV version, which makes Jack Black a lot less funny...

thedunners said...

Well, since I was the one criticizing the prolific nature of the blog, it is high time that I chimed in from the OC. So, here I am, chiming. By the way, Rachel Allen is not available in the good ol' US of A, world dominators that we may attempt to be. Who knew than in a world of globalization something might actually be unavailable? Well, not quite, as paying the extra international shipping from will get it, but still...