Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Irish Lamb Stew and Milk Bread Rolls

I saw this stew being made on the Martha Stewart show and just had to try it. I actually got a little obsessed with making it, so A wasted no time getting me to the butcher to buy some stewing meat. It turned out great, very tasty, though I wished there was a bit more sauce. I had made it earlier in the day and then let it sit for a while before we ate it, which meant that the barley soaked up all the cooking liquid.

I also tried my second type of bread, a milk bread. I used a bit of the dough to make rolls and turned the rest into a loaf. I think I like the texture of the white bread a bit better - this one was softer and more tender, not as chewy, probably because of the all-purpose flour.

Irish Lamb Stew
Adapted from Colin Quinn's Irish Lamb Stew on
Yield: 6-8 servings
Print recipe

2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tsp fresh thyme
6 medium russet potatoes, chopped into chunks (I used new potatoes, halved)
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
6 medium carrots, sliced on the bias
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

  2. Add the lamb shoulder and brown the meat. Remove from pot.

  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add onions, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onions are soft and translucent.

  4. Add potatoes, chicken stock, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and cook for 1 hour.

  5. Add carrots, barley, and heavy cream to pot. Cover and return to oven. Bake until lamb and barley are tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

  6. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Milk Bread
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
Yield: 1 loaf
Print recipe

1 package (2 1/4 tsp) quick-rising active dry yeast
3 tbsp warm water (105F to 115F)
1 cup warm milk (105F to 115F)
5 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 tsp salt
2 cup bread flour
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Pour the water into a large mixing bowl.

  2. Sprinkle the yeast into the water. Let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the milk, melted butter, sugar, egg, and salt. Mix gently for 1 minute.

  4. Gradually stir in the bread flour.

  5. Begin kneading the dough in the bowl. Gradually add in 1/4 cup at a time of the all-purpose flour. The dough should be moist but not sticky.

  6. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic.

  7. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat with oil.

  8. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (75F to 80F) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour to 90 minutes.

  9. Punch the dough down and knead slightly.

  10. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.

  11. To form into a loaf, grease an 8.5 x 4.5 inch (6 cup) loaf pan, form the dough into a loaf, and place seam side down in the pan.

  12. To form into rolls, divide the dough equally into small pieces, about 1 ounce each. Roll the dough pieces into balls and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.

  13. Cover either shape loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

  14. Preheat the oven to 375F.

  15. Bake the loaf for 40 to 45 minutes, or bake the rolls for 12 to 15 minutes, until the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

  16. Let cool slightly, then remove loaf from pan to a rack to cool completely. Rolls can be served immediately.

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