March 17, St. Patrick's Day, is a religious holiday which celebrates the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick. The color green, four-leaf clovers and leprechauns are all iconic images of St. Patrick's Day. It is popularly celebrated in the United States by people of Irish descent with special food and drinks as part of the celebrations.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
A traditional dish to serve even when it's not St. Patrick's Day is corned beef and cabbage. It's quite a simple recipe to make, although it has a lot of ingredients: a 2½-lb. corned beef brisket, 4 allspice berries, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp. mustard seeds, 1 onion, quartered, 1 bulb garlic, cut crosswise so each clove is cut in half, 1 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 whole clove (optional), 1 medium head cabbage (cut into large pieces) and 1½ lbs. small red potatoes.
Rinse the corned beef in water and place it in a large pot with the rest of the ingredients except for the cabbage and potatoes. Cover everything with water and bring it to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove the spices using a strainer, then add the cabbage and potatoes and bring it to a boil again. Reduce it to a simmer for about 30 more minutes or until the potatoes are tender, then serve. This recipe serves four people.
Lamb stew is a delicious dish for St. Patrick's Day dinner. Like corned beef and cabbage, it has a lot of ingredients but is simple to prepare. To make lamb stew you'll need 2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder cut into 1-inch cubes, 4 medium potatoes sliced 1/2-inch thick, 2 medium onions sliced 1/4-inch thick, 2 celery stalks, 4 medium carrots peeled and chopped in chunks, 1 tsp. salt and black pepper, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1 cup water and 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In a large casserole layer the lamb cubes, sliced potatoes, sliced onions, sliced celery and sliced carrots, sprinkling each layer with salt and pepper and thyme. Make sure you do so in the order specified above. Add the water to the casserole, cover it and slowly bring it to a boil over medium-low heat. After letting it simmer for 5 minutes, transfer the pot to the oven and bake with the cover on for about 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender. When it's finished cooking, sprinkle the stew with chopped parsley and serve. This recipe serves four people.