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3 Irish-Inspired Recipes From Hudson Valley Eateries

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Photo by Amanda Allen

There may be no raucous pub crawls this year, but you can still celebrate St. Patrick’s Day locally with traditional recipes.

Meredith’s Irish Soda Bread

Courtesy of Meredith’s Bread, Kingston

A timeless, yeast-free bread, Irish soda bread is perfect alongside soups and stews or simply slathered in butter. You can swap the raisins and caraway seeds for other mix-ins to make the bread sweeter or more savory.
Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup raisins
¾ cup buttermilk
1 egg
⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
cooking spray or vegetable oil

Method:

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray or vegetable oil.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, caraway seeds, baking soda, and sea salt in a bowl. Work the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands (or a fork) until it becomes crumbly. Stir in the raisins.

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract. Slowly add wet ingredients to the flour-butter mixture, and stir until it forms a dough.

Dust your hands with flour, place the dough onto a floured surface, and gently knead it into a ball. Dough will remain a little sticky; don’t add too much extra flour while shaping.

Transfer your bread to the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle some flour on the top, and, using a sharp knife, score an X across the top of the loaf. Let rest for 20 minutes.

Bake for 35–45 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.

Photo by Tasha Hurley

Shepherd’s Pie

Courtesy of Traghaven Whiskey Pub & Co, Tivoli

Filling Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
2–3 onions, finely chopped
2–3 large carrots, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1½ pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato purée
2½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup beef stock
1½ cups frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste

Topping Ingredients:

1½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
5 tablespoons butter
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons half and half
1 egg, beaten
paprika
salt and pepper

Method:

For the filling

In a large pan, melt the butter. Add the onions and carrots, and sauté until just starting to color. Add the garlic and rosemary to the pan.

Add the beef to the pan, and cook until it turns brown. Add tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, and beef stock, and simmer until the liquid has reduced, about 20 minutes.

Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste. (Add a little more Worcestershire sauce or tomato purée, if needed.) Stir in peas and set aside.

For the topping and assembly

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large pot, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, check potatoes for doneness with a fork every five minutes. Potatoes should be just tender but still firm. Avoid cooking them until they fall apart.

Drain potatoes and mash, adding butter and half and half a little at a time. (Don’t add it all at once; too much will make the mash sticky.) The final mash should contain small chunks of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the shepherd’s pies, fill individual baking dishes three-quarters of the way up with the beef filling. (Don’t pack it down.) Spread a ¾-inch layer of potatoes on top of the filling. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake until the topping is golden brown. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Photo by Chris Crocco

Bia’s Signature Irish Coffee

A mixing ball “agitator” (the wiry coil that comes with a protein shake set or cocktail shaker) makes the perfect half-whipped cream for this drink. Don’t use a mixer; the cream will be too thick.
Ingredients:

1 ounce Kilbeggan single-grain Irish whiskey
¼ ounce Rich Demerara Syrup (see below)
2½ ounces freshly brewed espresso
½ cup heavy cream
whole nutmeg

Method:

Fill Irish coffee glass with boiling water to preheat.

Pour heavy cream into a squeeze bottle or cocktail shaker with the agitator coil inside. Seal the lid and/or pour spout and shake steadily for 45 seconds until the cream thickens to a half-whipped yet still pourable consistency.

Dump hot water out of glass. In order, add whiskey, syrup, espresso, and 1½ ounces of hot water to glass. Stir gently to combine.

Shake cream again for good measure, and gently pour or spoon thickened cream atop the drink to create a ¼-inch floating layer on top of the drink. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Rich Demerara Syrup

Ingredients:

Bring water to boil in saucepan, then reduce heat to low. Gradually add sugar, stirring continuously, until all sugar has dissolved into the solution. Store in fridge.