Showing posts with label whiskey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label whiskey. Show all posts

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Irish Lamb Stew

Lamb shoulder is one of the tougher cuts so it is perfect for stewing, becoming melt-in-your-mouth tender as it simmers, creating its own rich gravy flavored by thyme, onion and garlic. Add in some Irish whiskey and lemon juice to brighten the whole pot. 

This week my Sunday Supper group is throwing a Spring Fling to celebrate spring recipes and my thoughts went immediately to lamb. It is the meat of choice in many cultures and countries for spring, as the weather starts to warm and the lambing begins.

We eat a lot of lamb at our house, whatever the season. It’s funny because in my growing up home, we never ate lamb. My grandmother thought it was too strong in flavor and she passed that prejudice on to my mother. It wasn’t until I started dating my British husband, that I discovered the delight of lamb and embraced the baaaah, as we used bleat when discussing lamb. Mom also didn’t like goat cheese for the longest time because she said she could taste the goat. My mother is a most adventurous eater, as I’ve written about here, so I am pleased to say that she got past her own childhood embargoes and will now eat both goat cheese and lamb chops. I am still working on her for leg of lamb or shoulder.

This stew starts with browning the lamb shoulder then adding onions, garlic and celery, along with Irish whiskey and lemon juice to the sticky pan. Then a long slow simmer makes sure that the meat is falling off the bones. When the nights are cold, as they still are in the frozen north of the US - never mind that we have passed the first official day of spring and it’s still SNOWING as I type this in Providence, Rhode Island - this dish will fill the kitchen with fragrant aromas and warm you, body and soul.

2.25 kg or almost 3 1/2 lb lamb shoulder, cut in thick slices
Flakey sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 large onion
2-3 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
Handful sprigs fresh thyme plus more for garnishing before serving, if desired
1/4 cup or 60ml Irish whiskey
2 tablespoons or 30ml fresh lemon juice
3 medium sized potatoes or more to stretch your lamb to feed more people
1-2 medium sized carrots or more to stretch your lamb to feed more people

Season your lamb shoulder on both sides with a good sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Dice your onion, celery and garlic.

Pan-fry the lamb in a little olive oil, just a few pieces at a time, so you don’t crowd the pan and they can brown well.

Remove them to a plate and continuing pan-frying until all the lamb is well browned on both sides.

Add the onions, celery and garlic to the pan and give it a good stir.

Cook for a few minutes over a medium flame and then add in the whiskey and the lemon juice. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to make sure all the sticky bits on the pan are loosened.

Add the lamb back to the pan, along with any meat juices that have accumulated on the plate.

Toss in a few sprigs of thyme and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid.

Simmer, covered for at least an hour, but, really, you could leave it for two, checking the liquid level occasionally and adding in a little water if it looks like the stew is going dry.

Meanwhile, peel your potatoes and carrots and cut them into chunks. Keep them in a bowl of cool water until you are ready to add them to the pan.

When the lamb is tender, drain the potatoes and carrots and add them to the pan. Give the whole thing a good stir to coat the potatoes and carrot with the pan juices. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and add some water to almost cover the meat, if more liquid is needed.

Cover your pot again and simmer another hour or so. Check the salt and pepper and add more if necessary. Garnish with a few more sprigs of thyme, if desired.

I always serve my lamb stew over white rice because I may not have been raised on lamb but rice and gravy was a childhood staple. In this, my grandmother would have been in complete agreement. Nothing better for a still chilly spring Sunday Supper than rice and a rich gravy.

I must confess that I also chose to share this recipe because lamb stew is one of my husband's favorite dishes. It's our 29th wedding anniversary today and although I am in Providence making new memories with our daughters, it is never far from my mind that I owe all of this to him. All of it.


Are you ready for spring? I’ve got plenty of recipe inspiration for you today, along with our fabulous hosts, Valerie from Lifestyle Food Artistry and D.B. from Crazy Foodie Stunts and the Supper Sunday crew.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Honey Whiskey Mini Bundts with Honey Whiskey Glaze #BundtBakers

Baking with honey and bourbon whiskey in the batter and adding a honey bourbon glaze gives these little Bundt cakes a sweet and almost smoky flavor that keeps you wanting just one more small piece. Till they are all gone. 

This month’s Bundt Baker theme, ably hosted by Laura of Baking in Pyjamas, is honey! I started searching for recipes with honey online, looking for an interesting twist, when I came across a recipe for a honey whiskey cake. Come to find out, there is an actual thing made by Jack Daniels, called honey whiskey. Who knew? That recipe called for a yellow cake mix so I kept the idea and created my own, using normal Jack Daniels and Ugandan honey, brought back from my trip there last February. The Ugandan honey is a deep amber color and has quite a strong flavor so it was well able to compete with the strong bourbon to flavor this cake.

Make sure to scroll to the bottom and see all the other lovely honey Bundt links from the group this month!

Ingredients – for a five-cup capacity mini Bundt pan making six mini Bundts
For the batter:
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
6 tablespoon or 85g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for buttering pan
2 eggs
2 cups or 250g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60ml honey
2/3 cup or 155ml milk, at room temperature
1/3 cup or 80ml bourbon
3/4 cup or 90g chopped pecans

For the syrup/glaze:
1/4 cup or 60g butter
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup or 60ml honey
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
1/4 cup or 60ml bourbon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your mini Bundt pan by using a pastry brush to paint the inside and around the edges liberally with butter. Don’t be shy.

Sprinkle your pecans into the bottom of the buttered Bundt pan.

Combine your flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside. Combine the milk, bourbon and honey for the batter in a measuring vessel and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between them.

First egg

Second egg
Now add half of the flour mixture and half of the liquid mixture and beat well.

Add the balance of the flour and liquid mixture and beat well again.

Gently scoop or spoon the batter into your prepared pan, on top of the pecans.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning the mini Bundts out of the pan.

Cool on a wire rack while you make the syrup glaze.

Put all the ingredients for the syrup in a small pot and heat it until boiling. Allow to boil for a few minutes, until it reduces slightly. Turn off the fire and allow to cool for a few minutes.

That's the bourbon going in and the dark honey already in the pot.

Put your mini Bundts in a pan or plate with sides to catch the glaze that doesn’t soak in immediately and drizzle the syrupy glaze, at little at a time, over all of the Bundts.



Check out all the lovely honey Bundts we have for you this month!

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send me (Stacy) an email WITH your blog URL to