Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Irish Feast

Posted by BAKE-EN at 4:05 PM

I had Monday's off, so Joe and I decided to celebrate St. Patty's Day a day early this year. After a weekend away in Vermont, we were eager to get cooking at home.

Matt Murphy's is an Irish pub in Brookline, MA. It has great ambiance and is well known for its food. I would be a regular patron of Matt Murphy's if I lived on that "side of the River" (that's Boston speak for South of the Charles River). One food item they are particularly well known for is their Irish soda bread. Last year around this time I was obsessed with another Irish Soda Bread, and I saw a post about how great their bread was. Lo and behold, they posted on their recipe on their website which I jotted down and shoved into my desk. Today to my amazement, I found the tattered copy of the recipe still in my desk!

I also noticed that Matt Murphy's still has a link to the recipe here. It couldn't be simpler to make. You put all your dry ingredients in a bowl and then pour enough buttermilk in to make a sticky wet dough, but not so wet that it's runny.

I halved the recipe since we're cooking and baking for two today. As for oven time, Joe was braising the corned beef in our oven all day at 250, so I tried to bake it in the toaster oven. It worked okay for a while, but then I had to pull it because the top was getting too dark.

I ended up finishing the loaf in the oven at 250. Due to those factors I have no idea how long it took because I left it in at 250 till it smelled "really" good and was hollow sounding when I tapped it's bottom.

Joe bought a nice corned beef at Whole Foods, and braised it at 250 for 6 hours with beef stock, onions, carrots and spices. I'm not usually a corned beef fan, but it made our house smell like a country home (at least what I imagine one would smell like), just lovely. About 30 minutes before the beef was ready, Joe added some potatoes and then a little later some cabbage to the pot.

I am not much of a meat eater, but I loved this meal. Corned beef is the kind of meat I turn my nose to because it's fatty and well… gross, but Joe turned it into something special. He's an amazing cook.

No beer for us Monday evening. We decided to drink a bottle of Sequoia Grove Cab (2005) in our crystal wine glasses from Galway. We received them as a wedding gift, but had only used them once before. Since they were made in Ireland we thought it would be the perfect evening for them. They were nice to drink from, but I was a little freaked out by the lead warning, so I switched to a normal glass after the first.

It was a great night!

For Saint Patty's day we went to The Burren in Somerville, which is one of the best bars outside Boston. In fact, back when I was in my 20s I moved to Somerville just to be closer to it! It is that fun. We went there today for lunch which was a great time. The bar was very busy with every person in good spirits. Joe and I had a couple of Guinness's, fish and chips and a burger. The food there isn't the best ever, but it's great for the price and the ambiance.

Happy Saint Patrick's day!

1 comments on "An Irish Feast"

Sarah on April 6, 2009 at 7:01 PM said...

Great process photos, Michelle! Nicely done... And I admire your ingenuity with the toaster oven- I'll keep that in mind. If you encounter this problem again you could venture even more into the shoemaker realm by constructing a foil tent for the bread to solve your browning problem. Bake On!


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