Saint Patrick’s Day ( A little fun history)
Named after Ireland’s most recognized Patron Saint, the holiday was made an official feast day in the early 17th century. It is seriously observed as a religious holiday by the Catholic, Anglican Communion (Church of Ireland) Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran Churches. It commemorates St. Patrick and the arrival of Christianity to Ireland.
The beloved 3 leaved shamrock was the iconic symbol used by St. Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people. It is still a holiday icon today.
A day of public parades and festivals the day has become more secular than religious in many places. While many of the celebrants are church goers and attend religious services on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are dismissed for the occasion.
Worldwide, the holiday is commemorated by eating traditional Irish dishes, drinking Irish brews and the ‘wearing of the green’ shamrock. Some places outside Ireland go to some extreme means to celebrate: Chicago dyes the river green and hosts one of the great parades and celebrations in the USA. These and other “Irish” customs are routine markers throughout the world.
St. Patrick’s Irish Stew
- 1 1/2 lbs beef, cut into chunks (Chuck, not too fatty)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can water
- 4 carrots, cut into chunks
- 4 large potatoes, cut into chunks (I don’t peel carrots or spuds but you can if you like)
- 2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
- 3 onions, cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 smashed cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup good quality cooking sherry
- 2 bay leaves
- Preheat oven to 300F degrees.
- In a heavy skillet brown the beef in the butter over medium high heat.
- Add the soup and water and stir well.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once.
- Transfer to a cast iron dutch oven or oven proof pot and cook in the oven, covered for 5 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from oven, remove bay leaves and serve with Irish Soda Bread and butter.