St. Paddy’s Day, Polish-style


My Polish-Canadian hubby Ed Piwowarczyk loves St. Paddy’s Day. He’s wearing a green shirt today and whipping up his favourite lamb stew with Guinness. I’m making my Irish-Canadian mother’s traditional March 17 dessert, lime Jello.

When we were in Dublin a few years ago, we told an Irish woman we were chatting with in a pub that that my background is Irish and Ed’s is Polish. She remarked that that was a strange combination. Ed replied that the two nations have a lot in common. “They’re both passionate about their beliefs,” he said. “And they both backed lost causes.”

Here’s Ed’s Irish stew recipe:

3 pounds lamb shoulder, cubed; 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced; 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced; 6 stalks celery cut into slices; 1 half-pound of peeled white pearl onions; 1 cup pearl barley; 1 pound white mushrooms; 1 12-ounce can Guinness stout; 2 cups beef broth; 1/2 tsp. black pepper; 1/4 tsp. thyme; 1 cup half-and-half; 4 minced garlic cloves.

Brown the meat in a little oil. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, parsnips and celery, and saute. Add the Guinness, beef stock and barley, and cook over medium heat until just boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours. Stir occasionally.

There are no cubed potatoes in the stew. That’s because we eat it over mashed potatoes.

We’ll wash it down with lots of Guinness. And then we’ll watch The Quiet Man.

Beo fada agus rathúil!

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About rosemarymccracken

Rosemary McCracken is a Toronto-based journalist and fiction writer.
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