Special St. Patrick's Day Promotion

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Whether you celebrate this Irish holiday or not, I hope you are enjoying a wonderful meal today with family and friends. Today, we have a special promotion featuring two of Ireland's culinary stars, Darina Allen and Clodagh McKenna.

I had prepared interviews for both of these authors and between their hectic schedules and travel, we haven't been able to connect. We hope to be able to bring you those interviews in the next few days to accompany this post. Update: my interview with Darina Allen can be found here.

First up, we have Simply Delicious: The Classic Collection: 100 Timeless Tried & Tested Recipes by Darina Allen, who runs the world-renowned cooking school at Ballymaloe in County Cork, Ireland. She founded the school with her brother, Rory O'Connell in 1983 and since then has authored many cookery books. Besides running the school with her brother, her daughter-in-law, Rachel Allen, also teaches there and lives nearby. 

Nearly 30 years after the original Simply Delicious book and TV series, the author brings together 100 of her timeless, tried and trusted recipes. With chapters on Soups & Starters, Meat, Poultry, Fish, Vegetarian, Salads and puddings, this classic collection of traditional recipes is accompanied by beautiful new photography.

Special thanks to Kyle Books for sharing Darina's Irish stew recipe with our members. 

Ballymaloe Irish Stew
Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

Another classic one-pot dish. The recipe varies from region to region-in Cork, carrots are a quintessential addition, not so in parts of Ulster. Pearl barley is another favorite option, originally added to bulk up the stew. You'll need to add extra stock (1¼ to 2½ cups) if you include it, as it guzzles liquid, but it becomes deliciously plump and flavorful.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 3 pounds center-cut lamb leg steaks, no less than 1 inch thick
  • 8 medium or 12 pearl onions, peeled
  • 12 baby carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dry pearl barley (optional)
  • 3½ to 4¼ cups homemade lamb stock (page 81) or water
  • 8 to 12 large potatoes, or more if desired, peeled
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 tablespoon Roux (see below-optional)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the roux

  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • ³/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or 1/3 cup cornstarch and 1/3 cup rice flour for a gluten-free roux

Preheat the oven to 350°F, if you plan to finish cooking the stew in the oven.

Cut the lamb steaks in half and trim off some of the excess fat. Set aside. In a heavy skillet, render the lamb fat over gentle heat (discard the rendered-down pieces).

Toss the meat in the hot fat in the pan until it is slightly brown, then transfer to a Dutch oven. Quickly toss the onions and carrots in the fat, and the pearl barley if using. Build up the meat, carrots, and onions (plus pearl barley if using) in layers in the pot, carefully seasoning each layer with freshly ground pepper and salt. Deglaze the skillet with the lamb stock or water, bring to a boil, and pour into the pot. Lay the potatoes on top of the stew (they will steam while the stew cooks). Season the potatoes, add the thyme, and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Cover with a wax paper lid and the pot lid. Transfer to the oven or let simmer on the stovetop until the lamb is tender, about 1½ hours.

Make the roux: In a saucepan, melt the butter and cook the all-purpose flour or cornstarch and rice flour in it for 2 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Roux can be stored and used as required or it can be prepared on the spot. It will keep for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

When the stew is cooked, pour off the cooking liquid, degrease, and reheat in another saucepan. Thicken slightly by whisking in the tablespoon of roux. Check the seasoning, then add half the freshly chopped parsley and chives. Pour over the meat and vegetables. Bring the stew back up to a boil and serve from the pot or in a large ceramic dish sprinkled with the remaining chopped herbs. Serve in deep plates with lots of good Irish butter.






Our next book is Clodagh's Suppers: Suppers to Celebrate the Seasons by Clodagh McKenna who started her culinary career at Ballymaloe and has a restaurant in Dublin, Clodagh's Kitchen. She now spends a great deal of time in London teaching workshops in her studio, writing a column for the Evening Standard and working on her television cookery series. 

Clodagh's delivers her expert advice on creating stunning suppers that take advantage of the best seasonal produce. Including the best ways to prepare various dishes, what to serve and her handy tips for finishing your meal in style. 

The book covers: 
  • how to create a well-balanced and delicious menu, writing your shopping lists and creating a beautiful table to set the scene;
  • 120 recipes to take you through the year season by season;
  • ideas for easy nibbles to serve as soon as guests arrive, simple cocktails and even edible gifts to ensure everyone leaves with something to remember the evening by.

Special thanks to Kyle Books for sharing this rustic but elegant chicken dinner recipe with our members. 


Roast Tarragon Chicken with Mushroom Risotto
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Serves 4

This is my favorite way to cook and serve roast chicken during the fall. The tarragon adds a delicious sweet flavor, mixed with the spicy Dijon mustard and aromatic garlic. The risotto is creamy, so there is no need for a sauce. It's an ideal supper for a cozy evening at home.

  • 7 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons
  • Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole organic or free-range chicken, about 3 pounds

For the mushroom risotto

  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1½ cups Arborio (risotto) rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 9 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese 

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Start by prepping the chicken:  Add the softened butter, garlic, tarragon, and mustard to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix well, using the back of a spoon to blend the ingredients together. Using clean hands, smear the butter mixture all over the chicken as well as underneath the skin.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan and roast for 1½ hours or until cooked through. To check if the chicken is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh-the juices should run clear.

Meanwhile, to make the risotto, place a large saucepan over medium heat and add half the butter. Once the butter has melted, stir in the shallots and garlic, then cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and leave to sweat for about 2 minutes until the shallots are softened but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat it with the butter, then cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in the white wine, stir, and cook for about 2 minutes until almost all of it has been absorbed. Add the hot stock a ladleful at a time, cooking while stirring constantly after adding the stock until it has been absorbed before adding more. It should take 15-20 minutes for the rice to be cooked, but check by tasting as you go.

While the risotto is cooking, place a frying pan over high heat, add the remaining butter and the mushrooms, and cook, tossing, for 3 minutes. About 5 minutes before the rice is cooked, stir in the mushrooms and thyme, then stir in the Parmesan and mascarpone just before you serve the risotto. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a large serving platter and spoon the risotto all around it, then garnish with extra thyme.


The publisher is offering two sets of the above referenced titles to EYB Members in the US.  One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

What is your favorite Irish dish?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option - the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries.

Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on May 5th, 2019.


  • riley  on  3/17/2019 at 6:23 AM

    Irish beef stew with mashed potatoes

  • LarissaPrusak  on  3/17/2019 at 6:46 AM

    Irish Stew for sure and my Guinness Bundt cake.

  • JRumi  on  3/17/2019 at 7:19 AM

    Cottage pie

  • Partyof7  on  3/17/2019 at 8:09 AM


  • lean1  on  3/17/2019 at 8:58 AM

    Ballymaloe Irish Stew

  • edyenicole  on  3/17/2019 at 9:17 AM

    corned beef!

  • Shelley.b  on  3/17/2019 at 9:17 AM

    Lobster linguine & potato and leek soup

  • lauriesk  on  3/17/2019 at 10:24 AM

    I like corned beef and cabbage.

  • Skamper  on  3/17/2019 at 10:37 AM

    Colcannon - making some today!

  • mcrimmins  on  3/17/2019 at 12:14 PM

    Today's dinner: Corned Beef and Cabbage with Red Potatoes and Baby Carrots.

  • love2chow  on  3/17/2019 at 1:29 PM

    Shepherd’s pie and colcannon

  • catmommy9  on  3/17/2019 at 1:33 PM

    Guinness beef stew

  • tennyogirl  on  3/17/2019 at 5:02 PM


  • ktwalla  on  3/17/2019 at 5:48 PM

    Soda Bread

  • ravensfan  on  3/17/2019 at 6:22 PM

    Shepherd's pie

  • southerncooker  on  3/17/2019 at 8:09 PM

    Colcannon is a family favorite.

  • demomcook  on  3/17/2019 at 10:18 PM

    Irish Soda Bread in all its many variations - love them all.

  • matag  on  3/18/2019 at 12:40 AM

    Cottage pie

  • mph993  on  3/18/2019 at 5:43 AM

    Colcannon - and leftovers made into potato cakes with a fried egg on top!

  • sarahawker  on  3/18/2019 at 8:00 AM

    Brown Bread

  • dbielick  on  3/18/2019 at 2:34 PM

    Irish stew

  • Wmnindashu  on  3/18/2019 at 7:16 PM

    I love Shepherd's Pie, but need to learn how to make more dishes!

  • jr0717  on  3/18/2019 at 11:20 PM

    Homemade Irish Cream in a fresh cup of coffee!

  • Thermomixit  on  3/19/2019 at 6:57 AM

    Potato soup with watercress - simple, delicious, and accessible to everyone to try!

  • kmn4  on  3/19/2019 at 10:07 AM


  • annieski  on  3/19/2019 at 1:28 PM

    Salmon Blaas Boxty

  • Blackeyedsusans  on  3/19/2019 at 3:43 PM

    Irish stew

  • leilx  on  3/20/2019 at 9:20 AM

    At home it’s colcannon or Irish soda bread with honey but in Ireland I ate a lot of fish which was delicious

  • purviska  on  3/21/2019 at 8:16 AM

    soda bread

  • NaomiH  on  3/21/2019 at 2:56 PM


  • MadMom  on  3/22/2019 at 12:28 PM

    It's colcannon, which I love. My daughter's husband is an Irishman, and she often makes shepherd's pie, which I also love!

  • jmay42066  on  3/22/2019 at 4:38 PM

    Shepherd’s pie or corned beef and cabbage

  • kitchen_chick  on  3/22/2019 at 7:49 PM

    Dingle Pie

  • LaurenE  on  3/22/2019 at 10:40 PM

    Ballymaloe Irish Stew

  • t.t  on  3/23/2019 at 2:43 AM

    soda bread

  • dadekian  on  3/23/2019 at 2:34 PM

    I love making the Ballymaloe Irish Stew.

  • mpdeb98  on  3/23/2019 at 2:43 PM

    Cottage pie

  • RSW  on  3/24/2019 at 10:29 AM

    corned beef

  • JenjiRM  on  3/25/2019 at 1:54 PM

    Boxty or potato and leek soup!

  • jezpurr  on  3/26/2019 at 10:35 AM

    I love Irish Stew, Irish Breads, and more!!!^_^

  • Dannausc  on  3/26/2019 at 10:58 AM

    Shepherds pie

  • popoff  on  3/26/2019 at 1:27 PM


  • eggplantolive  on  3/28/2019 at 10:12 AM

    Brown Bread or Rhubarb Tart!

  • Zaira  on  3/28/2019 at 12:27 PM

    I never turn down boxty.

  • Pamyoungvb  on  3/29/2019 at 4:32 PM

    Colcannon with lots of extra butter.

  • rivergait  on  3/30/2019 at 6:23 PM

    short ribs in Guiness Stout over polenta. Memories of visiting the Guiness Brewery...love Dublin.

  • Karla123  on  4/1/2019 at 8:16 AM

    Whole-Roasted Cabbage!

  • Alleycat  on  4/1/2019 at 7:30 PM

    Colcannon and soda bread

  • rchesser  on  4/1/2019 at 8:43 PM

    A full Irish Breakfast with extra black pudding.

  • banba1  on  4/3/2019 at 7:06 PM

    A toasted ham and cheese sandwich at the pub!

  • dtremit  on  4/7/2019 at 11:16 AM

    Not the first to say it, but I love making variations on colcannon -- particularly with heartier greens.

  • BethPrice  on  4/13/2019 at 7:17 AM


  • lbguerrant  on  4/13/2019 at 4:46 PM

    cottage pie

  • liasim  on  4/14/2019 at 8:10 PM

    Shepherd’s pie

  • Avrlind  on  4/15/2019 at 12:27 AM

    Potato leek soup

  • Nancith  on  4/19/2019 at 9:10 PM

    Irish brown bread

  • RickPearson54  on  4/20/2019 at 8:20 AM

    cottage pie

  • Jenamarie  on  4/21/2019 at 8:11 PM

    A nicely made irish soda bread for sure!

  • EmilyR  on  4/24/2019 at 1:13 AM

    Guinness with a side of potato soup

  • bookreadera  on  4/24/2019 at 1:58 PM

    always colcannon

  • jenmatt  on  4/24/2019 at 4:27 PM

    Corned Beef

  • ktpotat  on  4/24/2019 at 10:19 PM

    Irish Stew

  • chasteph  on  4/25/2019 at 5:34 AM

    Irish stew, of course!!

  • AnnaZed  on  4/25/2019 at 10:48 PM

    Corned Beef

  • HomespunHouse  on  4/26/2019 at 10:56 PM

    Corned beef and cabbage

  • hibeez  on  4/27/2019 at 8:45 AM

    Oysters with Guinness.

  • auntietina  on  5/1/2019 at 3:01 AM

    Shepherds Pie

  • KarenDel  on  5/1/2019 at 3:27 PM


  • ltsuk  on  5/2/2019 at 1:48 AM

    Oatmeal porridge

  • lgroom  on  5/2/2019 at 9:31 AM


  • ella1912  on  5/4/2019 at 2:17 PM

    irish coffee or colcannon

  • starzine  on  5/5/2019 at 8:05 PM

    Ballymaloe Irish Stew.

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