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THE Dish: Darina Allen's St. Patty's Day stew

(CBS News) NEW YORK -- "THE Dish" went international in honor of St. Patrick's Day, and who better to represent the green than Ireland's best-known chef, Darina Allen?

Darina, who's been called "the Julia Child of Ireland," founded Ireland's top cooking school, the Ballymaloe Cookery School, which sits in the middle of acres of organic farmland -- remarkably, the only school like it in the world. She joined "CBS This Morning: Saturday" with her ultimate dish: Ballymaloe Irish Stew.

Darina, a chef, teacher, food writer, newspaper columnist, cookbook author and TV host, has received numerous accolades. In addition to Ballymaloe Cookery School, the Allen family owns and operates numerous businesses, including the Ballymaloe Inn.

While all St. Patrick's Days are close to Darina's heart, there's one in particular that stands out -- in 1995, she cooked breakfast for President Clinton and 150 guests. Mr. Clinton is hardly the only one drawn to her Irish cuisine -- Ballymaloe has had many famous guests, among them, Jude Law and Queen Sonja of Norway.

Enjoy all our recipes!


All recipes Copyright Ballymaloe Cookery School


Serves 4-6

  • 2-1/2 - 3 lbs lamb chops (gigot or rack chops) not less than 1 inch thick
  • 8 medium or 12 baby carrots
  • 8 medium or 12 baby onions
  • 8 - 12 potatoes, or more if you like
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 - 1-3/4 pints (3-3/4 - 4-1/4 cups) stock (lamb stock if possible) or water
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) roux, optional (see recipe)


  • 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) freshly chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/gas mark 4.

Cut the chops in half and trim off some of the excess fat. Set aside. Render down the fat on a gentle heat in a heavy pan (discard the rendered down pieces).

Peel the onions and scrape or thinly peel the carrots (if they are young you could leave some of the green stalk on the onion and carrot). Cut the carrots into large chunks, or if they are small leave them whole. If the onions are large, cut them into quarters through the root, if they are small they are best left whole.

Toss the meat in the hot fat on the pan until it is slightly brown. Transfer the meat into a casserole, then quickly toss the onions and carrots in the fat. Build the meat, carrots and onions up in layers in the casserole, carefully season each layer with freshly ground pepper and salt. De-glaze the pan with lamb stock and pour into the casserole. Peel the potatoes and lay them on top of the casserole, so they will steam while the stew cooks. Season the potatoes. Add a sprig of thyme, bring to the boil on top of the stove, cover with a butter wrapper or paper lid and the lid of the saucepan. Transfer to a moderate oven or allow to simmer on top of the stove until the stew is cooked, 1- 1 1/2 hours approximately, depending on whether the stew is being made with lamb or hogget.

When the stew is cooked, pour off the cooking liquid, de-grease and reheat in another saucepan. Thicken slightly by whisking in a little roux. Check the seasoning, then add chopped parsley and chives. Pour over the meat and vegetables. Bring the stew back up to boiling point and serve from the pot or in a large pottery dish.

For more of Darina's recipes, go to Page 2.


  • 4 ozs/1 stick butter
  • 4 ozs/scant 1 cup flour

Melt the butter and cook the flour in it for 2 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Use as required. Roux can be stored in a cool place and used as required or it can be made up on the spot if preferred. It will keep at least a fortnight in a refrigerator.


Make a beautiful salad with leaves and flowers that you pick on walks. Taste as you go along, so that you end up with a balanced set of flavors. Wild garlic and dandelion can be quite bitter or astringent, so go light on those.

Selection of leaves (consider watercress, bitter cress, salad burnet, sorrel, dandelion, chickweed, wild garlic, pennywort, young primrose leaves or fat hen)

Edible flowers to garnish (violets, wild garlic flowers, borage, primroses, nasturtiums or marigolds)

For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons (5 American tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) balsamic or cabernet sauvignon red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Wash and carefully dry the leaves. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper to achieve a tasty dressing. Mix the greens in a large bowl and toss with enough dressing to make the leaves glisten. Scatter the flowers over the top and enjoy!

Mummy's Brown Soda Bread

In our household of nine children, Mummy made this bread virtually every day of her life, well into her 80s. She always had a light hand at baking. Wherever we were, her bread was one of the things that we looked forward to when we came home for a few days. So many happy memories are made at the kitchen table.

Makes 1 loaf

  • 8 ozs/2 cups whole-meal flour
  • 8 ozs/2 cups white flour
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (bread soda or baking soda), sieved
  • 13-16 fl ozs/generous 1-1/2 - 2 cups) buttermilk (depending on the consistency of buttermilk)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F/gas mark 8.

Mix the flours in a large, wide bowl, then add the salt and bicarbonate of soda. Lift the flour up with your fingers to distribute the ingredients evenly.

Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk. With your fingers stiff and outstretched like a claw, stir in a circular movement from the centre to the outside of the bowl in ever-increasing concentric circles. When you reach the outside of the bowl seconds later the dough is made.

Sprinkle a little flour on the worktop. Turn the dough out onto the flour. (fill the bowl with cold water now so it will be easy to wash later.) Wash and dry your hands to make it easier to handle the dough.

Sprinkle a little flour on your hands. Then gently tidy the ball of dough, tucking the edges underneath with the inner edge of your hands. Pat the dough gently with your fingers to flatten it slightly into a round loaf about 4cm (1 1?2 inch) thick. Slide one hand underneath and with your other hand on top transfer the dough to a baking tray.

Cut a deep cross into the bread (this is called 'blessing the bread') and then prick it in the centre of each of the four sections to 'let the fairies out'. There's also a practical reason for doing this - the last part of the loaf to bake fully is the centre, so cutting the cross opens out the centre during cooking, allowing the heat to penetrate more evenly.

Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 400 degrees F/gas mark 6 and cook for a further 15 minutes. Turn the bread upside down and cook for a further

5-10 minutes, until cooked (the bottom should sound hollow when tapped). Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For more recipes, go to Page 3.


This delectable tart is an adaptation of a traditional recipe which was originally cooked in a bastable over the open fire -- everyone adores it.

One could also add a couple of teaspoons of freshly grated ginger to the rhubarb, but try it unadorned at first, it's seriously good.

Serves 8-10

  • 2 lbs/11 cups red rhubarb
  • 9-10 ozs/1 - 1-1/4 cups) granulated sugar


  • 11 ozs/scant 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 oz/scant 1/8 cup castor sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 ozs/1/2 stick butter
  • 1 egg
  • 6 fl ozs/3/4 cup full cream milk, approximately

Egg wash

Granulated sugar

9 x 2 inch round tin. We use a heavy stainless steel saute pan that works very well, if you don't have a suitable pan, par-cook the rhubarb slightly first.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F/gas mark 8.

Trim the rhubarb, wipe with a damp cloth and cut into pieces about 1 inch in length. Put into the base of a tin or saute pan, sprinkle with the sugar. We put the stainless steel saute pan on a low heat at this point while we make the dough.

Sieve all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg with the milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid all at once and mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and roll into a 9 inch round about 1 inch thick. Place this round on top of the rhubarb and tuck in the edges neatly. Brush with a little egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake in the fully preheated oven for 5 minutes then, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F/gas mark 4 for a further 35 minutes approximately or until the top is crusty and golden and the rhubarb soft and juicy.

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes. Put a warm plate over the top of the saute pan, turn upside down onto the plate but be careful of the hot juices.

Serve warm with soft brown sugar and cream.


If you keep some chilled"'stock syrup" made up in your fridge, all these fresh fruit drinks are simplicity itself to make. They contain no preservatives so they should be served within a few hours of being made. Many different types of citrus fruit may be used.

Stock syrup

Makes 28 fl ozs/3 1/2 cups)

  • 1lb/2 cups sugar
  • 1 pint/2 1/2 cups water

To make the stock syrup: Dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 minutes then allow it to cool. Store in the fridge until needed. This quantity is enough for several batches of lemonade.

Measure the correct amount of syrup carefully for the lemonade. It is not necessary to use the all the stock syrup made.


  • 6 lemons
  • 12fl oz/1 1/2 cups approx. syrup
  • 2-1/2 pint/6-1/4 cups) approx water


Sprigs of fresh mint or lemon balm

Juice the fruit and mix with the stock syrup, add water to taste. Add ice, garnish with sprigs of fresh mint or lemon balm and serve.

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