Saturday essay: An Irish stew
Editor's note: By popular demand, we reprint a classic St. Patrick's Day essay.
The cutting and chopping begin early today to fill two large pots atop the stove.
In each will be layered large and thick slices of white onions and yellow potatoes. They'll be followed by layers of cubed beef (too-greasy lamb is off the recipe). Then come the green onions, chopped celery, carrots and parsley.
The layers, each salted and peppered, are repeated until the pots are full; a quarter-pound of butter tops each. Then, poured into the pots, large bottles of red wine — the cheaper the better. It's the only liquid used to produce what six or so hours later (and never stirred) will be this year's St. Patrick's stew.
The aroma of the sweet simmerings will mix with the sharper smells of a locust- and maple-filled fireplace, burning low and, just perhaps, mimicking the turf fire of my ancestors. Baking bread in the oven will be the final seduction.
Friends will arrive, uncorking their favorite wines and uncapping the not-too-cold Smithwick's ale, fresh from Kilkenny. The good conversation and laughter will be every bit as warm as the stew, bread and fire.
About as much of the stew as the brew will remain as the night ends and the dogs curl by the fire, dreaming of the bowls they licked dry in the kitchen as the guests, their bellies and spirits filled, took their leave.
— Colin McNickle
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Gulftainer deal: Ports of peril?
- Connellsville bright spots, but more work needed
- Saturday essay: Change in the air
- The Corbett administration gives itself a headache with selective transparency
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances