Pale lager beer adds the mellow flavors of barley, hops, and malt to a rich vegetable stew. The secret ingredient is quick-cooking tapioca, which thickens the stew and gives it a glistening sheen.
This stew tastes even better as leftovers, once the flavors have had a chance to develop. Serve it over mashed potatoes for a deliciously comforting meal. Traditional Irish stout is not vegan, but to find a beer that is, log on to veganconnection.com.
Rhubarb is one of the first produce items to ripen in spring, making it a much sought-after commodity in Irish farmhouse kitchens. The crumble recipe works well with other fruits as well—just eliminate the cornstarch when you try it with peaches, plums or apples.
This ultra-Irish dish varies from one county to the next, with some cooks using cabbage in place of kale, others using leeks or onions for extra flavor. Here, it gets a modern-day makeover with purple potatoes, garlic and shiitake mushrooms to reflect all the delicious new options found in Irish markets today. If you can’t find purple potatoes, Yukon gold, fingerling or russet varieties also work well.
Kasha, or toasted buckwheat, is a gluten-free whole grain with a nutty flavor. It’s often used in eastern European porridges and side dishes. Here it’s added to an Italian-style vegetable soup that’s perfect for a cold winter night. Feel free to substitute other large-kerneled cooked grains like wheatberries, barley or brown rice.
Pearled barley has the hull and bran removed to make it cook more quickly—but it still retains some whole grain goodness.
There's no question that steel-cut oats are superior in flavor to instant oatmeal, but the extended cooking time, obligatory stirring, and sticky pot to clean can put off even the most loyal oatmeal enthusiast. Using a slow cooker eliminates the stove-top surveillance and mess. Plus, the oatmeal can be kept warm for late risers.