Food Fare: Reader's Mail




Food Fare: Irish Recipes

From Aleda Hopkins, re: Emerald Isle

WOW, so much stuff on the Irish pages, an excellent resource.


[Reply]: Thank you :)


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Food Fare: Irish RecipesFrom Harry, re: Emerald Isle

Your Irish pages have a great design.


[Reply]: Thank you :)


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Food Fare: Irish RecipesFrom Felicity, re: Irish Gruel, Emerald Isle

I wonder whether you can help me. A friend of mine who was from Northern Ireland but has spent most of his life in England, told me that his mother's mother in Ireland use to make a sort of thin gruel when times were hard, and he thinks it was called "sirly." Have you ever heard of such a dish? I'd be very grateful to know about it if you do.


[Reply]: I discovered a few links that you might find useful.

"Gruel" from the Workhouse Cookbook:

Soak meal in lukewarm water 24 hours, press the mixture through a fine sieve, boil until thick. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.

Another link comes from Stefan's Florilegium, where he discusses an Irish pottage known as "Brotchan Foltchep." I have pasted the recipe below:

Brotchan Foltchep

This soup probably started out as oatmeal porridge enriched with leeks and milk, and has been eaten in Irish monasteries for about 1400 years or more. (Serves 6)

Wash the leeks well. They are usually muddy and sandy. Remove any visible dirt or grit. Trim off the root ends and discard. Starting at the white, root ends, slice the leeks thinly. Place in a deep bowl of cold water, and rub the leeks between your hands, gently, to separate the rings and encourage the last of the grit to sink to the bottom. Lift the leek slices off the surface till the bowl has nothing left in it but water and mud. Drain the leeks in a strainer and set aside. In a large, deep saucepan, bring the stock and milk to a simmer. Stir in the oats, bring almost to a boil, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the oats are done. While the oats are simmering, melt the butter in a deep sauté pan, over low heat. Sweat the leeks for five or ten minutes, until they begin to soften, but not brown. When the oats are about half done, add the leeks and their butter to the pan of soup. The leeks and the oatmeal should be done at the same time. Take the pot off the heat, stir in the cream, and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Garnish with the parsley.

I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for, but it might point you in the right direction. Also, if you try searching for Irish "Pottage" instead of "gruel" you might find some additional links.


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Food Fare: Irish RecipesFrom Bernard Kavanagh (Shannon Valley Irish Grub), re: Emerald Isle

Great Bacon & Bangers!


[Reply]: Thank you :)


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Suggested reading:


Food Fare Culinary Collection: The Emerald Isle


Food Fare Articles: St. Patrick's Day


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Food Fare: Irish Recipes



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