Castle Gillian – Irish Cuisine

Timmy Tadg Shawn’s Bread Soda (Irish Soda Bread)


4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk* (you may need as much as 2 cups)

* Soured fresh milk can be substituted for buttermilk. To make sour milk, combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with enough milk to equal 1 3/4cups. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Add about 1 1/4 cups of the buttermilk to the flour mixture, working it into a shaggy dough with clean hands.

If the dough seems too dry, add more buttermilk until a sticky dough is formed.

Knead the dough a few times (being careful not to overwork it), then transfer it to a baking sheet and pat it to a
thickness of about 1 1/2-inches.

Score the dough in a criss-cross pattern with a floured knife, and puncture each of the 4 quarters with the tip of the

Bake the soda bread for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then turn the oven temperature down to 400 degrees and bake for another
25 minutes.

Turn the bread upside down and continue to bake at 400 degrees for another 5 minutes.

Tap the loaf with your fingertips- it should make a hollow sound and be golden brown and crusty.#

# For a sweet crust, combine 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of water into a small bowl and brush over the hot loaf.

Timmy’s Stable-Hands Irish-Style Scones


450 (1lb) (2 cups) plain flour, extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp caster sugar
25g (1 oz) (2 tbsp) chilled and diced butter

Heat up the oven to 170°C (425°F).

Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and with your fingertips, then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Dig a little well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk and beaten egg. With a tablespoon, quickly but gently stir in the liquid until it’s soft but not sticky.

Dust down your work surface with some flour.

Turn the dough out and pat into a circle about 2.5cm (1in) thick. With a cutter or sharp knife, carve up the dough into 5 cm (2in) shapes.

Pop the scones onto a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until they rise to a shade of golden brown. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes on a wire rack, then serve.

Gillian’s Breakfast Boxty (Potato Pancakes)


1 cup raw, grated potatoes
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (about) milk to mix
Butter or oil for frying
Sugar (optional)

Place the grated raw potatoes in a clean cloth and twist to remove excess moisture.

Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.

Combine flour mixture with the raw potatoes, the leftover mashed potatoes, and the eggs.

Add enough mix to make a batter.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and add butter or oil.

Drop potato batter by the tablespoon into the hot pan.

Brown on both sides (about 4 minutes per side).

Butter each boxty and serve hot.

Sylvia’s Braised Lamb Shanks


4 medium sized lamb shanks
1 tbs vegetable oil
4 tbs of pearl barley
400ml of lamb stock (you can use beef stock)
Handful of fresh thyme leaves
200 grams of carrots roughly chopped
2 large leeks, cut into equal pieces
3 potatoes, quartered
2 medium onions, quartered
3 celery sticks, cut into about 8 cm each piece
Seasoning to taste
1 tin of flageolet beans or cannellini beans, rinsed

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and brown off the the shanks evenly.

Transfer the shanks to a large casserole or ovenproof dish with a lid. Add the stock, barley, and thyme. Cover with foil and place the lid on. Cook in the oven for approx. 2 hours.

Remove from the oven and add all the vegetables, plus some more water or stock if required. Season to taste, recover, and put back in the oven for another hour.

Take the casserole out of the oven and check that the lamb is soft and falling off the bone. If not, return to the oven for another 15-30 mins.

Take the lamb out of the casserole dish and place on a warm plate and cover tightly with foil. On the top of the oven, reheat the vegetables over a low to medium heat and check that they are cooked to your liking. Add more water or stock according to how you like the gravy.

Serve on warm plates, a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce on the bottom. Place the shanks on top, and then some more of the sauce and vegetables.

If required, serve with some baby potatoes or mashed potatoes sprinkled with a little mint.

Jacus’s Corn Beef and Cabbage


2-2.25kg (4½5lb) piece of corned beef (preferably the top rib, but silverside is good, too)
2 onions, peeled but left whole
6 cloves
2 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3 pieces each
4-6 evenly sized floury potatoes (about 100g/4oz each), peeled and halved
1 tightly packed, medium-sized green cabbage
salt and freshly ground black pepper
hot mustard, to serve (optional)

Rinse the beef under cold water to remove the brine and put it into a large but snugly fitting pan that is also large enough to hold all the vegetables.

Stud the onions with the cloves and add them to the pan with the bay leaves, peppercorns and enough water to cover.

Bring to the boil over a high heat, skimming off any scum as it rises to the surface. Then reduce the heat, cover and leave to simmer for 2-2½ hours, until the beef is tender, skimming the surface and topping up the water now and then if necessary.

Add the carrots and bring back to the boil. Then add the potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, wash the cabbage, cut it into 6 or 8 wedges and remove the thickest part of the core, but leave a little to help hold the leaves together. Add to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, by which time all the vegetables should be tender.

Lift the beef on to a carving board and carve the meat across the grain into slices.

Arrange the beef and vegetables on a large, warmed serving platter and moisten with a little of the stock.

Serve with some hot mustard, if you wish.

Oonagh’s ‘Second-Sight’ Bacon and Cheese Rarebit


2 slices soda bread
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup Irish ale (60 ml)
9 oz cheddar cheese (250 ml), grated
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 large pickled gherkins sliced
1 tsp worcester sauce
1 small garlic clove
pepper and salt

Pour the Irish ale in a medium saucepan and then add the spoonful of butter and the worcester sauce.

Place this over medium-low heat and let the butter melt in the beer for 3 minutes. Stir well. Pour in the grated cheddar cheese.

Stir well and let the cheese slowly melt into the buttery beer. This will take about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir regularly. Make sure not to burn it!

Toast or grill the slices of soda bread.

Lightly rub the bread with the garlic (don’t exaggerate).

Then slice the pickled gherkins into stick slices and place those on top of the toasted bread.

Once the cheddar cheese has fully melted and the mixture is homogenous, thickened and creamy, stir in the egg yolk.Do this quickly so the yolk doesn’t scramble.

Leave the cheese mixture on the heat for another 3 minutes. Stir regularly. Season with a dash of freshly ground black pepper and a tiny pinch of salt.

Then spread the cheddar cheese over the toast and gherkins.

Grill the rarebits under a hot grill until the cheese starts to sizzle and the cheese is golden.

Remove the toasts from the grill and plate them up. Serve hot.