Sunday, March 15, 2009


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

~ Irish Proverb

~ Shamrock
( Oxalis regnellii)
~ 'Spring lamb' ... perfect for the season
1 5-6 lb. boned, trimmed & butterflied leg of lamb (fat removed)
2 lemons & zest
3 minced garlic cloves
4 Tbsp. chopped mint
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup good mint jelly
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
zest from above lemons
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. Coleman's dry mustard

  • Flatten lamb to 2-inch thickness. Score skin side of lamb criss-cross fashion. Wipe with damp cloth. With tip of knife make about 10 large deep cuts in flesh. Sprinkle with salt & cracked pepper.
  • Grate the rind and squeeze the juice of 2 lemons. Finely chop the garlic. Combine lemon rind, juice, garlic, mint, oil, salt & pepper in small bowl. Pour over lamb and marinate several hours or overnight.
  • Make mint sauce: Combine mint jelly and remaining ingredients in saucepan. Stir over low heat until jelly melts. Bring to boil, remove from heat and let cool.
    Remove meat from refrigerator. Pour cooled mint sauce over lamb, turning occasionally, allowing lamb to come to room temperature before grilling.
  • Remove from sauce and grill over medium hot coals 30-45 minutes (depending on thickness), basting several times with sauce and turning occasionally. (Do not overcook ~ should be pink on inside) While lamb is cooking, bring marinade to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let rest before carving. Serve with remaining sauce, boiled buttery new potatoes, crisp green salad and crusty peasant bread.

~ Twirled and adapted ... a good thing!
1 cup room temperature stout (such as Guinness)
1 stick + 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 organic eggs
1 Tbsp. good vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 oz. best bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp. Irish whiskey
1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • Cake: Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Spray 9-inch springform pan with no-stick spray (e.g. Pam Cooking Spray).
  • In medium saucepan, heat stout with butter until butter is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder and sugar.
  • Whisk sour cream with eggs and vanilla and our into stout mixture. Stir until smooth.
  • Combine flour, baking soda & salt. Add to batter, stirring just until combined.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Test with toothpick to see if it comes out clean. Remove cake and let cool completely in pan.
  • Frosting: Melt chocolate and whiskey in top of double boiler until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in butter, one tablespoon at a time. (If it separates, add a little cream and whisk until smooth). Spread icing over top of cake (rough dripped finish is good).


Unknown said...

Okay... this sounds a bit like the chocolate stout cake that I found on epicurious several years ago and make for very special occasions! Any chance that's where the original, untwirled and unadapted recipe came from, Joey? The frosting looks much easier than the one they used, though--and if this cake is anywhere as rich and yummy as the Epicurious one, I think that your approach of a little less (but still good) frosting would be much better...

joey said...

Hi Kim! Stunned ... just got the post up (hit the wrong key since it's for Sunday ... and there you were). I think I know the cake you're referring to, one made many times ... it's a 3 layer wonderful rich sour cream/stout cake with whipped cream/bittersweet icing (Sept 2002 Bon Appetit clipping). Actually debated over focusing on this one or that ... funny that you commented :) thinking this 'twirled' bundt cake a bit more festive! And so, how are you, dear friend? Spring is springing and gardens sprouting ... life is good :) (Hugs)

Pat said...

My husband would LOVE the leg of lamb recipe!!
I on the other hand get sick from the taste of lamb, that's one of the few foods we'll never eat together. Now the Chocolate stout cake is another story...that's one goody that would be hard to pass up!

Chuck Dilmore said...

Oh, wow!
Your new layered Shamrock photograph is lovely!

Nice going!

Rose said...

Joey, I just stopped by...apparently I haven't been here all week! I've enjoyed all the lovely photos of shamrocks and reading the history of it. Very interesting; I didn't know how it came to be the symbol of Ireland. I don't have a drop of Irish blood in me--that I know of--but I've always been fascinated by Irish history and folklore. As you say, we're all a little Irish this week:) Delicious-sounding recipes--not only am I gaining calories as I read through the desserts, but I'm getting a little tipsy as well:)

By the way, Thelma and Louise went on an adventure this past week when you have a few free moments.

Unknown said...

It all sounds delicious, Joey...hubby however doesn't like lamb and I won't be here on Tuesday so he'll have to have something else while I find lamb or at least a Guinness somewhere in the town where I'll be!
The oxalis photos are just glorious.

Gail said...

Joey, A stunning poster of shamrocks! Love it...and the meal is delicious sounding...Have I time to fly in? Now I have to raid the refrigerator...there is nothing there! gail

aspiritofsimplicity said...

Irish whiskey frosting is my very favorite ever! I'm thinking I'm going to make this cake for my birthday celebration.

joey said...

Imagine how boring if we all liked the same thing, Patsi :) Every restaurant would be the alike as well as every garden! We're having a delightful day and I'm still giddy over your garden show photos!

Thank you, Chuck. I enjoy your delightful images also!

Your hectic week sounds like mine, Rose. Visiting you, I realized how much I've missed. You must keep your Thelma & Louise adventures ongoing ... love 'em! Now, you'd think I was Irish but I'm the only one in my family who isn't but I certainly love to celebrate ... :)

Hi jodi and thanks! Prepare yourself ~ I'm forwarding you our delightful weather for St. Patrick's Day. Do hope you enjoy it (with a pint of ale to celebrate)!

Thanks Gail ... if you can't get here on time, perhaps you can smell the rich food cooking! Your patio garden is wonderful ... you must be thrilled.

joey said...

Welcome Hip Chick! Good choice ... and when is this Happy Birthday celebration?

Pauline said...

I copied those two recipes down! Thanks - I think lamb with mint sauce is one of my favorite things to eat. Thanks too for stopping by my site.

joey said...

Delightful to meet you, Pauline. Please enjoy ... hope this meets+ your expectations :)

Anonymous said...

I wish you could have been in my living room when I enlarged the oxalis picture. I let out a --OH WOW! The collage in a collage is incredible. And the colors are perfect. Very well done. And I had a piece of chocolate cake too while I was oooing and ahhhing over the pictures.

spookydragonfly said...

Oh Joey, your Shamrock photo is simply beautiful! I can't wait for spring. F.Y.I...your following section is still not showing up for me.

Nutty Gnome said...

Aaah, those photos, the recipes - I'm in heaven!
I made the chowder - it was fantastic! The lamb is definately next on the list! :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

I love lamb and haven't had it in forever. I wonder how corned beef got to be associated with an Irish holiday?

joey said...

How kind, dear Anna ... my home is filled with blooming shamrock. Several are very old plants that vacation outside in summer. Happy 'Springing' Spring :)

Hi Kim and thanks for input. Everything looks fine at your site for me. Was wondering if adding music was dragging your connection down!

Hi Nutty ~ glad you enjoyed the chowder. Imagine you had a starving crew after all the weekend working marathon on Mt. Fuji!

Katarina said...

Joey, the picture of the shamrock is outstanding! So elegent!

joey said...

Hi Marnie ~ I love lamb also, especially rack of lamb and grilled chops. I read in that Corned Beef n' Cabbage became popular because, back in Ireland, beef was a luxury (raised for export) but plentiful here in America. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thank you, dear Katarina. I had fun creating it :)