A Stew To Warm Up St. Patty’s Day

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - March 15, 2006
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Dr. Robert Medoff is a pioneer in the field of orthopedic surgery, and along with his brother David and Lars Tillman formed TriMed. Medoff has created a wrist plate for use in orthopedic surgery, and travels throughout Asia, Europe and the United States demonstrating the use of this patented design.

Medoff and his wife, Fe, have four children: Dustin, a graphic designer, lives in Kaimuki with his family; Jessica studies physical therapy at San Francisco State University; Michael is studying zoology and marine biology at James Cooke University in Australia; and Sarah, an online student at Myron B. Thompson Academy, enjoys cooking and entertaining friends in Hawaii. Fe is a stay-at-home mom who oversees all aspects of Sarah’s education.

The entire family is enthusiastic about water sports and especially loves surfing. This active family has two pets: I’lima Jack, a black Labrador, and Chester, a female cat. This column is dedicated to the Medoffs.

The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385. Patrick was appointed bishop of Ireland to convert the native pagans to Christianity. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country, and set up schools and churches that would aid him in his conversion of the country to Christianity. His mission in Ireland lasted for 30 years.

He died on March 17 in AD 461, and that day has been commemorated as St. Patrick’s Day ever since. The St. Patrick’s Day custom came to America in 1737. That was the first year St. Patrick’s Day was publicly celebrated in this country, in Boston. Boston was the port of entry for many Irish immigrants who fled Europe in search of a better life.

This is a version of the famous meat and potato stew that was a staple of the Boston Irish. I like to serve this with a loaf of Irish soda bread or brown bread and a sliced tomato salad - comfort food for these cool winter evenings!


* 3/4 pound lean lamb, cut into cubes
* 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
* 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 bay leaf
* 4 medium potatoes, cut into small pieces
* 1 large onion, cut into wedges
* 4 medium carrots, cut into thick slices
* 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
* 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
* 1/2 cup cold beer (may also use water)
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour

In a nonstick skillet, lightly brown lamb cubes. In a large saucepan, combine browned lamb, broth, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots, onion, thyme, basil, rosemary and parsley. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes more, or until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Remove bay leaf. Stir beer and flour together until combined and slowly stir into stew. Cook and stir until thickened. Cook for about 2 minutes more and stir.

Makes four servings. Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 330 Fat: 8 grams Sodium: 110 milligrams Cholesterol: 65 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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