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What's Cooking Feature

Winter Warmers

by Clodagh McKenna

Author- Clodagh McKenna

 This month Clodagh McKenna joins us to make the perfect winter warmers.

It’s time to make a feast!


The modest bread & butter pudding is a staple winter dish that we often forget about – delicious, warming and straightforward.

Serves 6

100g golden raisins
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
125ml Irish whiskey
5 extra-large eggs
475ml heavy cream
200g plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 to 9 slices firm white bread, crusts left on
340g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing

For the salted caramel whiskey sauce
110g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
200g plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
600ml cream
60ml Irish whiskey

Bread and Butter Pudding



1. Preheat the oven to 200oC and grease an 8 1/2-inch square, non-reactive, baking dish.
2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the golden raisins and
whiskey and let soak for 1 hour.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, sugar, spices, and vanilla to make a custard. Spread one side of each slice of bread with the butter. Cut the slices in half diagonally and arrange half of the bread in the bottom of the baking dish overlapping the slices of bread with slices of apple. Drain the raisins and sprinkle half over the bread. Repeat with the remaining bread and raisins.
4. Pour the custard over the bread and let soak for 30 minutes.
5. Place the baking dish in a large baking pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the pudding is set and the top is golden. Remove the baking dish from the water bath and let cool slightly on a wire rack.
6. Make the salted caramel whiskey sauce. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Beat in the sugar, sea salt, cream, and whiskey. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Serve the pudding warm with the salted caramel whiskey sauce spooned over each serving.



The longer and the lower temperature that you cook this stew, the better the flavour. I recommend that you make it the day before you plan to eat it as the flavours concentrate much more. It’s a warming, and cozy, Irish soul food at it’s best…

25g butter
150g bacon lardons or pancetta
300g shallots, left whole
1kg stewing beef, cubed
400g mixed wild mushrooms
1 litre stout, such as Guinness or Murphy’s
1 bouquet garni
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serves 8

Beef Stew


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.
2. Put the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted add the bacon, followed by the shallots. Cook until golden brown and transfer to a large casserole.
3. Add the beef to the frying pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned all over. Transfer to the casserole.
4. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste and transfer to the casserole.
5. Return the frying pan to the heat and use a whisk to scrape off all the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan (this is where the flavour is). Pour in the stout and continue to whisk for another minute; this process is known as deglazing.
6. Pour the stout and pan juices over the beef and vegetables in the casserole. Add the bouquet garni, and cover the casserole and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
7. Check the seasoning, take out the bouquet garni and serve with creamy mash or roast potatoes.

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