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Recipes from Northern Ireland
Potato Soup
2 potatoes
1 small onion
2 rashers (pieces) of streaky bacon
250 ml or 1/2 pint milk
1 tbsp flour
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
chopped parsley

Prepare and finely chop or grate the vegetables. Remove the rind from the bacon and cut up finely. Sauté the bacon, potatoes, and onion for about 5 minutes. Add the water and bay leaf and boil slowly for 20 minutes. Add the milk, remove the bay leaf and bring to boil. Blend the flour with a little water and slowly add to the soup, stirring t all the time. Finally, season to taste, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve. Serves two.

Soda Bread
1/2 kg or 1 lb plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar (optional)
2 cups or 1/2 litre or 1 pint buttermilk

Sieve the flour, salt, baking soda and sugar into a large bowl. Aerate by scooping handfuls up and down in the bowl. Add enough buttermilk to mix into a soft dough. Working quickly, knead lightly and form into a rounded shape the size of a clenched fist. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet and on the top cut a cross, using a floured knife. Immediately place near the top of a preheated oven (230 C/ 450 F/ gas mark 8) and bake for 30-45 minutes. To test if the bread is ready, knock on the bottom, which should sound hollow. To stop it going hard, wrap in tea towel. Serve for breakfast or tea.

Irish Stew
500g or 1 lb of mutton (or lamb)
1 kg or 2 lb potatoes
250g or 1/2 lb onions
250g or 1/2 lb carrots
sprigs of parsley, chopped
250 ml or i/2 pint water or stock
salt and pepper

Cut the meat into medium-sized chunks. Peal and thickly slice the vegetables. Put the meat, vegetables and chopped parsley into a pot in layers, starting and finishing with the potatoes and seasoning each layer. Poor over the stock or water and cover the pot with w well-fitting lid. Stew gently for about 2 hours, until the meat is tender and the liquid thickened. If lamb is used instead of mutton, then allow 1 1/2-2 hours cooking time. Serves four.

Potato Farls
2 tbsp butter
1 kg or 2 lb mashed floury potatoes
125g or 4 oz plain flour

Melt the butter and stir into the potatoes then add salt to season. Knead as much flour into this as it will take. Divide into two and, using a floured board, roll out each half to form a circle the size of a large plate. Cut into quarters (farls) and fry in a little bacon fat (or oil) for about 3 minutes on each size in a heavy frying pan. Serve as part of an Ulster Fry.

Ulster Fry
4 sausages
2 slices black pudding (traditional, but optional)
2 slices white pudding (traditional, but optional)
4 rashers bacon
12 medium-sized mushrooms
2 tomatoes (halved)
2 potato farls
2 slices soda bread
2 slices wheaten bread
2 pancakes (small)

Before cooking, keep the oven on at a low temperature for keeping the food warm before serving, Prick the sausages a few times then gently fry or grill until well cooked through and evenly browned.  Fry the black and white pudding then keep warm with the sausages. Fry the bacon. After draining off the fat, keep warm. Fry the mushrooms and tomatoes, keep warm. Then fry all of the breads and pancakes, adding a bit of butter or oil in pan if there is not enough (the breads soak up a LOT of the oil.) Keep warm. Finally, fry the eggs, spooning the fat over the yolks. Serve for breakfast or lunch. Serves two.

1 1/2 cups or 1/2 kg or 1lb golden syrup (sugar syrup)
1 cup or 250g or 8 oz brown sugar
1 heaped tbsp butter
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp baking soda

Slowly melt the syrup, brown sugar, butter and vinegar together in a large saucepan without stirring. Boil until a drop goes hard in cold water then stir in the baking soda. The mix will foam as the gas is released. Pour onto a greased surface and when just cool enough to touch, fold the edges toward the centre and keep on pulling until the toffee is pale yellow in colour. Leave to harden and cool in a greased tin the break into chunks with a toffee hammer or other suitable implement.

8 medium potatoes (pealed)
small bunch of scallions (spring-green- onions)
125 ml or 1/3 pint milk
salt and pepper
knob of butter per person

Boil the potatoes until they are soft. Drain and return to the heat to dry slightly before mashing. Finely shop the white and green of the scallions and cook in the milk. Beat this mixture into the mashed potatoes until they are fluffy and smooth. Season to taste and serve a generous helping onto each plate, topping with a knob of butter. Serves four.

Irish Coffee
3/4 cup or real hot coffee
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 large measure Irish  Whiskey
1 1/2 tsp double cream

Warm a whiskey glass (preferably stemmed) with hot water to prevent cracking, then throw out the water. Refill the glass with boiling water then throw out the water again. Pour the coffee into the glass until  just over half full and add sugar to taste. Stir thoroughly then add the whiskey. Pour the cream over the back of a spoon so that it floats on top. Serves one, Lightly whipped single cream can be used if double is not available.