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The Country Cooking of Ireland Hardcover – November 11, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Known for its scenic landscape rather than its gastronomic prowess, Ireland has never been considered a major force on the world's food stage. Until now, that is. Andrews, co-founder of Saveur magazine and author of Catalan Cuisine and Everything on the Table, provides new perspectives on the often maligned Irish cuisine. The breathtakingly beautiful photographs are alone enough to convince, but Andrews, calling Irish cuisine one of the most exciting food stories in the world today, lets the dishes make his case. Robust soups such as butternut and apple and roast pork belly start the mouth juices flowing. Andrews offers a culinary feast with everything from nested eggs and steak-and-kidney pie to Arlington chicken liver pâté and battered sausages. Given its proximity to the ocean, fish and shellfish dishes are well represented, including mussels in cream and monkfish in beer batter. Must-have traditional dishes are also well spoken for in The Best Shepherd's Pie and Guinness cake. Andrews has done the near impossible in elevating a cuisine thought to be humble and drab into tantalizing fare that will have world-wide appeal. (Jan.)
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Review

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW
Known for its scenic landscape rather than its gastronomic prowess, Ireland has never been considered a major force on the world's food stage. Until now, that is. Andrews, co-founder of Saveur magazine and author of Catalan Cuisine and Everything on the Table, provides new perspectives on the often maligned Irish cuisine. The breathtakingly beautiful photographs are alone enough to convince, but Andrews, calling Irish cuisine one of the most exciting food stories in the world today, lets the dishes make his case. Robust soups such as butternut and apple and roast pork belly start the mouth juices flowing. Andrews offers a culinary feast with everything from nested eggs and steak-and-kidney pie to Arlington chicken liver p t and battered sausages. Given its proximity to the ocean, fish and shellfish dishes are well represented, including mussels in cream and monkfish in beer batter. Must-have traditional dishes are also well spoken for in The Best Shepherd's Pie and Guinness cake. Andrews has done the near impossible in elevating a cuisine thought to be humble and drab into tantalizing fare that will have world-wide appeal.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1St Edition edition (November 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081186670X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811866705
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite Irish cookbook. Beautifully illustrated and filled with interesting cultural information as well as tempting recipes. It's nearly encyclopedic in scope, as well - a hefty book, obviously a labor of love.

In several recipes so far I've found that I need to alter the quantities of various ingredients to hit a home run. The Irish Stew was simple, but maybe the best I've ever had, however the first time I made it I used all the potatoes and cream that the recipe called for, and I didn't get a nice crust on top. Dial back the thickness of the potato layer and a little less cream (plus 2 cloves of garlic all minced up, because that's how I roll), and then it was perfect. Likewise a 'bunch' of kale is apparently smaller in Ireland than here in Washington, so my first crack at colcannon soup actually "tasted green" according to my guests. It was still good, but next time I'm going to try with less kale.

Also, several dishes include ingredients hard to find in my city. Not the author's fault, of course, and probably not an issue if you live in a big city, but there you have it.

Overall, I am very impressed with this cookbook and will return to it often.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As another reviewer mentioned, the quantities called for in some of the recipes are wildly incorrect.

Case in point: Battered Sausages. If you make it as written, you won't get a batter, you'll get a thick, elastic dough that will not coat the sausages. Cut both the flour and yeast quantities in half, and you're good to go.

I'm always nervous cooking from a book after I discover such an error. It means either that the recipes weren't tested, or the book was poorly edited.

A shame, because the book is gorgeous.
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Format: Hardcover
There is never a better time to break out the hearty soups and savory farmhouse bakes than in the dead of winter, and Country Cooking of Ireland helps cooks of all skill levels and experience do just that. Colman Andrews, the co-founder of Saveur Magazine and author of several cookbooks, brings together the very best of Ireland's cuisine in one irresistible volume.

From poultry to potatoes to puddings, no stone was left unturned in Andrews' quest for authentic recipes. It is a treat to not only cook from, but to read from cover to cover - tucked in between the recipes are pages profiling artisan cheesemakers, brewers, and bakers, gorgeous photographs of Ireland's rugged landscape, and engagingly written background information about the history of various ingredients and the specialties of the different counties.

In our test kitchen we tried out two recipes for a casual weekend dinner: glazed carrots and panhaggerty. The recipe for glazed carrots brought out their natural sweetness, and the simplicity of the recipe ensures that it will become a regular side dish at mealtimes in the future. We initially balked at the generous amount of butter called for in the panhaggerty recipe, but we gave it a try and were blown away by the extraordinary taste of this potato gratin dish. The potatoes, onions, bacon, and Irish cheddar played off one another marvelously.

Country Cooking of Ireland will come as a delightful surprise to both newcomers and old hands at the treat that is traditional Irish food.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did not read all the reviews before ordering this book. Being 100% Irish descent, I was greatly anticipating the secret treasures stored in this James Beard Award Winner. So far, I have seen nothing that is the least bit out of the ordinary and nothing that reveals anything new to me. I am so disappointed. I thought my St. Patty's Day Dinner Party would hit new high notes from some of the great recipes I anticipated finding. I am at a loss at how this won the James Beard Award. Do they judge only on the "prettiness" of the book and do not test any recipes? And I like fresh, clean, casual food - Bistro and Trattoria Food over Haute Cuisine in my kitchen. But that does not mean plain. And these recipes just seem plain. I will be trying more of them, and will happily come back and edit my review if it is warranted. I so wanted to show off that "Irish Cuisine" could outshine my other half's Italian anscestry. This book is not giving the ammunition to demonstrate that. Guess I will continue to focus on French and Italian. Lastly, to end on a positive note, it is a lovely book and one that will be happy to share space on the coffee table with The French Laundry Cookbook, a cookbook that excels from the other end of the spectrum - if you don't want to actually eat with your guests, then take on the recipes in that (they are fabulous) but require hours or days of attention.
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Format: Hardcover
`Country Cooking of Ireland' contains a comprehensive collection of Irish recipes, with mouth-watering color photos and fascinating bits of history with each section. In my hands, it felt weighty and substantial, as the dimensions of each page are about 8X11 inches and there are more than 350 pages. There are 15 chapters and in the back there is a resource guide, list of recipes, bibliography and an index.

Colman Andrews, one of the founders of Saveur magazine, wrote and compiled this volume, which seems designed to win a James Beard award, if it hasn't already done so. The author approaches the topic of Irish food with earnestness not usually found in other cookbooks. I particularly enjoyed the wide range of photographs of many of the recipes, but also of raw ingredients and Ireland, past and present (photos by Christopher Hirsheimer).

I tried 3 recipes: boxty, Shephard's Pie and `Sultana Scones' (though I used dried cranberries instead of raisons). All were easy to understand and to follow. For each of the recipes that I cooked, I could have probably found a similar recipe on the internet. However, each dish was really enhanced by the history and photographs in the book. Overall, I would highly recommend for those interested in Irish cooking.
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