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Rachel’s Irish Family Food A collection of Rachel’s best-loved family recipes Rachel Allen • Collins • €20

On the threshold of the St Patrick’s weekend and the celebration of all things Irish, Rachel Allen’s newish cookery book with 120 of her favourite family recipes is a timely addition to the culinary bookshelves.

Taking recipes and images from her previous books such as Rachel’s Favourite Food at Home, Rachel’s Food for Living, Bake, Home Cooking, Entertaining at Home, Easy Meals and Cake, this particular selection also includes 30 new recipes.

Divided into sections such as soups, weeknights and everyday, special family dinners, vegetables and side dishe, puddings and cakes, and breads and biscuits, and including titbits on each of the seasons in Ireland, this is the cookbook that Rachel Allen in her introduction says is “a cookbook I have always wanted to write”.

The best of the recipes, that all have a traditional Irish flavour, include mussels with garlic and breadcrumbs; oysters with Guinness; Molly Malone’s cockle and mussel chowder; West Cork broth with Gubbeen bacon; salad with beetroot, toasted hazelnuts and Cashel Blue dressing; fish cakes; fish pie; chicken casserole with cheesy herb dumplings; homemade pork sausages with colcannon and apple sauce; Dublin coddle; ham and egg pie; pork chops with sage and apple; Irish stew; pan-fried mackerel with herb butter; hot buttered lobster; roast duck with potato stuffing; crumbled bacon chops with sweet whiskey sauce; slow-roasted shoulder of pork; lamb shanks with potatoes and pearl barley; beef and red wine hot pot; roast pheasant with wild mushrooms and bacon and thyme stuffing; roast Portobello mushrooms with lime cream cheese; boxty; sponge cake; sweet scones with blueberry jam; porter cake; soda bread; barmbrack; and Irish coffee meringue roulade.

Overall, a glossy, well-written selection of Rachel Allen’s favourite Irish recipes that is perfect for anyone looking to celebrate St Patrick’s Day or the weekend’s festivities with traditional fare.

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