Jamerson’s Irish Stew Recipe with Star Anise

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Recipes

Irish Stew Recipe with Star Anise

This recipe appeared in the Appalachian News Express and in other regional publications. Nick Jamerson, lead singer for Sundy Best, is a poet who reminds me that young and old share common bonds that make our mountain community something very special.

Click for Irish Stew Article inspired by Nick Jamerson of Sundy Best>

Celebrating ‘Tween Seasons With Hearty Fare

Luck of the Irish; Wisdom of the Scotch

Hillbilly Days Nick Jamerson

The tween days of not quite winter and not quite spring can be maddening. I struggle with what to wear. I agonize over what to put on the table; light salads and spring greens or something more substantial?

Eating seasonally? Historically, this time of year was often the hardest for our Appalachian forbearers. There are just a few greens starting to poke from the ground. Thank goodness for root cellars, and vegetables that are “keepers.” A parsnip, carrots, potatoes and onions combined with stew meat, traditionally lamb, take away the chills and lifts the spirits.

Like many in Appalachia I claim Scotch-Irish roots; more Scotch than Irish. I look across the family genealogy charts; I let my mind drift to those who set my feet on this path. I see proud people, defiant people. I hear music and poetry; I see joy in the dance. I laugh thinking of old fiddles, of special clay jugs, and of artfully pieced quilts that all speak of love and life.

I lamented on Facebook that my recipe for Irish Stew was as old as the hills themselves. I respect my ancestors, but I want something more – as did they when they crossed the ocean to come to Kentucky. Chef Jon Ashton gave me a hand up.

Have you ever tried star anise in Irish Stew? Frankly, I was dubious but desperate. My deadline for the Appalachian News Express was nipping at my heels and even a sip of some “artisan” crafted spirits did nothing to inspire.

I tried the addition. I liked it! Charlie liked it. Star anise adds a layer of flavor, at once comforting and mysterious. This recipe is a “keeper.” On a chilly tween day, make you a pot of Irish Stew and some Irish Soda Bread too. Celebrate St. Patrick’s with respect to your elders, but with an eye to the days ahead. Lift a pint for me!

Irish Stew Recipe with Star Anise inspired by Chef Jon Ashton

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About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.