St.Patrick’s Day is almost here again, and that means it’s time to celebrate all of the amazing things the Irish culture has brought us by having a few green beverages and eating your way through a few traditional St.Patrick’s Day recipes.
Although an Irish pub is probably the best place to spend St.Patrick’s Day, if aren’t near one or you can’t head out for the evening, there’s no reason why you can’t bring St.Patrick’s Day to you. Traditional St.Patrick’s Day recipes are actually pretty simple to make, and I’ve found my slow cooker or pressure cooker are handy to have around while I’m making them.
Just make sure you stock up on a six pack of Guinness or make some Irish Stout yourself with Mr.Beer Home Brewing Kit before you start cooking, because although a few will be going in the post, you may want to keep one or two for yourself.
Traditional Irish Stew Recipe
St.Patrick’s Day celebrates Ireland’s patron saint, St.Patrick. This stew was probably around long before even he was, and it’s one of my favourites because it’s not complicated, fussy, or difficult to put together. You can follow the recipe as a guideline and tweak at will because the most important thing in this stew is the beer. Photo and recipe from coupons.com.
4 slices bacon
2 1/2 pound boneless beef chuck
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can dark Irish beer (like Guinness)
1 small can tomato paste
3 large russet potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 – 3 cups beer broth
In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, beer, olive oil, brown sugar and tomato paste. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Dredge the beef pieces in the dry mixture, shaking off any excess.
Cook and stir bacon in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until bacon is browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer bacon into a large stew pot, reserving bacon fat in the skillet.
In batches, add the beef pieces and sear until brown, about 2 minutes, transferring the beef to the slow cooker as done. Remove the last batch of beef to the slow cooker, add 1 cup of the beef broth to the skillet and scrape up all the brown bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. Add the pan juices to the slow cooker, along with the remaining 2 cups of beef broth. Cover, and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.
Irish Beer Cheese Soup Recipe
You might wait until St.Patrick’s Day to make this the first time, but once you’ve made this beer cheese soup, you’ll want to make it all the time. Photo from epicurious.com. Recipe from aspicyperspective.com.
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon butter (or bacon grease)
2 – 12 ounce bottles Harp Irish Style Lager
32 ounce chicken broth
14 ounces Irish cheese, shredded (Dubliner, Irish Cheddar, Skellig, etc.)
14 ounces low fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch (or arrow root powder)
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Garnishes: crumbled bacon and chive
Set a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter, onions, and garlic, and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Scoop the softened onions into the food processor (or blender) and add one cup chicken broth. Puree the onions and broth until completely smooth.
Pour the onion mixture back into the sauce pot, and add the remaining broth and both bottles of beer. Bring to a boil.
Toss the shredded Irish cheese with corn starch. Add the shredded cheese, cream cheese, and dijon mustard to the broth. Whisk to melt the cheese and break up the cream cheese cubes. Whisk until the soup or use an immersion blender until it’s completely smooth and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Serve as-is, or garnish with bacon and chive if desired.
NOTES: The beer broth will foam up quite a bit when boiling. Make sure to use a large pot, so it doesn’t boil over.
Irish Soda Bread Recipe
A great traditional St.Patrick’s Day recipe, making Irish Soda bread as part of your St.Patrick’s Day recipe lineup is easier than it sounds. Photo and recipe from simplyrecipes.com
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup currants or raisins
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda.
Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
Work the butter into the flour, add currants or raisins: Using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then add in the currants or raisins.
sMake a well, add buttermilk, egg, knead into dough: Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix in with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir.
Dust hands with a little flour, then gently knead dough in the bowl just long enough to form a rough ball. If the dough is too sticky to work with, add in a little more flour. Do not over-knead!
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a round loaf. Note that the dough will be a little sticky, and quite shaggy (a little like a shortcake biscuit dough).
You want to work it just enough so that the flour is just moistened and the dough just barely comes together. Shaggy is good. If you over-knead, the bread will end up tough.
Using a serrated knife, score top of dough about an inch and a half deep in an “X” shape. The purpose of the scoring is to help heat get into the center of the dough while it cooks.
Transfer to oven and bake until bread is golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 35-45 minutes. If you use a cast iron pan, it may take a little longer as it takes longer for the pan to heat up than a baking sheet. Check for how done it is by inserting a long, thin skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
If the top is getting too dark while baking, tent the bread with some aluminum foil.
If you use a cast iron skillet to cook the bread in the oven, be very careful when you take the pan out. It’s easy to forget that the handle is extremely hot. Cool the handle with an ice cube, or put a pot holder over it.
Let cool a few minutes: Remove pan or sheet from oven, let bread sit in the pan or on the sheet for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool briefly. Serve bread warm, at room temperature, or sliced and toasted. Best when eaten warm and just baked.
I wish you a safe and happy St.Patrick’s Day. You can find the small appliances and bakeware you need to create St. Patrick’s Day recipes at Best Buy, and check out a few of my kitchen favourites below.