Best of … St. Patrick’s Day Food
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
Contributed by Aurora LaJambre, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Irish eyes have many reasons to smile on the greenest of holidays: music, dancing and lots and lots of St. Patrick’s Day food.
Hearty and simple, Irish dishes are built around potatoes, carrots and other earthy crops that grow there. The dishes aren’t complicated to put together, meats are traditionally roasted or stewed. Irish food can be messy to eat and the presentation isn’t always pretty, but it’s flavorful, nourishing and meant to be shared.
Serve with rye bread and a pint
When you have a dish of mashed potatoes with seasoned meat and veggies how can you possibly go wrong? Shepherd’s pie, also known as cottage pie, is basically a meet and peas casserole with a crust of mashies. The meet is traditionally lamb, but you can use beef; vegetarians can join the fun as well with tofu or soy meat. It’s important to brown the protein in broth and seasoning then drain the fat before layering you dish for the broiler. Don’t forget the ale and some appropriate glassware to balance a savory meal.
For the coldest nights
If you have a few hours, making an Irish stew on a cold winter’s day will fill your home with mouth-watering aromas. Again, lamb or mutton is the traditional choices because the fattier pieces have more flavor, but use any meat of your choice. Add carrots, onions and potatoes into the pot, bring to a boil with water or stock, and simmer for about two hour. Season with salt, pepper, parsley and chives and serve over pearl barley. Gourmet Station has a wide selection of beef, pork and other meat entrees to choose from.
If it has a song named after it, you know it’s Irish. Colcannon is a rich, year-round staple and popular St. Patrick’s Day food. It’s made with kale or cabbage, potatoes, cream, butter and seasoning, and typically served with bacon or boiled ham. Burgers Smokehouse has smoked and roasted ham, as well as Canadian and cured bacon. You’ll love the balance of textures and the contrast of sweet and salty when you get a little taste of everything in each bite.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
The main event
If you head to a restaurant for St. Patrick’s Day food, corned beef will likely be a special of the day, but it’s super easy to make at home as well. The star of the dish is made from a brisket of cured beef; Heartland Steaks offers a full catalog to choose from. The beef is cooked until tender in water, salted and peppered, with wedges of cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions cooked on in the same pot. Add a little brown mustard on the side and prepare to be impressed.
Strategically listed after the main event, a good Rueben is what you eat the night after St. Patrick’s Day, if you have any leftovers. You can fancy this up, but a quick and easy way to make them for the whole family is to set out rye bread on a baking sheet. Top thin slices of corned beef with sauerkraut and cover it with Swiss cheese. Bake in the oven on 350 until the cheese is melted and bread is toasty and devour with a pickle. A wheel of cheese from The Swiss Colony will turn any humble Rueben into a gourmet masterpiece.
Have no fear
There is nothing more delicious and intimidating to make on St. Patrick’s Day than Irish soda bread. It is so good that the best way to eat it is alone in a room so nobody can take it away. It’s also good with tea or a smear of butter. Add currants for a sweet contrast, and consider making multiple loaves because it will be eaten. Oh, yes it will.
A.k.a. poundies or potato bread
Not all St. Patrick’s Day food is diet-friendly, okay most of it isn’t, but boxty is well worth the indulgence. You’ll need raw, grated potatoes, mashies (again!), milk, and egg and salt and pepper. Mix all the goodies in a bowl and cook on a skillet until the potatoes are brown and the kitchen smells like home.
Once the cream and potatoes are gone from your plate, you can always consult The Fresh Diet to get back on the healthy track with gourmet meals created by the Cordon Bleu Institute.