Yes, for many revelers, St. Patrick’s Day is a chance to drink green beer until they puke while decked out in as much “Kiss Me I’m Irish” paraphernalia as they could find. But as we come upon the Irish holiday, let us not forget that the cuisine of Ireland is worth celebrating as much as its Guinness. The hearty meals of the region are simple, delicious, and filling, not to mention easy to try at home. These recipes can be appreciated as the centerpiece of a quiet night in, or as a companion to endless shots of Irish Whiskey.
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A full Irish breakfast is like all your meals for the day (and then some) wrapped up into one, and if you’re planning on spending your St. Pat’s Day partying, then this is the base you need. But even those among us who will be spending the holiday like just another Thursday can appreciate the decadence of this traditional meal.
You’ll start with some porridge (for this we recommend Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal). Then it’s time to fry up your eggs and four (yes, four!) different kinds of meats: black pudding, white pudding, bangers, and rashers. Throw in some baked beans, tomatoes, and mushrooms (ya know, for balance) and finish off with toast and jam. Now you’re ready to party! Or maybe just take a nap. Get the full recipe here.
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Legend goes that the original source of the Veda bread recipe was a Northern Irish housekeeper who accidentally used wheat that had gotten damp and sprouted, creating a malted wheat flour, and the bread that resulted was both sweet and nutty. We’re not sure if this story is true, but we’ll use it as inspiration to recreate the recipe nonetheless!
This recipe makes two loaves using three different types of flour, molasses, and barley malt extract along with typical bread ingredients. It takes about four hours from start to finish, so make sure to give yourself enough time to whip it up. Get the full recipe here.
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Akin to the long-cooked French pot-au-feu, Dublin coddle stars sturdy vegetables and inexpensive meats simmered in water until a fragrant and heady broth steams forth. Coddle implies homey comfort, a favorite warming dinner made with ingredients readily within reach of an Irish cook: sausage, bacon, onions, and potatoes.
This is a one-pot recipe that can be altered as you go—this is a home cook’s dish and can be changed with any flourishes you like. Once you’ve eaten all the meats and chunky vegetables, don’t throw away any leftover broth; it can be used for future soups. The coddle just keeps on giving. Get the full recipe here.
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Jigg’s Dinner is classic comfort food is a variation on a traditional Irish boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage with a few variations that make it uniquely Canadian (hey, our friends to the north can celebrate Irish heritage, too!). There are two very unique components to the Jigg’s Dinner of Newfoundland: the puddings. A traditional Jigg’s Dinner always includes pease pudding, and often some version of figgy duff. Pickled beets, cranberry sauce, and mustard pickles are also common, but not strictly necessary.
Arguably the most important component of a great Jigg’s Dinner is the company in which it is served. This is a big, hearty dish, designed for a crowd, and for leftovers that can be fried up as a hash the next day. Get the full recipe here.
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Irish Soda Bread Pizza
Irish Soda Bread Pizza
Traditional Irish soda bread can be turned into a crowd-pleasing main course as the base for Irish Soda Bread Pizza. The recipe we replicate was devised by Darina Allen, the middle generation of Ireland’s famous Allen cooking family. It’s baked on a cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan. There’s no raising involved, and the dough can handle a wide variety of toppings. You can go simple with herbs and cherry tomatoes, like a focaccia, or cover it with a boldly flavored cheese. Make the toppings your own, slice into squares like Detroit-style pizza, and enjoy. Get the full recipe here.
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The potato remains an important part of Irish cuisine. It can feed a lot of hungry mouths for relatively little cost. It can be mixed, and mashed and mingled in a thousand different ways, and Irish cooking notably excels at elevating the tubers to comforting main courses.
There’s no need to overcomplicate something as glorious as a potato, so all you really need are these easy and fast recipes for mashed potatoes: champ, mashed potato with scallion and butter; colcannon, mashed potato with cabbage or kale; potato, bacon, and scallion soup; and boxty, a cross between potato pancakes and has browns. All these recipes need butter (lots of butter) and can be customized with as much bacon, chives, and (more) butter as you please. Get the full recipes here.
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The South Side Irish of Chicago are practical people. They can stretch a dollar for miles when they must, a skill honed by raising big families with bigger appetites. And a mark of this culinary arithmetic is a side dish called Green Stuff. You only need four simple ingredients—Cool Whip, crushed pineapples, mini-marshmallows, and a package of pistachio pudding. Put them in a bowl and mix. Voila, a delicious side that can double as dessert and add another shade of green to a St. Patrick’s Day meal. Get the full recipe here.
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It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without something green to drink, and while there are plenty of green cocktails out there (not to mention the Midwestern favorite Green River soda), the Grasshopper has the unique distinction of tasting most like a Shamrock Shake. You can serve the crème de menthe and crème de cacao mixture either as a light and creamy cocktail or mix with ice cream to offer as a dessert drink. Either way, it’s the perfect addition to any St. Patrick’s Day meal. Get the full recipe here.
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