It’s good to be green when it comes to the environment -- but for a St. Patrick’s Day spread, resist the urge to think green. Put away the food coloring this year and focus on the traditional Irish foods that make the culture and dishes of the Emerald Isle so unique! Read on for ideas to make your St. Patrick’s Day celebration more authentic (and delicious).
Full Irish breakfast. A full Irish breakfast consists of bacon, pork sausage, baked beans, eggs, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes, fried potatoes and black pudding. You may have encountered a similar breakfast in an English pub, but the difference is the black pudding -- not a pudding at all but blood sausage. Serve this along with toast and strong, milky tea and you’ve got yourself a breakfast that isn’t for the faint of heart!
Guinness stew. Irish stew -- the national dish -- is usually made with lamb, but this stout version is more festive for St. Patrick’s Day. It features beef, carrots and potatoes simmered for hours in stock and Guiness beer to yield a rich and comforting stew.
Irish soda bread. Baking soda instead of yeast creates the rise in this quick bread, so most recipes take only 30 minutes or less to prepare before baking. It’s a perfect accompaniment to your Guinness stew. Or eat it warm and fresh out of the oven with butter, marmalade or your favorite jam.
Shepherd’s pie. A lamb-based stew covered in a blanket of mashed potatoes is our idea of heaven. Try sprinkling grated cheese on top and popping it into the oven until it turns golden brown -- the cheese may not be traditional, but it takes this casserole dish to a higher level of comfort food.
Irish whiskey. Though Scotland is revered for its whiskey, Ireland is said to have been the first to distill the liquor in Europe. Its biggest distinction over Scottish whiskey is that it’s made with malted and unmalted barley, giving it cleaner, less peaty flavor.
Corned beef and cabbage. You can debate whether this is an authentically Irish dish, though it was the Irish immigrants in the U.S. who adapted their native stew into this famous stateside meal. It also makes the best leftovers -- chop up corned beef, cabbage and potatoes and pan-fry them together to make “bubble and squeak,” a satisfying brunch food!
For more ideas for St. Patrick’s Day celebrating, check out our Luck of the Irish party plan’s decor, supplies and festive bar cart!