Éirinn go Brách
Most of us know about St. Patrick’s Day, but here’s a short and quick recap for those who don’t. St. Patrick’s Day is held in the memory of St. Patrick who was Ireland’s patron saint. The day has evolved into one of the biggest and most widely celebrated events all over the world. It starts with parades and loud music and usually ends with special foods, Irish rum and whiskey, and lots of dancing. It’s the Irish green luck that is celebrated, and people try to find their very own 4-leaf clover.
Fun Facts About St. Patrick’s Day
We all know at least a little bit about the history of this day, but before we begin the St. Patrick’s Day recipes, let’s have a look at some of the fun and astonishing facts you may NOT know about this holiday.
• It Wasn’t Always About the Green
This may come as a shocker to you but the real color associated with St. Patrick’s Day is blue. The green color was embedded into the holiday only after a link was formed with the independence movement of Ireland, dating to the 18th century.
• Ireland Wasn’t the First Country to Celebrate This Holiday
Shocker, right! The first St. Patrick’s Day was held in Boston in 1737. The official parade was held 29 years later in 1766 in New York. It was in 1903 that the first parade took place in Waterford and then in 1931, Dublin finally joined in. This is why St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated as an American-Irish holiday.
• St. Patrick Was British
Yes, it was St. Patrick who bought Christianity to Ireland in 432 AD, but he himself was British. He was born in Wales or Scotland to Roman parents.
• New Yorkers Take St. Patrick’s Day Very Seriously
The world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in New York with more than 2 million people participating. The best route to take to watch this parade in all its glory is from 5th Avenue.
• Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Is Livelier
While New York holds the record of hosting the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade, Dublin more than makes up for it in the entire week of festivities. Yes, the festival continues for that long! It includes the Irish Beer and Whisky Festival, music and street performances, boat races, and the parade. This year’s theme is “Artistic Interpretations.” You can know all about them by visiting the St. Patrick’s Festival website.
St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
Before we get into the recipes, if you set your table with either one of our Shamrock Gingham or Shamrocks tablecloths in preparation for these recipes, you’ll surely blow your guests away. Now, let’s get down to business. Here are five classic recipes that you can easily make for St. Patrick’s Day:
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Here’s a small history lesson to help you understand why this recipe became the traditional dish of St. Patrick’s Day:
A long time ago, Ireland was a poor country and the one food item they could easily get their hands on was corned beef. Most of the meat produced in Ireland was cured, and then used for trade. When the Irish couldn’t find a good enough and cheap substitute when they moved out of their country, they turned to corned beef because it reminded them of their home country. Hence, this meat gained its popularity and is now the number one dish available on every street corner, in festivals and at restaurants on St. Patrick’s Day.
Marinating the Corned Beef
- Kosher salt: 1 cup
- Brown sugar: 1 cup
- Whole coriander: 1 ½ tablespoons
- Whole mustard seeds: 1 ½ tablespoons
- Whole black peppercorns: 1 ½ tablespoons
- Whole allspice: 1 ½ tablespoons
- Fresh marjoram: 4 sprigs
- Fresh thyme leaves: 4 sprigs
- Fresh marjoram: 3 sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 (3 pounds) brisket
- Extra-virgin olive oil: 3 tablespoons
- Half onion
- Carrots (thickly chopped): 6
- Celery (thickly chopped): 1 head
- Garlic: 1 head
- Small cabbage: 1
Herbed Root Vegetables
- Extra-virgin olive oil: 2 tablespoons
- Unsalted butter: 2 tablespoons
- Potatoes: 1 pound
- Baby carrots: 1 pound
- Baby turnips: 1 pound
- Baby parsnips: 1 pound
- Black pepper and kosher salt
- Unsalted butter (softened): ½ pound
- Mixed fresh herbs (thyme, chives, mint and parsley): ½ cup
- Black pepper and kosher salt
- Combine all the dry marinating herbs in a bowl, cut the brisket into half, rub the spices on both sides, and place the pieces in the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with cold water until the brisket is completely submerged and place a plate over it.
- You can marinate this meat for a total of 10 days. The minimum time required for marinating the meat is 8 hours.
- Turn on the oven and set it to 300° F.
- In a pot, add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and marjoram and cook until they soften.
- Take out the meat from the bowl and rinse it thoroughly.
- Spread the vegetables in the pot evenly and place the meat on top.
- Add water in the pot to cover the meat.
- When the water comes to a boil, take out the foam from the top.
- Lower the heat and cook the meat for 15 minutes.
- Cut the cabbage into 4 pieces, cover with foil paper, and place it in the oven for 3 hours.
- Take out the meat from the pot, wrap it in foil paper, and allow it to rest for twenty minutes.
- Slice the fat off the meat (don’t throw it away).
- For the herb butter, add butter and olive oil in a pot.
- Toss in the vegetables and the meat fat.
- Add a cup of water and allow the mixture to boil.
- Add a few fresh vegetables and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the herbs at the end and cook for 2 more minutes.
In a bowl, place the herb butter vegetables and then the corned beef on top. Place the cabbage wedges with the herbed root vegetables on top of the beef and heavily garnish with the cooking liquid. Your corned beef and cabbage is ready to be served!
Irish Soda Bread
One of the best things about Irish Soda Bread is that it is neither too sweet nor salty. It was another one of the food staples in a poor Irish’s pantry because making it required very few ingredients. You can have it as a dessert with ice cream, enjoy with a hot cup of Irish coffee with a little whiskey, or dip it in the corned beef gravy for a unique taste.
- All-purpose flour: 4 cups
- Sugar: 4 tablespoons
- Baking soda: 1 teaspoon
- Kosher salt: 1 ½ teaspoons
- Cold unsalted butter (diced): 4 tablespoons
- Cold buttermilk: 1 ¾ cups
- Egg (lightly beaten): 1 extra large
- Grated orange zest: 1 teaspoon
- Dried currants: 1 cup
- Turn on the oven and set it to 375° F.
- Use a parchment paper to line the sheet pan.
- Combine baking soda, sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.
- Add in the butter and blend it in using an electric mixer.
- Using a fork, beat the eggs, buttermilk, and orange zest in a separate bowl
- Gradually add this mixture to the flour while the mixer is running.
- Turn off the mixer and add in the currants.
- Dump this mixture onto floured surface and knead it to form a loaf.
- Place this loaf into the pan, carve an X shape onto the top, and bake it for 55 minutes.
- To test the bread, slide in a toothpick and see if it comes out dry.
- Your Irish soda bread is ready!
Colcannon Shepherd’s Pie
This recipe combines two of the best Irish dishes: thick gravy of potatoes and cream and the good ol’ shepherd’s pie. This recipe was invented in the 1700s when Irish housewives had no idea what to do with leftovers. To make a completely new dish with the day-old lamb, they would use gravy of potatoes called “colcannon” and place vegetables and meat in between. This became an Irish specialty and one of their best comfort foods. A traditional dish such as this requires an elaborate setting, so why not get some green table linens for St. Patrick’s Day and create a beautiful setting by lighting some candles along with some peat turf incense.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: 1 teaspoon
- Ground lamb: 1 ½ pounds
- Pinch ground pepper and kosher salt
- Medium sized onion: 1 (chopped)
- Carrots (cut into coins): 4
- Tomato paste: 2 tablespoons
- Worchester sauce: 1 tablespoon
- Unbleached all-purpose flour: 1 tablespoon
- Low-sodium chicken broth: 1 ¾ cup
- Chopped parsley: ¾ cup
- Frozen peas: 1 cup
- Yukon Gold Potatoes: 2 ½ pounds (sliced)
- Pinch ground pepper and kosher salt
- Savoy cabbage: 5 cups (sliced)
- Extra-virgin olive oil: 1 tablespoon
- Warm whole milk: 2/3 cup
- Unsalted butter: 4 tablespoons
- Cooked bacon: 1 cup (finely chopped)
- Turn on the oven and set it to 375° F.
- In a large skillet, cook the lamb in oil and salt for 9 minutes. Break the meat into small pieces and transfer it into a bowl.
- Leave 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet and add carrots and onion, season with salt, and cook for 8 minutes until the vegetables have turned golden.
- Add in the tomato paste and cook for 30 minutes.
- Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Place the lamb again in the skillet and pour in all the juices.
- Add the chicken broth, Worchester sauce, and pepper.
- Set the mixture to boil and then reduce the heat to allow the meat to cook for 2 minutes.
- Place the meat and vegetables into a baking dish, pour in the gravy, and stir in parsley and peas.
- Place the potatoes in a pot, cover them with water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and allow the water to boil.
- Reduce heat and let the potatoes cook for 15 minutes.
- Drain the water and return the potatoes to the pot.
- Add in oil, cabbage, and salt.
- Use a potato masher to break the potatoes and then add butter and milk into the mixture.
- Keep mashing until the potatoes are creamy.
- Add in the bacon and season with pepper and salt.
- Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
- Lay down a layer of the Colcannon, place the beef mixture in the middle, and add another layer of Colcannon.
- Bake for 35 minutes and then cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Your St. Patrick’s Day Colcannon Shepherd’s Pie is ready!
The first cup of the Irish coffee was served to an American at an airport in the 1940s. A young chef named Joe Sheridan was the one who created this hot beverage to keep the guests warm. An international traveler tried to replicate the coffee, but had no success. It was then that he decided to hire Joe for the job. Ask any bartender and they will tell you that the secret to giving this beverage that unique taste and spike is freshly ground coffee.
- Demerara Sugar Syrup: 1 tablespoon
- Powers Gold Label Irish whiskey: 3 tablespoons
- Hot filtered coffee: 8 tablespoons
- Whipped heavy cream: 2 tablespoons
- Fresh nutmeg (grated)
- Demerara Sugar Syrup
- Granulated Demerara sugar: 2 cups
- Water: 2 cups
- For the Demerara syrup, combine the two ingredients in a pan and put it on medium heat.
- When the syrup reaches a thick consistency, turn off the heat and let it cool.
- Pour the syrup in a bottle (you can use this syrup for at least 2 weeks).
- Combine all the ingredients except for the whipped cream and nutmeg in a tall Irish glass.
- Once all the ingredients have dissolved, top with whipped cream and sprinkle the nutmeg.
Chewy Irish-Coffee Blondies
When it comes to making Irish desserts, it’s all about the coffee and whiskey. Here’s a little treat for coffee lovers to snack on while watching the rest of the parade on TV.
- Unsalted butter: 2 sticks
- All-purpose flour: 2 cups
- Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
- Baking soda: ¼ teaspoon
- Light brown sugar: 2 cups
- Freshly ground coffee: 3 tablespoons
- A pinch salt
- Slice almonds: ½ cup
- Vanilla extract: ½ teaspoon
For the Glaze
- Irish whiskey: 2 tablespoons
- Melted butter (warm): 1 tablespoon
- Confectioner’s sugar: ¾ cup
- Turn on the oven and set it to 350° F.
- Line a baking pan (9 by 13 inch) with parchment paper and butter it lightly.
- In a bowl, add the baking soda, baking powder, and flour.
- Melt butter in the microwave and mix in the ground coffee, brown sugar, and one teaspoon salt.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and the eggs.
- Now, add the flour mixture gradually until all the ingredients have fully combined.
- Pour the mixture in the baking pan, sprinkle with almonds, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Set the pan on the counter and allow it to cool down.
- In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, whiskey, and butter and whisk until the glaze becomes thick.
- Drizzle the glaze on top (allow the glaze to dry for 1 hour)
Cut the blondies into squares and serve with ice cream or a hot cup of Irish coffee!
So there you go—five amazing Saint Patrick’s Day food and drink recipes that you can make to wow your guests. Don’t forget to set the table with a green tablecloth from Bright Settings and some Irish family keepsakes to celebrate this joyous event.