St. Patrick’s Day food is the best part of the holiday. Maybe that is why everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! There are shamrocks and green everything as far as the eye can see. But there’s more to St. Patrick’s Day than green beer. St. Patrick’s Day started as a celebration of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Over the years it has evolved as a day to celebrate Irish culture and traditions, and an excuse for people everywhere to drink a good beer. Whether you are Irish or just Irish for the day, here are 5 foods to help you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the right way.
St. Patrick’s Day Food You Have to Try
1Irish Soda Bread
A simple, but traditionally Irish St. Patrick’s Day food is Irish Soda Bread. Almost every Irish family has a soda bread recipe handed down from generation to generation. It is not an especially sweet bread and usually includes raisins, but some families enjoy it with other dried fruits. If you have never tried soda bread, it has a similar texture to a scone.
It gets its name from the fact that it uses baking soda as the leavening agent – yeast is most commonly used to make bread rise, but in this recipe the baking soda causes a chemical reaction with the buttermilk and does the rising. Soda bread recipes generally include less than 10 ingredients and can be made in less than than an hour from start to finish.
Slice your soda bread and serve it for breakfast or along with dinner in the place of bread or as a less sweet dessert. Just be sure to apply a generous helping of butter to your slice. That is the Irish way to do it.
Read the full recipe at Simply Recipes.
Tip: If you do not have buttermilk you can make your own. For every one cup of milk, add one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and let sit for five minutes.
2Corned Beef and Cabbage
Corned Beef and Cabbage is must-have St. Patrick’s Day food in many Irish-American homes. Although not a tradition in Ireland, corned beef has become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. In Ireland, the St. Patrick’s Day meat of choice is typically ham or bacon. Beef used to be an expensive luxury item that most families could not afford. When many Irish came to America, corned beef was the least expensive available, so it became their go-to meat.
Corned beef is beef brisket that’s been salt-cured or brined. It makes this typically tough cut of meat tender and juicy. Most grocery stores sell the beef with a seasoning packet so you do not have to start from scratch. All you have to do is put the meat and the contents of the seasoning packet in a pot or Dutch oven with a few extra spices and you are good to go. Add carrots, potatoes, and cabbage and you have a full Irish supper perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.
Read the full recipe at Taste of Home.
Another delicious choice for perfect St. Patrick’s Day food is Shepherd’s Pie. A traditional comfort food, shepherd’s pie is a meat pie with gravy, vegetables, and a crust of mashed potatoes. There are all sorts of variations and recipes for shepherd’s pie. It is typically made with either minced lamb or beef. In Ireland and England, the lamb version is called shepherd’s pie while the beef version is called cottage pie. Either way, it is a warm, hearty option for your St. Patrick’s Day dinner.
Read the full recipe at delish.
Tip: You do not have to prepare the mashed potatoes by the recipe (although they are delicious). You can make the mashed potatoes the way you like in place of the recipe’s version and you will still have a delicious shepherd’s pie.
Not common outside of Ireland, Boxty is a delicious Irish tradition. Think potato pancake or hash brown pancake and you have boxty. There are a few ways to prepare it, but the most delicious is to mix grated raw potato with mashed potato and add it to a pancake-like batter before frying it in a pan. Serve it for breakfast with bacon and eggs or as the potato dish for your “meat and potato” dinner. Boxty goes well with just about anything.
Read the full recipe at Chowhound.
Tip: Making boxty is a great way to use up those leftover mashed potatoes in your refrigerator.
This would not be a St. Patrick’s Day food list without Guinness. In 1759 Arthur Guinness moved to Dublin, signed a 9,000-year lease on a building, and started brewing beer. Today, travelers to Dublin can visit the Guinness brewery and attend Guinness Academy to learn how to pour the perfect pint, that signature dark glass of beer with the perfect foamy head on top. Get it right and earn a Guinness certificate.
Guinness has a distinct stout taste. Although it is a dark beer and has that rich thick foamy layer on top, it is not a heavy beer. If you enjoy lighter beers, try Guinness. You will be pleasantly surprised.
If you are not much of a beer drinker, try baking Guinness Cupcakes. The flavor of the beer brings out the chocolate flavor in the cupcakes and makes for a delicious, moist cake. Add the delicious Bailey’s frosting and you have the perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert.
Read the full recipe for Guinness Cupcakes at Genius Kitchen.
This year, instead of donning green mardi gras beads and an orange beard, drinking a green beer and eating green cupcakes, make yourself a real Irish feast. With Irish soda bread for breakfast, a hearty meal of shepherd’s pie for dinner and Guinness cupcakes for dessert, this year’s St Patrick’s day food will be the best!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Now that you have taken care of the food, check out this article on St. Patrick’s Day Crafts.
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Sources: Irish Soda Bread, Favorite Corned Beef and Cabbage, What is Corned Beef?, Shepherd’s Pie, Boxty (Irish Potato Pancake), Guinness: Our Story, The Guinness Academy