8 Recipes for a St Patrick's day dinner party

Helen Best-Shaw

There’s so much more to Irish food than a plate of dyed green mashed potatoes on St Patrick’s day

Like many other cuisines—including British food—it has emerged from the doldrums and is now vibrant. With world class ingredients, there’s a lot more to Irish food than stew.  

Here are eight recipes that touch on Irish traditions to varying degrees, but each deliver great flavour, all perfect for a St Patrick’s day dinner party! 

 

1. Irish Colcannon with Bacon 

I’m starting with a very traditional recipe: colcannon, a mixture of mashed potatoes and cabbage. I think that the important thing here is not to overcook the cabbage; I prefer it when it still has some squeak, making for a great contrast of textures with the smooth mashed potatoes. This recipe tops the dish with bacon pieces for some extra salty crunch.  

 

2. Triple Whiskey Glazed Corned Beef

 

This recipe can be made in a slow cooker or cooked more quickly on the stove top. Either way, I love the idea of adding some whiskey (with an e) to the beef spices. As this recipe comes from the USA, the recipe author uses a pre-packed corned beef spice mixture, but it’s easy to pull up a recipe, adapt it to your taste and mix your own.  

As always, fresh spices make a big difference. Chuck out those dusty pots lurking at the back of the cupboard!  

 

3. Walnut Crusted Salmon with Guinness Reduction 

A less traditional recipe now, but one using salmon; the West Coast of Ireland is a prolific salmon fishery. Here, the rich oily fish is contrasted with a Guinness reduction, with added crunch from a crust of crushed walnuts. As the photo shows, serve with mashed spuds to soak up all that lovely sauce!  

 

4. Chocolate Whiskey Pot de Crème with Caramelized Whiskey Pears 

Another recipe focusing on Irish ingredients; this one uses whiskey in both the chocolate pot and with the pears. I do love chocolate pots, as well as the idea of offsetting the richness of the chocolate with a bit of lightness of pears that have been fried in a spot of sugar for caramelised edges. Don’t overdo the sugar here, I think!  

 

5. Irish Soda Bread with Whiskey Glaze

The great advantage of traditional soda bread is that there’s no hanging about. Mix the ingredients, form into a loaf shape and bake. Here’s a recipe that makes use of the more cake-like texture of soda bread (because the lack of kneading means the gluten hasn’t developed) by including some dried fruit and topping the loaf—cooked in a baking dish—is a sugary glaze. Perfect with a mug of strong tea!  

 

6. Guinness Irish Beef Stew with Sweet Potato Colcannon

A very traditional recipe now, but I don’t think this collection would be complete without a couple of variations on stew. Trad it may be, but it’s delicious too! This is a rich beef stew with a sumptuous gravy made with Guinness.  

As a dish that’s cooked for up to two hours, this recipe calls for a cheaper cut of meat that incorporates some fat. There’s no need to worry about fat that marbles the meat, as the slow cooking means the fat renders out, but larger layers of fat can be cut off.  

 

7. Irish beef stew

Straight into another stew! This one is cooked in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, and needs only 35 minutes’ cooking time, making it perfect for an evening meal. And as the author notes, it’s better the next day so make a large batch to be enjoyed even more on the second day! I find that with so many casseroles and other slow-cooked dishes, they’re far tastier on the day after they’re cooked.  

 

8. Dark Chocolate Stout Brownies

I’m back to the stout, but going for something a bit sweeter now. Rich, sticky brownies made with your favourite stout—be it Guinness, Murphy’s or Beamish. Or maybe you can spend an enjoyable afternoon in the kitchen testing all three to find out which you prefer?  

 

Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over ten years.   

Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Read more: The best sausage casserole recipe in the world

Read more: Chocolate and Bailey's ice cream bombe


Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter