Every year millions of people celebrate the holiday of St. Patrick’s Day. Some go out and party and drink, while others have a traditional family dinner. There is one meal that seems to be the staple meal on St. Patrick’s Day in many families: Corned beef and cabbage. It is served many different ways, with noodles, potatoes, or some other vegetable. While this meal is very yummy there are some other Irish dishes that would mix things up a little bit and would be exquisite for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner.
Dublin Coodle: This dish is rarely seen outside of Dublin, and is a staple among many of Dublin’s pubs. It is a combination of sausage, ham, onions and potatoes. Sounds like a hearty meal doesn’t it? What you do is bring water to a boil and add the ham and sausage for about 5 minutes. Drain the meat, but save the water for later use. Place ham, sausage, parsley in a cooking dish with the vegetables you desire and use enough of the water to cover. Place it in the oven at 300 degrees and cook for about an hour to hour and a half; until the water has reduced. You don’t want your vegetables to be mushy. You can also add in other vegetables like carrots to add some color if you wish. Or even use Guinness for an added kick of flavor.
Irish Stew: There are only 4 ingredients that you need for this meal: potatoes, stewing steak (or lamb), carrots and onions. Having little ingredients helps make this meal low cost and it still tastes grew when it is re-heated the next day or two. It is super easy to make as well. Wash and chop the onions, carrots and potatoes into chunks. Slice the meat into smaller portions, easier to bite into. In a large pot, boil water with the potatoes and meat. Then add in the carrots and onions. Keep it on low and stir occasionally until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. If you do not like onions, no worries, you can make it without onions and with other ingredients like mushrooms. Keep it basic, the more you add the further away from an Irish meal you get.
Hunter’s Pie: Hunter’s Pie is probably one of my favorite dishes to make; it is so good. Many Irish pies use mashed potatoes as the topping rather than pastry. You will need carrot, celery, lamb chops, brown stock or gravy, potatoes, butter and milk. In a skillet, brown the vegetables and place into a oven dish. Then brown the lamb chops and place on top of the vegetables. Boil the stock/gravy and pour over the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes until the chops are tender. Drain and allow the chops to cool down. Reserve the stock, boil the potatoes and mash well with butter. Use half to line a pie dish, and along the sides. Place chops in the dish, season well and top with remaining potatoes. Brush the top with milk and butter. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are gold brown. Bring reserve stock to a boil, just before serving make a hole in top of the pie and pour stock into the hole. Serve the remainder in a gravy boat. Serve with the carrots and green vegetable such as green beans.
Glazed Corned Beef: While there are a lot of different meals to have on St. Patrick’s Day, it does seem like Corned Beef is a tradition for many families. There are many different ways to make it such as glazing the meat. What you will need is corned beef, brown sugar, water, soy sauce, and apricot preserves. Your oven will need to be heated to 350 degrees. Coat a large pan with cooking spray, place the beef in t he dish with water cover tightly with foil and bake for 2 hours then drain the liquid. In a small bowl combine the apricot preserves, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Then spread the mixture over the corned beef. Bake again, uncovered this time for 25-30 minutes until the meat is tender. Slice across the grain and serve. This tastes heavenly! You can use different preserves if you don’t like apricot.
Apple Pie: What meal would be complete without something sweet and delicious for dessert? Apple pie is always a favorite. You will need all purpose flour, cake flour, salt, white sugar, butter, shortening, sour cream, lemon juice, granny smith apples, and an egg. Oven needs to be preheated to 350 and you will need a 9 inch pie pan. Crust: in a bowl combine the flours and sugar as well as the butter and shortening until the crust crumbs are formed (I always struggle with tasting this). Mix in the sour cream and lemon juice. Keep mixing until the dough forms a ball. Wrap the dough ball and chill for 1 hour. After the hour is up, cut the ball in half. Roll it out into 1/8 inch, and place gently into the pan, trimming the edges. Filling: Place apple slices into pie shell. In a small bowl combine sugar, flour, nutmeg mix thoroughly. Sprinkle over the apples. Squirt the lemon juice over the apples and place in the fridge. Roll out crust, remove pie from the fridge and brush with beaten egg. Place second crust on top of the pie, crimp edges. Brush entire top with egg and cut 4 steam slots into it. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
There is a quote from Adrienne Cook stating “St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” It is a beautiful way to describe this day and there are many foods including the ones I mentioned that will help make the transformation possible. A lot of traditions are made with meals on holidays or special occasions, regardless of heritage. The meals listed are great foods and crowd pleasers. Many are easy to make and are cost efficient. Spice up your St. Patrick’s Day or any meal with one of these dishes. ENJOY!