Our Favorite Irish Food to Make for St. Patrick’s Day
We’ve got lamb pies, kale colcannon, and so much more on the menu.
St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, and if you’re planning on hosting friends and family over, we’ve gathered a few of our favorite Irish foods to help you plan a robust menu. The list includes traditional recipes like soda bread and Dingle pies; but we’ve also added a few riffs and Irish-American recipes too, if you want to go the corned beef and cabbage route. Read on for the full spread.
Breads to Bake
Soda bread can be made with or without the addition of caraway seeds and raisins, and we have recipes for both—should you have any leftovers, it makes a tasty bread pudding. We’d also recommend our Irish brown bread, which is made without yeast and therefore, requires no rising time. The latter recipe was developed by Dublin-raised chef Cathal Armstrong, who likes to serve it straight out of the oven with lots of Kerrygold butter and farmhouse cheeses.
All kinds of pies
We have a version of Irish fish pie—typically topped with a white potato puree—that’s swathed with sweet potatoes instead, the perfect foil to the brininess of the fish. The filling is made from cod, shrimp, and scallops, but salmon or mild white-fleshed fish can easily be substituted in for the cod, and shucked clams can take the place of scallops.
Lamb is also popular in Ireland, and you can use it to make a few different savory pies, from chef JP McMahon’s Dingle pies, which are a specialty of the Dingle Peninsula in southwestern Ireland, to a riff on shepherd’s pie with a sweet potato topping and goat cheese.
Hearty stews and soups
Ireland is known for its fresh seafood, and in this chowder, chef JP McMahon packs several different kinds in—mussels, littleneck clams, and your choice of skinless pollock or cod fillets. Dried seaweed also adds a nice salinity. If you’d prefer a meaty stew, our Irish beef stew recipe combines beef chuck, onions, carrots, potatoes, stout beer, and chicken stock for a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal.
Meat and fish mains
Chef Armstrong's simple skillet-roasted lamb loin recipe comes together in just an hour, flavored with herbs, garlic, and shallots. If you’re not a fan of lamb, you can always try McMahon’s Guiness-glazed ham, which takes an Irish ham—a little less salty than American ham, with a thin layer of fat, too—and glazes it in dark stout and brown sugar. Or, go for salmon, pan-fried and topped with a citrus-forward vinaigrette.
Corned beef and cabbage, on the other hand, is an Irish-American staple—the origin stems from Irish immigrants settling in the U.S. and adapting the corned beef sold at butchers and delis. We have a slow cooker recipe to try, along with plenty of ways to repurpose leftovers. (Think corned beef hash with fried eggs and a version of Irish boxty.)
Vegetables to serve
If you’re thinking potatoes, potato boxty, classic potato pancakes, are ready in four steps; you could also prepare colcannon, a mashed potato dish mixed with either kale or cabbage. (We went the kale route.) To round it all out, buttered carrots and cabbage and bacon are options, too.
Bake a Cake
If you want something sweet to round out your meal, this Irish-inspired cake has nutty richness from a dose of porter beer, along with molasses and spices. Whiskey-caramel glaze is the finishing touch.
Get the Recipe: Porter Bundt Cake with Whiskey-Caramel Sauce