On St. Patrick’s day, the whole world is Irish! Restaurants and pubs all over the place celebrate with corned beef and cabbage dinners, green beer, Irish music and dancing and parades to commemorate the Saint who banished snakes from Ireland.
To help you with your celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve put together a couple of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day recipes and menus for you.
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Nothing could be easier to make than green beer. Simply take your favorite beer (dark ales and beers will NOT do for this!) and add seven or eight drops of green food coloring to each glass. Stir gently and serve.
Ersatz Green Beer for the kids and teetotallers:
Instead of using beer, use Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider and follow the recipe for green beer.
Green Mashed Taydies
Another simple and fun St. Patrick’s Day recipe is green mashed potatoes.
Skin, slice and boil a half dozen or so medium potatoes. When a fork slides very easily into the potatoes, they are done. Remove from the stove and drain the water out. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, adding butter, cream, salt and pepper to taste. Once the potatoes are about halfway mashed, add in several drops of green food coloring. It’s best to spread this around, dropping some here and some there. Keep mashing. If the potatoes are not as green as you would like them, just keep adding food coloring, six or seven drops at a time, then mashing and stirring until your potatoes have reached that gorgeous shamrock green color we all love so much!
Corned beef and cabbage
There are two ways to make an excellent corned beef and cabbage dinner. One is to buy a prepared corned beef brisket at the grocery store and add your vegetables, the other is to prepare the corned beef yourself. Here is my St. Patrick’s Day recipe for making a heavenly corned beef and cabbage dinner, the easy way:
- One corned beef brisket from the meat department of your grocery store
- The packet of seasonings that is included with the brisket
- One large head of green cabbage, cored and sliced into six or eight wedges
- Six large peeled carrots, sliced
- Eight large potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks approximately 2 inches in all dimensions
- Two large onions, peeled and quartered (Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
I prefer to use a crock pot for this recipe, but you can do it on the stovetop as well. Just watch it carefully to ensure that it doesn’t burn!
Place the potatoes, carrots, and onion. Sprinkle about half of the seasoning packet over the vegetables.
Lay the corned beef brisket over the veggies, and sprinkle the remaining seasoning over the meat, rubbing it in gently with your fingertips.
Add enough water to cover the meat, plus half an inch.
Turn the crock pot on to low and cook for five to six hours, until the meat flakes when you pull at it gently with a fork, and the root vegetables are soft. At this point, lay the cabbage over the top of everything and cook for an additional 45 minutes, until the cabbage is slippery and soft.
If doing this on the stovetop, put half of the vegetables at the bottom of the pan, then the meat. Then add the remaining vegetables and seasoning packet and enough water to cover everything, plus two inches. (A fair bit of water will simmer off, so start with more than you need!) Bring the pot to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover the pot. Stir every ten to fifteen minutes, making sure to lift the brisket. How long to cook it really depends on the size of your brisket. A good rule of thumb is two to three hours, but check the meat and vegetables for doneness with a fork every half hour or so. When the meat is flaking with a fork, lay the cabbage on top of everything and cook for an additional twenty minutes until soft and slippery.
An excellent dessert to go with your meal would be Barm Brack, a sweet bread made in a bread machine heavily loaded with fruit.
If you aren’t feeling like making a Barm Brack, you can’t go wrong with a white cake decorated with green frosting, or vanilla pudding colored with green food coloring with white and orange jelly beans mixed in to represent the colors of the Irish flag. Another idea is to purchase a ready made angel food cake, frost the top with white icing, trim with green icing, and sprinkle orange and green jelly beans across the top.
And of course, finish off the meal with good hot Irish coffee! Just add Bailey’s Irish Cream to your favorite coffee, and perhaps just a touch of extra cream. For the children, you can serve hot cocoa with a sprig of mint to add that green touch!
I hope that these St. Patrick’s Day recipes help you to celebrate in fine Irish style!
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