The ultimate St Patrick’s Day menu to help you celebrate at home
St Patrick’s Day is coming, but not as we know it. While the event has long been globally appropriated as an excuse to paint ourselves green and down unlimited pints, closed bars will stop revellers celebrating the event in the boozy manner to which they have become accustomed. However, this could be a good opportunity to get a taste of Irish culture with a greater depth of flavour. Here are some of our favourite gaelic-inspired dishes and drinks to see you through the day – and night.
Start your day the best way with these traditional Irish pancakes. A hearty breakfast of boxty, which are made using a combination of mashed potato, shredded potato and flour, will fuel your celebrations whilst also providing a carby base if you do choose to sneak a slug of whisky into your morning coffee. According to the rhyme, “Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan; if you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man”. While we will neither confirm nor endorse its efficacy as a pulling technique, we can guarantee that these pancakes taste great amazing alongside bacon and eggs. Nail your technique with Felicity’s Cloake’s recipe for the perfect boxty.
If you’re a sucker for sourdough, there’s another increasingly popular artisan loaf that might knock your jar of starter off the top spot. Irish soda bread gets its name from the substitution of bicarbonate of soda instead of traditional yeast, which makes it a great alternative for anyone who suffers from bloating. It’s both simple to bake and nutritious: made using only buttermilk, flour, bicarb and salt, the dough is low in saturated fat and high in fibre. Even if you’re not on a health kick, it has a delicious natural flavour that’s great for sandwiches. Add sugar or raisins for subtle sweetness, or go rustic with Clodagh McKenna’s rosemary soda bread recipe.
Sticking with lunch, we’ve also got the perfect accompaniment for your freshly baked bread. While the famous Californian clam chowder is typically served in a hollowed-out sourdough loaf, a slice of soda bread will work perfectly with an Irish seafood chowder. For the best results, you’ll want to use the freshest fish and vegetables you can find. In our opinion smoked haddock is the key ingredient in this creamy seafood soup, while prawns and mussels also make an indulgent addition alongside onions, shallots and fresh herbs. Try out this unbeatable fish chowder recipe from Eric Matthews, head chef at Dublin’s Michelin-starred Chapter One.
Now it’s time to move onto the main event: your St Patrick’s Day dinner. Though you may be tempted by a classic Irish stew, there’s another hearty home-cooked staple that pays homage to succulent Irish lamb (or whatever you can buy in your local supermarket). There’s nothing quite so comforting as a hot shepherd’s pie, and this recipe by Home Cooking Adventure upgrades the dish by cooking the meat in Guinness for a St Patrick’s day twist. It may seem like a simple dish, but if you want to make it a centrepiece for the table you can make your pie fancier by piping the mashed potato on top to create an elegant pattern.
All green colcannon
For the veggies and vegans out there, we also have a great plant-based alternative. While traditional Irish Colcannon is made from a creamy mixture of buttery mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale, this version switches out the dairy for coconut milk, with a splash of Yondu for flavour. It’s completely vegan-friendly but retains that silky texture.
2 Maris Piper (or similar) potatoes, diced (450g)
½ bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
5 spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
230ml coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 tbsp Yondu
- Boil the potatoes for around 15 minutes or until fork-tender; drain and reserve.
- Using the same pot over medium heat, add olive oil and kale and sauté for three minutes. Add spring onions; cook for one minute more.
- Mix in coconut milk and Yondu and bring to a boil.
- Add reserved potatoes and cook for one minute. Turn the heat off and mash with a potato-masher or fork. Garnish with lots of freshly cracked pepper and olive oil.
Chocolate and Guinness cake
Now it’s time for the best part: pudding. We wouldn’t blame you if you skipped the rest entirely, so decadent is Olive Magazine’s Chocolate and Guinness Cake, inspired by a pairing that was first made popular by the iconic Nigella Lawson. If you haven’t tried the combination before, rest assured this dessert ticks all the boxes: rich dark chocolate, creamy icing and plenty of booze. It seems a fitting way to end a meal or even start festivities on St Patrick’s Day, and there might be enough left to feed the family for the week – no promises there though.
An Púca cocktail
We couldn’t conclude our St Patrick’s day menu without an alcoholic sendoff, so to start the night right, here is a colourful cocktail courtesy of Bacardi. This tropical tipple is simple to make and pays homage to the Irish flag, making it the perfect addition to a patriotic spread.
35ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
15ml Real Coco
15ml Lime juice
50ml Pineapple juice
- Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker along with plenty of ice.
- Fine strain into a crushed candy-rimmed glass.