I am part Irish and I absolutely adore Irish food – so of course St. Patrick’s Day is a fun celebration around these parts. When you think of St. Patrick’s Day in the US, you more than likely think of green beer and corned beef and cabbage, but do you know the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick’s Day is also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick and is actually celebrated on the day Saint Patrick died. Saint Patrick was responsible for bringing Christianity to Ireland. These festivities include parades, the wearing of shamrocks and green attire, along with wetting the shamrock which is popular in Ireland. In Ireland, a shamrock is put in the bottom of a cup filled with whiskey or cider and then consumed as a toast to St. Patrick – after the drink is finished, you toss the shamrock over your shoulder for good luck.
The Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking are lifted this day and usually include a great feast. Here in the United States, that feast usually includes Corned Beef and Cabbage; but this year, try a different popular Irish meal. Here are two of our favorites to get you ready for March 17th.
- 2 or 3 large carrots
- 2 pounds of peeled potatoes, cut into slices
- Large onion
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 pound pork sasuage
- 8-10 slices of bacon
- Chopped parsley
- Start by browning the sausage and bacon in a frying pan.
- Place half the meat in the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Add half the onions, potatoes and carrots.
- Add another layer of the meat and then vegetables.
- Top with salt and pepper along with parsley.
- Cook at 300 for 2 hours
For dessert, try a traditional Irish Soda Bread or Fruit Loaf known as Barmbrack. Irish Soda bread is super easy and doesn’t require many ingredients.
- ¾ cup self-raising wholemeal flour
- ¾ cup of plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
- Form a well in the center of the mix and pour in the buttermilk, quickly mixing with a fork to form a dough.
- You may need to add extra flour if it is overly sticky.
- Put onto a lightly floured surface and knead the bread lightly.
- Form into a round ball and flatten.
- Place it on a lightly floured baking sheet.
- Cut a cross into the top of the dough and bake for 30 minutes and then allow to cool.