St. Patrick’s Day is similar to Oktoberfest in that people in many countries celebrate it regardless of their nationality or religion, and it often involves too much beer. According to World Book Online, St. Patrick is the most commonly known patron saint of Ireland, and the March 17 holiday celebrates the arrival of Christianity in that country. Or, if your world revolves around food as much as mine does, March 17 gives you the opportunity to make corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, colcannon, soda bread and fish and chips. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Growing up I was always served corned beef, cabbage and potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day. I still thoroughly enjoy this meal regardless of the time of year and have made it a few times as an adult. My experimentation with Irish food stemmed from entertaining a friend one St. Patty’s day a few years ago. Instead of the standby, my husband and I decided we should get fancy and sought help from the good ol’ Internet to find new recipes. What we came up with was steak smothered in a flambeed tomato sauce, kale with bacon and mashed potatoes with peas and waaaaay too much butter. I cannot say I went hungry that night. The next year we tried shepherd’s pie, and we haven’t quite settled on what to make this year.
If you haven’t gotten in the Irish mood yet, grab a Guinness, don some green and pick up a copy of Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. And if you’re looking for cooking inspiration, check out one of these Irish cookbooks.
- “The Country Cooking of Ireland” by Colman Andrews
- “Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools” by Margaret Johnson
- “Favorite Food At Home: Delicious comfort food from Ireland’s Most Famous Chef” by Rachel Allen