As St Patrick’s Day approaches its time to dig out that green jersey and silly headgear for this annual celebration and take time out from WFH to enjoy the fun with your very nearest and dearest (remember to keep to Covid guidelines!). Here are five of our top Irish recipes worth giving a whirl this week,

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Irish Soda Bread

The last year saw many of us baking our way through lockdown, so if you’ve yet to master the art of soda bread, try our foolproof recipe here. It’s easy to whip up, and best of all it’s Free when used at mealtimes. Ever wondered why soda bread has a cross down the centre? In the 19th century, it was believed cutting a cross on top let the devil out while the bread baked. An apt element to your St Patrick’s feast, then.

Traditional Irish Stew

What could be more comforting on a changeable Irish spring day than a hearty beef stew? Packed with flavour, our recipe takes just two hours to prepare and will be just the thing when you come home from parading around your 5km. Although Irish stew (or stobhach gaelach) was traditionally made with lamb or mutton, the concept was about making a filling, flavourful meal from readily available ingredients, namely potatoes, onions and root vegetables. Our version features lean beef, baby potatoes, stock, simple but delicious veg and herbs.

Colcannon

So easy to make and yet it packs a real flavour punch – colcannon is a true crowd-pleaser and our recipe has just 2 bites per serving. With just potatoes, kale or cabbage, spring onions, low-fat butter and pepper, you have the perfect side dish. During the 1600 and 1700’s in Europe and Ireland, potatoes, cabbages, and leeks were considered the food of the common man so it was inevitable that a dish would evolve that combines all the ingredients.  The word colcannon is from the Gaelic term “cal ceannann” which means white-headed cabbage.  It’s a winner!

Boxty Irish Pancakes

For those who’ve yet to embrace the old fashioned boxty, let this St Patrick’s Day serve as the perfect opportunity to try out this delicious potato pancake dish, which is perfect for breakfast, lunch or supper. Topped with a poached egg and wilted spinach, it makes an ideal brunch option, too. Our version takes less than 20 minutes. Native to Leitrim and the North West, the boxty’s origin dates back to before the famine, with its popularity illustrated in this old (and outdated) folk rhyme: “Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan, if you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man”. Our life goals no longer rely on such trivial tasks today, thankfully.

Shamrock Cookies

Okay, not so much an Irish tradition, but our Shamrock Cookies are sure to put a smile on everyone’s faces, and offer a perfect project for the kids to help out with on their day off. If you can’t find shamrock cookie cutters, a simple green biscuit will still offer a bit of good luck (and good vibes). The word shamrock comes from the Irish seamróg, and Ireland’s patron saint is said to have used the shamrock as a metaphor to explain the Christian holy trinity, with each leaf representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three leaves of are also said to stand for faith, hope and love. A fourth leaf on a clover is rare, and therefore “lucky”.

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