10 Irresistible Irish Dishes to Soak Up the Booze on St. Patty’s Day
When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, alcohol often gets all the attention. Sure, March 17 is our annual excuse to down green beer after green beer or get wasted on whiskey, but the Irish love to eat, too. Drinking on an empty stomach is always a bad idea, so this year, before you subject your liver to Armageddon, make sure you fill up on some delicious Irish delicacies.
Irish food has several recurring themes: it often includes meat and potatoes, it’s warm and comforting, and it’s easy to make. So before you raise your glass, tuck into one of these 10 incredible Irish dishes, either prepared at home or ordered from your favorite local pub. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be a little less hungover the morning after.
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Full Irish Breakfast
It’s the most important meal of the day – and probably the most delicious. To qualify as "full Irish," your St. Paddy’s Day brekkie must consist of bacon, sausages, and eggs, plus Boxty (Irish griddle cakes). Eat with a cup of tea and you’ll be ready for a day full of drinking.
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Corned Beef and Cabbage
Traditional Irish cooking actually favors pork and potatoes because of the low cost of those items in Ireland, but when Irish immigrants came to the United States, they switched to beef and cabbage – which were cheaper here – instead. Influenced by the offerings of Jewish delis in their neighborhoods, Irish-Americans created the hearty one-dish meal known as corned beef and cabbage.
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This hot, sippable dish is made with lamb or beef as well as potatoes, onions and parsley. It is the No. 1 dish associated with Ireland and one spoonful will show you why.
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Beef and Guinness Pie
A meal isn’t Irish without Guinness, but this dish uses the iconic beer in the cooking process. Made with generous chunks of meat and a golden-crispy pie crust, this is one savory pie you could easily polish off all by yourself.
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Step aside, chicken pot pie. This savory, layered dish involves ground lamb and vegetables cooked in gravy, then topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes before baking.
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This dish is perfect for a chilly St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Simply combine rashers (bacon), pork sausage, potatoes and onions in a pot and let it simmer. It’s like an edible embrace.
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Considered Irish soul food, this dish involves combining buttery mashed potatoes with cooked kale or cabbage and leeks. It’s not only delicious to eat, it has mystical qualities; on Colcannon Night (aka Ireland’s Halloween), a blindfolded, single woman chooses the head of cabbage to be used in making the dish. Whoever prepares the dish hides a ring in one of the bowls. If a woman finds the ring, it means she will likely marry before the next Colcannon Night.
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Irish Soda Bread
This traditional loaf dates back to the 1830s, and was born out of necessity. The ingredients – soft wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and soured milk – were all inexpensive in Ireland at the time. The bread could be cooked in an iron pot or griddle, making it accessible even to poor families. With its dense consistency, hard crust, and slightly sour taste, it’s perfect for soaking up alcohol.
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Also known as “Brack,” this Irish version of fruit cake is a popular baked good leading up to the holidays. Its name means “speckled loaf” because the sweet bread appropriately contains a ton of dried fruit, particularly raisins.
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Irish Whiskey Cake
The Irish love their desserts just as much as Americans do, but those from the Emerald Isle prefer it boozy. So break open a bottle of Jameson, oil up a bundt cake pan, and go to town.
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