If you have been with us for a while, you may remember me saying that I have a great grandmother from County Kerry, Ireland. Her cultural heritage shines through me with my love of oats, potatoes, butter, and stews, and my enjoyment of Irish folk music and Celtic art!
I love to honor my Irish heritage through food and celebration on St. Paddy’s Day! This year it’s on a Sunday which means we will be feasting all day on our favorite Irish foods–and probably an Irish stout or two.
Irish Beef Stew
My husband said to me the other day that he could eat beef stew every day. Now I know this isn’t completely true, but I understand his point—he LOVES beef stew and so do I!
This version is prepared in a slow cooker and simmered for 8 hours creating a rich and flavorful broth, meat that is tender, and veggies that are perfectly cooked. The Worcestershire sauce helps build umami and the arrowroot/butter paste makes the sauce thick and rich with a silky texture.
I often add mushrooms which aren’t traditional in beef stew, but they are mighty tasty and so good for you! The Irish stout can be left out, just replace with broth. And, if you don’t have arrowroot or tapioca starch, you can use flour instead.
A classic Irish dish that was created by using leftover meat and veggies that are cooked in a gravy and put into a crust of mashed potatoes on the top and bottom. If we are being technical, we call it Shepherd’s pie when using lamb and Cottage pie if using beef.
It is comforting, warming, and can be incredibly diverse in its preparation. I have made the mashed potatoes several different ways: milk, cream, butter, cheddar cheese, goat cheese—any combination of these or use all of them. The gravy has been made with water, broth, flour, arrowroot, tomato paste—again, whatever version you find delicious. And, I have used thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage—whatever is available in my fridge.
What I love about Shepherd’s pie is how easy and quick the meal comes together. It is common to see Shepherd’s pie in our weekly meals during the fall and winter months. I usually add a side of fried cabbage and/or a bowl of cut fruit and we have a perfect week night meal.
Typically, I prepare Shepherd’s pie in a Dutch oven and I only top the meat and veggies with the mashed potatoes. It keeps the number of dishes down to a minimum which helps with clean up.
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of boiled potatoes and kale or cabbage, mashed together and flavored with onion, shallots, or leeks and cream or butter. According to the Smithsonian, Colcannon is a dish served on Halloween. A trinket was cooked inside and whatever trinket you found in your potatoes would predict your future.
I love making Colcannon and serving it up alongside a Reuben or slices of corned beef and a dollop of Dijon mustard. In this recipe, I use kale and parsley to provide a pop of flavor and green color to the dish.
Smoking Goose: Corned Beef
We are offering a limited amount of Smoking Goose’s all natural, fully cooked sliced corned beef. It is made with pasture-raised black angus brisket from Fisher Farms in Jasper, Indiana, and corned by Goose under black peppercorns, coriander, mustard, juniper seed, garlic and bay leaves. No added nitrites or nitrates!
If I don’t just eat the corned beef straight out of the package with a bottle of mustard in my other hand, I love to make Reuben sandwiches with Goose’s corned beef. A Reuben sandwich is corned beef on rye bread topped with Thousand Island dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut. We have some of the most incredible local artisans that produce every single layer of a Reuben sandwich.
Rye Bread: Amelia’s Country Loaf, Cornerstone New York Marble Rye, and Sixteen Bricks Sliced Rye
Swiss Cheese: Organic Valley Baby Swiss
Smoking Goose: Corned Beef
Sauerkraut: Cleveland Kraut Caraway Kraut to keep it traditional, Gnar Gnar for some extra spice, and Whiskey Dill because, hey, it’s St. Paddy’s Day and you know how much the Irish like Whiskey.
I never have Thousand Island dressing in my fridge, so I mix together ½ cup mayonnaise (homemade), 1 tablespoon Dark Star Sriracha, ¼ teaspoon Bourbon Barrel Foods Worcestershire Sauce, ½ teaspoon horseradish sauce, a couple dashes of garlic powder and 1 tablespoon minced parsley in a small bowl and make a spicy Reuben dressing instead. It is to die for!
I make my Reuben’s like I make my grilled cheese—butter one side of each slice of bread and spread dressing on the other side, heat up a skillet over medium heat, add one slice of bread (butter down), then layer with two slices of cheese, a handful of corned beef, and a couple scoops of kraut, then the last piece of bread (butter up). Grill for 5 minutes on each side, using the back of the spatula to smash down the sandwich from time to time. This helps to transfer the heat through the sandwich and get the cheese all gooey and melty over the meat.
Serve the Reuben warm, cut in half, and with your favorite Irish pint! Sláinte!