Irish or not, the world goes green on St Patrick’s Day. And this year, we expect it to shine even brighter after the lockdowns of 2021, which forced hospitality to close. The Irish don’t need much of an excuse to party, but it does help that this year St Patrick’s Day falls on a Thursday (March 17th) – close enough to the weekend that everyone wants to get involved.
You don’t need to paint the walls with shamrocks but there are a few things you can do to bring a little Irish charm to your restaurant or cafe. It could be a St Patrick’s Day playlist, a green-coloured cocktail, an offer on Guinness, or even a special menu for the day with some Irish classics.
To give you some St Paddy’s Day inspiration here are five delicious recipes:
- 420ml buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 530g all-purpose flour, plus more for your hands and counter
- 3 tbsp (38g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 70g unsalted butter, cubes and cold
- Optional: 1 cup (150g) raisins
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). You can either use a lined baking tray or a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet or dutch oven.
- Whisk the buttermilk and egg together and set aside.
- Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers, mix in the cubed butter.
- Once fully combined, stir in the raisins if using.
- Pour in the buttermilk/egg mixture.
- Gently fold the dough together until the dough is too stiff to stir.
- Pour crumbly dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
- With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can, then knead for about 30 seconds or until all the flour is moistened – If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared skillet/pan/tray.
- Using a very sharp knife, score an X into the top and then place in the oven.
- Bake until the bread is golden brown – about 45 minutes.
- If you notice heavy browning on top, loosely cover the bread with aluminium foil.
- Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm with butter or alongside a stew (especially if omitting the raisins).
BEEF & GUINNESS STEW
Ingredients: Serves 6-8
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 pounds of shoulder of beef, cut into chunks
- 12 pearl onions
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 bottle (500ml) Guinness
- 150ml beef stock (add more if required)
- 3 large carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 pounds of new potatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Salt and pepper
- Start by searing the beef.
- Generously season the beef with salt and pepper then heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large stockpot over high heat.
- Add half of the beef to the pan and sear, flipping the beef only once it has developed a good brown sear on the bottom.
- Transfer the beef to a clean plate. Repeat until you have seared all the beef.
- Reduce heat to medium-high and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the stockpot.
- Sauté garlic in the leftover oil and beef juices.
- Add the flour and cook it out for about a minute.
- Now add in the tomato puree and cook out for a further 30 seconds.
- Add the Guinness, making sure you scrape all the brown bits that have stuck to the bottom.
- Now add in the rest of the ingredients: carrots, onions (whole), potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and the beef – as well as any juices that have accumulated.
- Cover the pot and simmer on low for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beef is completely tender and the potatoes are soft.
- Taste and season.
- Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or some fresh thyme – with a slice of Soda bread on the side.
CREAMY KALE AND BACON COLCANNON
Ingredients: Serves 6-8
- 6 large russet potatoes (or similar), peeled and boiled
- 6 spring onions, chopped finely
- 120ml milk (you could use cream if you want to make it more rich and indulgent)
- 8oz kale, chopped and steamed
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 strips bacon, fried until crisp
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- In a pan, simmer on low heat the milk or cream with the spring onions, and seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil then add the chopped, steamed kale, and 2 tbsp of butter.
- Add the milk mixture to the pan with your already cooked potatoes and beat until smooth, with no lumps.
- Fold through the crispy bacon, crumbled into pieces, saving a little for the top.
- Serve with fresh parsley, an extra bit of butter, and some bacon.
AFFOGATO WITH AN IRISH TWIST
Ingredients: 1 portion
- 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream
- 1 shot of espresso coffee or cold-brew coffee (about 50-75ml)
- 35ml Irish whiskey or cream liquor (like Baileys)
- 1 tsp of chopped walnuts
- Scoop your vanilla ice cream onto a tray and then freeze (this will speed up service).
- Lightly toast your chopped walnuts.
- Put together your Affogato by placing a scoop of the vanilla ice cream in a glass, then pour over the whiskey, followed by the shot of coffee, then top with the toasted walnuts.
- Serve immediately.
GUINNESS CHOCOLATE PUDDING
Ingredients: Serves 4
- 200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), roughly chopped
- 150g unsalted butter, plus extra for the ramekins
- 90g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 90ml Guinness or a similar stout
- Clotted cream or thick double cream, to serve (optional)
- Butter four 9 x 5cm ramekins and set aside.
- In a heatproof bowl, add the butter, chocolate, and a generous pinch of salt.
- Set over a small pan of simmering water and stir until melted, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.
- Place the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl, and beat with an electric whisk until pale. They should almost double in volume.
- Gently fold in the melted chocolate and the Guinness.
- Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, then chill in the fridge for 1 hr.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and put a baking tray on the top shelf to heat up.
- Place the ramekins on the hot baking tray and bake for 18 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to stand for a minute.
- Serve with a spoonful of cream – you could whisk in a little Irish Whiskey, if you like, as well as a sprig of fresh mint. Strawberries / fresh fruit optional.