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A Bevy of Beguiling Irish Dishes for St. Patrick’s Day

A Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all! While for most people who think of Irish cooking as simply corned beef and cabbage and nothing more, I can tell you there are a lot of great Irish dishes you can try beyond that typical meal. There are some great meals you can choose from all over the Internet and I have posted a lot of Irish recipes on here, being he good Irish boy that I am. I have always wanted to see the cuisine beyond the corned beef and when Michelle and I went to Dublin we got to see, smell and taste a lot of different things. So if you are looking for some things to try this St. Patrick’s Day, here are some Irish meals I have posted on the blog that you can check out, including the classic corned beef and cabbage.

Beef and Barley Broth

Irish Cream and Coffee Cookies

Irish Onion Soup

Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Irish Mussels in Guinness Cream Sauce

Beef & Guinness Stew

Guinness Chocolate Truffles

Traditional Irish Stew

Guinness Brown Bread

Blood Pudding

Lemon Tart

Irish Coffee

Irish Spiced Beef

Corned Beef and Cabbage in the Pressure Cooker

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Colcannon

Guinness Mustard

Grasshopper Pie

Homemade Shamrock Shake

Potato and Leek Soup

Irish Soda Bread

There are also lots more great recipes out there on the Internet that you can check out from some great sources if you are looking for something a little different. I will be making the corned beef and cabbage in the pressure cooker, along with some Colcannon, cabbage and the brown bread. Of course there will be Guinness and Irish coffee later on as well.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more great recipes. Until then enjoy the rest of your day, have a happy St. Patrick’s Day and enjoy your meal!

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St. Patrick’s Day Leftovers

What do I do with all these leftovers from the St. Patrick’s Day feast? It may seem like a daunting task, but an easy thing to do with some of the items is to make breakfast for dinner. my family loves Corned Beef Hash, and it’s very simple to make. I use my cast iron frying pan for this one. It helps put a great crust on the hash, which is the best part of the hash, if you ask me.

Corned Beef Hash

1/2 stick butter

2 cups small diced yellow onions

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 1/2 pounds corned beef, cooked and diced

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, blanched and diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large oven-proof skillet or cast iron frying pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and corned beef. Continue to saute for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using the back of a large spoon or spatula, pack the mixture firmly into the pan. Place the pan in the oven. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and a crust forms on the bottom of the hash. Remove from the oven and serve.

You can use the leftover corned beef and any leftover boiled potatoes you may have to make this dish. It goes very nicely with eggs over easy or poached eggs. Another use for any leftover boiled potatoes would be to make some home fries, which would also go well with the corned beef hash. if you don’t have any leftover potatoes, I have included making the potatoes in the recipe itself.

Home Fries

2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped fine

Salt and pepper

In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss the potatoes with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the bowl (without removing the plastic wrap) to re-distribute the potatoes every 3 minutes. Carefully remove the plastic wrap, transfer the potatoes to a colander, and drain thoroughly.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes to the skillet and using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, distribute them evenly over the pan. Cook undisturbed until the potatoes are golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn the potatoes to ensure even browning and add the onion to the skillet. Continue cooking, turning the potato and onion and mixture every few minutes, until the potatoes are well browned and the onion is softened, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

If you want to make the home fries a little spicy, you can add some red pepper and jalapeno to the pan with the onion, and then toss in some chili powder, cumin and cayenne for a little kick. You could also add some paprika to the dish instead for some flavor and color.

I am using the leftover Colcannon and simply making some Colcannon Cakes. I form the leftover Colcannon into cakes, much like you would make potato cakes with leftover mashed potatoes, and saute them in some butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Turn after about 5 minutes to make both sides a golden brown, and they are all done.

You could also saute the leftover cabbage with some onion, salt and pepper and have it that way, or you can make another dinner out of it on its own and follow a recipe I previously posted for cabbage and noodles.

Finally today, I have next week’s meal plan all set and I think it’s a good one. If you want to follow along and use your own meal plan for laying out your cooking and shopping plans, you can print out a meal plan right here:family_meal_planner.

Monday – Chicken and Dumplings in the slow cooker. This is our slow cooker meal this week.

Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs. Since we didn’t get to it last week, we’ll try again this week.

Wednesday: We have two recipes for our meat-free day of the week, Cheese Ravioli and Macaroni and Cheese.

Thursday: Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Friday: Baked Tilapia, Brown Rice, and Corn

Saturday: We won’t be home Saturday, so I have that down as a free day right now.

It should be a good week of dinners; none are too labor intensive and all should be tasty. If you have any questions or comments or there is a recipe you would like to see or one you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment, visit my Facebook page or send me a message on Twitter. Until tomorrow, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Breakfast, Cooking, Dinner, Meal Plan Menu, Potatoes

 

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A St. Patrick’s Day Feast

Okay, so here we go with today’s menu. I do tend to go a little bit overboard on St. Patrick’s Day, but that’s okay. We have a lot of recipes to use today so let’s get right into it. I am making two corned beefs today and am going to make each a different way. The first one will be made in the pressure cooker and done in 45 minutes, while the second will be slow cooked in a low temperature oven for 4-5 hours.

Corned Beef  and Cabbage in the Pressure Cooker

1 (4 to 5 pound) corned beef brisket, rinsed

4 cups water

1 head of cabbage, cut into 4 wedges

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

Place the corned beef in a pressure cooker and cover with 4 cups of water (or more if needed). Allow the pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then cook at full pressure for 25 to 30 minutes. Bring the pressure down; after the pressure has come down, open and add the cabbage and carrots. Cover and return to full pressure and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the corned beef is fork tender. Remove the meat from the pressure cooker and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables and transfer to a serving platter. Slice the corned beef across the grain and serve.

I always make corned beef in the pressure cooker since it allows me to cook it in under an hour. This way I can cook one whenever I feel like it instead of just one day a year, or to make one to use for corned beef hash (tomorrow’s recipe). The next method is a little closer to traditional, although I personally have never liked just cooking corned beef in a pot on the stove. The meat comes out salty and dry and with not much flavor to it (that little flavor packet they give you does nothing to add flavor) and the vegetables, when cooked with it are usually very mushy. This method in the oven works better and tastes better, and it allows you to cook potatoes, cabbage and carrots in stages in the same pot while the meat rests after the fat has been strained from the cooking liquid.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

1 (4 to 5 pound) corned beef brisket, rinsed, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water

8 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 onion, peeled and quartered

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

1 teaspoon whole allspice

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes

1 head green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges

Pepper

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the beef, broth, water, 4 chopped carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme and allspice in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake until a fork slips easily in and out of the meat, about 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

Transfer the meat to a baking dish. Strain the cooking liquid through a strainer into a large bowl, discard the solids, and skim the fat from the liquid. Pour 1 cup of the cooking liquid over the meat. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and let it rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, return the remaining cooking liquid to the Dutch oven, add the butter, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and simmer until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the 4 remaining chopped carrots and the cabbage, cover, and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter and season with pepper to taste. Transfer the beef to a carving board and slice. Serve with the vegetables.

Two quick points about this recipe: use a flat-cut corned beef, not a point-cut; a flat cut is more uniform in shape, cooks more evenly and isn’t as tough a cut as a point-cut. Second, when you cut the cabbage into wedges, leave the core intact. This will keep the cabbage from falling apart while it cooks.

Another side dish for corned beef that incorporates cabbage and potatoes is the traditional dish of Colcannon. it’s an old Irish peasant dish that literally comes from the Gaelic word for white-headed cabbage. In an old Irish custom, the cook would bury charms or coins in the dish, foretelling good luck or wealth, probably in a way to get the children to eat their vegetables. I’ll skip the burying of the coins and charms and just cook the dish myself.

Colcannon

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

3/4 cup milk

4 bacon slices, cut into a 1/2-inch dice

4 shallots, thinly sliced

1 large leek, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise, rinsed well and thinly sliced

1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped

1 small head napa cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped

1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Put the potatoes in a large pot, add water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches and generously salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain well in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and milk and heat until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, 8 to 10 minutes.

Set a potato ricer over a large bowl and press the potatoes through in batches. Fold in the milk mixture in two additions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and set over a large saucepan of barely simmering water to keep warm.

Heat a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pot. Return the pot to medium heat, add the shallots and leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and toss just until wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and toss until tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the mace and the bacon, and season with salt and pepper. Stir the potatoes into the cabbage mixture and serve warm.

I always serve corned beef with some mustard, and I found this recipe for Guinness mustard at Bon Appetit’s website. It sounded really good, so I am giving it a try.

Guinness Mustard

1/2 cup coarse-grained Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons regular Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Guinness stout or other stout or porter

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon golden brown sugar

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Now, on to some dessert. I don’t make dessert often, but this recipe for Grasshopper Pie sounded perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. There’s lots of mint in this one, so I think it will be a good one.

Grasshopper Pie

16 Oreo Mint n’ Creme cookies (with filling), broken into rough pieces

3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

3 large egg yolks

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

Pinch table salt

1/4 cup green creme de menthe

1/4 cup white creme de cacao

For the crust, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grind the cookies in a food processor to fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with butter, and toss well. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate and refrigerate the crust until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake the crust until set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Combine the gelatin, sugar, 1/2 cup of cream, and salt in a medium saucepan and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Cook over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture is very hot but not boiling, about 2 minutes. Whisking vigorously, slowly ass the gelatin mixture to the egg yolks. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the creme de menthe and creme de cacao. Pour into a clean bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until wobbly but not set, about 20 minutes.

Beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream with an electric mixer to stiff peaks. Whisk 1 cup whipped cream into the gelatin mixture until completely incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold the gelatin mixture into the remaining whipped cream until no streaks of white remain. Scrape the mixture into the cooled pie shell, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours and preferable overnight. Serve, topped with chocolate curls.

Okay, we have had corned beef and cabbage, side dishes, and dessert. Now how about some beverages? There’s two that I really like any time, not just St. Patrick’s Day. I make my own version of Irish Coffee and I think it tastes pretty good, so we’ll go with that first.

Irish Coffee

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 shot Kahlua

1 shot Jameson’s Irish Whiskey

8 ounces hot coffee

Whipped cream

1/2 teaspoon green creme de menthe (optional)

Fill an Irish coffee glass or coffee mug with hot water to warm the mug. Empty the water, then place sugar, Kahlua and Jameson’s in the glass. Pour coffee into the glass and gently stir. Top with whipped cream and creme de menthe, if desired.

Traditional Irish coffee doesn’t use the brown sugar, Kahlua or the creme de menthe. I like the flavor the brown sugar adds over white sugar and the Kahlua adds a nice toasted coffee flavor to the mix. The creme de menthe is really for show more than anything else.

Another favorite, of course, is the Black and Tan. There’s really no recipe here; you can use any stout and ale you like. I choose Guinness and Harp or Guinness and Bass Ale all the time, but take what tastes best to you. Just pour in the ale and float the stout on top, and you’re done.

Last, but not least, you need a drink for the kids (and some adults too) and what’s better than a Shamrock Shake? Well’ a homemade one is much better than the sweet one you’ll find at McDonald’s.

Homemade Shamrock Shake

1 pint mint chocolate chip ice cream (you can use vanilla if you want)

1 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon mint extract (a little goes a long way, don’t use a lot)

3-6 drops green food coloring (same with the food coloring, don’t use too much)

Mix all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Other than having some Junior Mint cookies along with dessert (thank you Girl Scouts!) I think you’re probably all set. I hope everyone enjoys their day, no matter what they are doing, and plays safely. Enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dessert, Dinner, Potatoes

 

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