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St. Patrick’s Day may be best known for leprechauns and green beer. But St. Paddy’s Day also is a big food holiday: an opportunity to indulge in honest, hearty home cooking with lots of fun, old-world nostalgia. From soda bread to shepherd’s pie, potatoes and Guinness stout cake, here are some essential Irish recipes for St. Patrick’s Day — each one a winner.
Irish Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day: Dinner and Sides
One of the homiest, heartiest dinners of all time. This thick and satisfying skillet shepherd’s pie makes one of the best St. Patrick’s Day dinners around. This is a recipe you’ll turn to again and again.
Green is the official color of St. Patrick’s Day (and spring!), so what better recipe to make than this beautiful fresh pea soup, with mint and chives. This easy soup recipe takes no time to make.
You can’t have an Irish feast without potatoes. This potato side dish may be simple, but it also tastes wonderful. Soft boiled potatoes layered with flavor from olive oil and tons of fresh herbs like dill and scallions.
Irish Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day: Baking + Dessert
Irish recipes on St. Patrick’s Day would not be complete without a loaf of hearty, rustic soda bread. Brown soda bread is the most authentic Irish soda bread, and this one comes folded with millet and raisins for a little extra oomph.
Most people make Irish soda bread with raisins around St. Patrick’s Day. But in truth, this bread should be baked all year ’round. This recipes makes a crusty, tender risen loaf that is still satisfyingly dense, yet not at all heavy. This Irish soda bread is my absolute favorite.
Chocolate layer cake may not have all the St. Patrick’s Day renown as, say, Irish soda bread or shepherd’s pie. But it certainly tastes good — especially with Guinness as the special ingredient. This chocolate Guinness stout cake has all the moist, classic flavor of a great chocolate layer cake, but with an added “something.”
Irish potatoes are neither Irish nor potatoes. And yet, this sweet no-bake confection of coconut, cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar (all rolled in cinnamon) make one of the Philadelphia area’s most beloved St. Patrick’s Day food traditions.
What will you be cooking this St. Patrick’s Day? Share in the comments, below.
Irish Soda Bread (Spotted Dog)
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup golden raisins or sultanas
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk, plus more to brush the top of the soda bread
- 1 egg
- Demerara sugar to top the bread (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and lightly grease a half-sheet pan.
- In a small mixing bowl, pour warm water over the raisins. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes while you mix the dough, then drain well.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir well with a whisk to combine the ingredients and aerate them.
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk.
- Using your fingers, cut the butter into the dry goods bowl until the butter is the size of small peas.
- Create a well in the center of the dry goods. Add the raisins and the egg and buttermilk mixture to the center. Using your fingers, draw the flour into the center and mix the dough together. Be sure to get the flour on the sides and bottom and mix it well, but do not overmix. The dough should look mostly sticky and combined, but shaggy and in clumps.
- Sprinkle a little flour on your hands and the top of the dough, then turn the dough out onto the sheet pan. Shape it into a domed mound. You want the shape to be rounded more than flattened. PRO TIP: Hand sticky and full of dough? The best way to remove it is to put a generous amount of flour on your hands and rub them together. Then wash.
- With a sharp knife, let the fairies out by cutting a deep cross into the dough. Brush the top with a bit of buttermilk. Sprinkle a generous spoonful of demerara sugar on top, if you like.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F, then lower the temperature to 400°F and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until the bottom sounds very hollow when tapped, and everything is a lovely golden brown. Serve warm.