Hosting a St. Patrick”s day party is easy: put on a pot of Irish stew, pop a loaf of Irish soda bread in the oven and break out the Guinness. This hearty fare is perfect for revelers who work up an appetite trying to master the high kicking Irish jig.

On the other hand, if your friends include the O”Malleys and the O”Briens, you”ll want to do more to impress connoisseurs of fine Irish cuisine! When all those around you are coloring the beer with green food coloring and serving pistachio ice cream, you”ll impress everyone with authentic corned beef and cabbage, boxty (potato pancakes) and a fine scallop pie.

Irish Recipes

While many Irish foods use a base of potatoes, cabbage and beef, lamb is often used to make Irish stew. You can prepare a large amount of mashed potatoes in advance to serve as a side dish or quickly fry them with onions while your meat dish is cooking.

Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

(adapted from “corned beef and cabbage” on

Although the Irish prefer ham or bacon in their cabbage dishes, the combination of corned beef and cabbage is popular in America, particularly on St. Patrick”s Day.

Ingredients (serves four)

  • 2 lbs. corned beef
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 carrots quartered
  • 1 rutabaga peeled
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 red onions cut in wedges
  • 10 whole baby potatoes
  • 1 head of green cabbage cut in wedges
  • 1 jar of honey Dijon mustard.

A general rule of thumb is to allot half a pound of corned beef for each guest.

To start, cut “x”s all around the meat and insert the cloves and bay leaves in them. Put the meat in a water-filled pot on the stove. Set to medium heat. Add black pepper and the carrots. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam and reduce to a simmer on low heat.

Simmer for 2-3 hours or until meat is close to tender. Add the rest of the cut vegetables to the pot when the meat has about a half hour left to cook. Cook until meat and vegetables are tender. Drain and serve with honey Dijon mustard.

Sweet Irish Soda Bread Recipe

(adapted from “Irish soda bread” from

While many recipes for Irish soda bread include raisins, sugar, honey and other sweeteners, the authentic version isn”t sweet at all. Nevertheless, because the base of Irish soda bread involves only flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk, the possible variations on the traditional Irish soda bread are endless.

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves)

  • 5 c. all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • ? c. sugar
  • c. honey
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ? tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • lb. butter
  • 1 ? c. gold and dark raisins (soaked in water for 15 min.and drained)
  • 1 c. dried cranberries (soaked in water for 15 min. and drained)
  • 2 ? c. buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten.

Preheat oven to 350?F and grease bread pans with margarine. Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt and baking soda). Add butter and mash together mixture by hand. Stir in raisins and cranberries. Add wet ingredients (honey, buttermilk, and beaten egg) to mixture. Shape dough into two loaves and place in baking pans. Bake for an hour. Prick bread with a toothpick after an hour. If toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done. Place on rack to cool for at least three minutes.

Irish Scallop Pie Recipe

If scallops are in season, buy the large ones (about 2 to 3 per person). Prepare mashed potatoes in advanceabout one pound for every three guests.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 12 large scallops cut into halves
  • 7 large mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ? cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 ? cups of milk
  • 1 1/3 lbs. mashed potatoes.

Preheat oven to 350?F. Lightly saut the scallops and mushrooms in butter and white wine. Remove the scallops from the pan and add the flour gradually to the remaining mushrooms and sauce. Stir to prevent lumps. Slowly add milk to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and mix in the scallops, cut into halves. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top and dot with more butter or spray with liquid margarine. Bake for about 30 minutes or until brown.

Traditional Irish Boxty Recipe

(adapted from “boxty recipe” from

These potato pancakes make a great side dish for corned beef and cabbage or they can be served with other meats such as bacon or sausage. As with the Irish scallop pie, prepare a mound of mashed potatoes in advance.

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 1 c. raw potatoes grated
  • 1 c. mashed potatoes
  • 1 c. unbleached flour
  • 1 c. milk or butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste.

Mix grated and mashed potatoes. Add flour, salt and pepper to the mixture. Mix in two eggs and enough milk so the batter can ooze off the spoon onto a hot griddle. You may have to practice in advance to get the consistency just right.

Cook the pancakes about three minutes on each side. Serve hot with applesauce and sour cream.

Resource (n.d.). St. Patrick”s Day. Retrieved April 15, 2008, from the Fabulous Foods Web site.