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Traditional Irish Dinners to Celebrate St. Patty's

Written by Adrienne Wolter, Community Blogger | Mar 17, 2014 9:23 AM

In America, we all want to claim Irish heritage on St. Patrick's Day, donning emerald clothes, four-leaf clovers, sporting the Irish flag, and chanting, "Kiss me, I'm Irish!"

On this day, we believe in luck, challenge our drinking tolerance, and make singing "tula-lu-ra-lu" down an alleyway look so good. Even drinking a ceremonial Guinness to commemorate the holiday while quoting The Boondock Saints, however cliché it may sound, is on the whole, tradition.

Say you'd like to do something completely different this year. You'd like to forgo the cheap, store-bought, light-up shamrocks and decline admittance in the bar crawl of the century. While it's been fun, you're considering a more traditional approach to this glorified holiday.

In essence, St. Patrick's Day was instated as a feasting day to honor the death of patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. During this day, the Irish celebrated the beginnings of Christianity in early seventeenth century Ireland. For this day only, the restrictions placed on eating and drinking alcohol during the Lenten season were lifted; thus, the emphasis placed on St. Patrick's Day as a famous drinking holiday.

So, why not try celebrating the old-fashioned way and making your St. Patrick's Day focused around feasting? So, maybe you're not a culinary chef. That doesn't mean you can't earn an equivalency degree with these recipes to show off to your friends and family how much you're cooking up surprises in the kitchen. Below are a few great, traditional dishes to get you started.

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Photo by Dov Harrington

Irish Soda Bread is a great part of a traditional Irish meal - green food coloring optional.

Irish Soda Bread

Making its beginnings on the Emerald Isle, this internationally-known recipe is a staple tradition in Irish culture. Contrary to popular belief, Irish Soda Bread was not served thousands of years ago. Bicarbonate in soda was introduced in the mid 1800's; therefore, the recipe originated during this time.

Enjoyed as a part of an appetizer or main course, soda bread mixed well with meats and potatoes. The ingredients were easily accessible in Ireland, and the bread itself could be preserved for about three days. Try this tasty, unique recipe and put a new spin on traditional dinner bread.

Irish Beef and Stout Stew

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Photo by tawest64 on Flickr

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes are a delicious dessert for St. Patrick's Day.

For an easy dish, use your slow cooker to make a savory Irish Beef and Stout Stew. Celebrate the beautifully crafted brews of Ireland and preserve its taste in your own home-cooked stew. Dark stouts and thick beers like Guinness produce the best flavor in these dishes. Just remember, when you cook the stew, the heat and cooking burns up the alcohol and its effects. Thus, it's safe for any age to enjoy.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Known as one of the go-to dishes of Ireland, the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage is a crowd-pleaser. Said to have evolved around the eighteenth century during the time of Irish immigration into the United States, the Irish consumed a lot of corned beef, because it was such a cheap commodity in America.

Full of flavor, this dish needs little spice or seasoning. Allow your beef to soak up the cabbage and garnish with red potatoes. Serve piping hot for a dinner your friends and family will never forget.

Haggis

Be bold and venture into the unknown cooking realm. Don't be thwarted by the idea that this dish is comprised of animal organs. Yes, knowing that fact is often a turn-off. However, ignorance is bliss, because this dish is delicious. At its core, Haggis is a sheep's stomach stuffed with pluck (sheep liver, heart and lungs) and minced with onions, oatmeal and stock.

However, its consistency is quite pleasant and its nutty flavor is satisfying. Have your guests partake in a shot of whiskey to bask in its true flavor and maybe distract them from its description. Go in with the mentality that it's worth trying once.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Okay, so not so much on the spectrum of the traditional, yet this is a fun dessert that prides itself on the holiday's drinking reputation. Named after the commonly requested beverage, Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes features Irish stout, Irish cream and Irish whiskey. Get your sweet fix with these delectably devilish desserts.

Irish Coffee

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Photo by Kenn Wilson

Irish coffee is smooth, creamy, and delicious.

Ultimately, coffee has always been such a great delicacy to enjoy while socializing with others. Traditional Irish culture prides itself on seeing other human beings as "brothers" and family. What's better to savor and socialize than smooth Irish Coffee? This recipe capitalizes on the Irish cream that gives run-of-the-mill coffee an unexpected twist. Serve piping hot.

Digestive Biscuits

To settle the stomach after a heavy dinner, Irish Digestive Biscuits were said to possess antacid properties, because of the sodium bicarbonate included in the recipe. As proper hosts of the Irish culture, these biscuits were offered or displayed on a serving tray for guests to enjoy when needed. Many eat these to cleanse their pallet or digest their large meal. While they are only semi-sweet, they are still enjoyable to eat. Show your hospitality and serve some of these sweet-meal biscuits.

When St. Patrick's Day rolls around, put on your shamrock apron and prepare to cook up something delish this holiday. Enjoy some beautiful Celtic music and a Guinness while working in the kitchen. On this day in America, everyone is Irish. So, feel free to "kiss the cook!"

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