A true taste of Ireland for St Patrick's Day

Posted on: 10 March 2010 by Mark O'haire

Pour yourself a glass of stout, and serve up a hearty feast to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

Hearty feast to celebrate St Patrick's DayIn memory of the famous saint who spent years in slavery before escaping to become a missionary, we’ve put together a collection of the finest Irish feats to keep you busy this St Patrick’s Day, including the obvious pint of Guinness to wash it all done.

This stout is one of Ireland's best gifts to the world of food and drink, and now the company has come up with a new concept: Guinness Marmite, made from the yeast extract from Guinness. The idea is that you spread it on thick toast to line your stomach before you go out and start drinking the stuff.

Much of Ireland's cooking tradition revolves around pork, bacon and healthy root vegetables. Although these may seem like dull starting points for a good meal, there are lots of tasty dishes you can knock up from these earthy and simple flavours, including famous potato dishes like boxty, champ and colcannon, all of which make a good base for a starter or main course.

If you want to celebrate the spirit of St Patrick, here are a few recipes that you could cook up on the 17 March.

Blueberry Scones                      

Makes: approx 8


  • 50g Blueberries
  • 175g (6oz) SR Flour
  • 55g (2oz) Oatbran
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 55g (2oz) Low Fat Margarine
  • 25g (1oz) Caster Sugar
  • 7 tbsp Semi –skimmed milk


  1. Pre Heat the oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas No 7
  2. Put all the ingredients into a bowl & mix to a soft dough.
  3. Lightly knead & roll out to 1.25cm (1/2”) thick, cut out 6.25cm (2”) rounds.
  4. Put on a baking tray & cook for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Serve with some low fat spread & reduced sugar strawberry or raspberry or jam.

(From www.seasonalberries.co.uk)

Roast Irish beef with roast potatoes, onions, carrots & Yorkshire puddings


  • Topside of Irish beef, big enough to provide plenty of leftovers (approx 2.5kg)
  • Floury potatoes eg: King Edward
  • Red onions
  • Carrots
  • Beef dripping
  • Bay leaves
  • Rosemary
  • Salt and pepper

Roast beef & trimmings:

  1. Pre- heat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4
  2. Peel the potatoes, carrots and onions and cut into large pieces.
  3. Put a roasting pan in the oven to warm with a nob of dripping for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile dry the beef well with kitchen paper and season well.
  5. Take the roasting tin from the oven and carefully place the beef in the hot fat with a bay leaf or two under it.
  6. Time the roast - 35 minutes per Kg for rare. Baste well and return to the oven. Repeat basting throughout roasting.
  7. Meanwhile parboil the potatoes until just done, drain and then give them a good shake in the pan to break them up a bit (this helps to make them crispy)
  8. Heat up a separate pan with a tablespoon or 2 of dripping from the beef pan and add the potatoes 45 minutes before the beef is cooked.
  9. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary and baste well before returning to the oven. Baste occasionally.
  10. 30 minutes before the beef is cooked, add the carrots and red onions to the pan and baste well. This is a good time to remove the excess fat and meat juices from the pan, leaving enough in the pan to baste the beef and vegetables.
  11. The meat juices can then be separated from the fat and reserved to serve with the roast.
  12. Remove the roast beef when done and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before carving.
  13. By then the potatoes and vegetables should be cooked.
  14. Remove vegetables from the oven and put them onto serving dishes with a slotted spoon.
  15. Rescue any meat juices from the roasting pan, then pour off the fat.  Splash some red wine into the pan and heat gently on the hob, using a wooden spoon to dissolve the cooked pan juices into the wine.  Add these to the meat juices and reheat to serve with the beef.

Yorkshire pudding batter:


  • 110g plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2 medium eggs , beaten
  • 290 ml milk


  1. Small Yorkshire puddings take about 20 to 30 minutes;
  2. Put all ingredients in a liquidiser or processor and blend till smooth.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes before using
  4. Preheat the Yorkshire pudding tin with about 3mm of dripping in each section, take out of the oven and carefully pour the batter into the hot fat to a depth of about 1cm, return to top of the oven and bake until  golden brown and well risen.

Leftover Sunday Roast - Irish beef pies

Makes: 4 individual pies


  • Short crust pastry
  • 340g plain flour
  • 150g margarine
  • 3-4 tbs cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg for glazing
  • Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl
  • Cut the margarine into small pieces and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
  • Add enough water to mix to a soft dough.
  • Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge.


  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic - crushed
  • 350g-400g cooked beef (from Sunday roast)
  • 350 ml beef stock
  • 1-2 tbs of plain flour (depending on how thick you like your gravy)
  • Left over vegetables
  • 30g butter


  1. Fry onion and garlic in the butter then add the beef. Next add the left over vegetables and stock
  2. Mix the flour into a paste with a little cold water, add to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Season and leave to cool.
  4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to make a pie case and lid.  Cut four cases to fit four small/individual greased baking tins.
  5. Leave the pastry lid to one side.
  6. Fill with the beef mixture and then drape a pastry lid over them. Trim the excess and pinch around the edge. Make a hole in the centre to let out the steam.
  7. Place on a baking tray and cook at 180º fan (gas mark 4) for 35-45 minutes.

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