Get cozy with these Gaelic recipes on St. Paddy’s Day or any day you feel like feasting on a hearty meal. Well known for quality and freshness straight from the garden, these dishes are sure to satisfy. All are low budget and common menu items enjoyed by the typical Irish family.
Recipes and dishes by Mark Coe, chief operating officer, Show Me Food Solutions LLC
Irish Flag Salad
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 25 minutes | Down time: 60 minutes
• 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
• 1 pear, very thinly sliced
• 2 small oranges or 2 mandarins, peeled and divided
• 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
• 6 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
• ¼ cup orange juice
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 teaspoon orange zest
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Whisk the dressing ingredients. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Divide the spinach among six plates, and evenly top with all other ingredients. Drizzle the chilled dressing over the salads, and serve immediately.
This traditional Gaelic fare is sure to please the hungriest crew.
Irish Soda Bread
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 30 to 35 minutes
• 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon for raisins and more for cutting board
• 1 ¼ cups cold and shaken buttermilk
• 2 medium eggs, beaten
• 4 tablespoons sugar
• 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon orange zest
• ¾ cup raisins (or currants)
• ¼ cup honey
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, and mix on low speed with an electric mixer. Add the butter, and continue to mix.
In a separate small mixing bowl, lightly beat the buttermilk, orange zest and egg. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, and mix on low speed for 1 minute.
In a separate small bowl, add the 1 tablespoon of flour to the raisins, and gently mix together with your fingers. Add the raisins into the mixture, and mix for another minute on low speed.
Flour a cutting board, and knead the dough a few times, working it into a round loaf. Place the loaf onto the parchment paper, and using a sharp serrated knife, cut a good-sized “X” into the top of the loaf.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. It will have a dark crusty outer shell with a soft interior and will have a hollow sound when you tap on the loaf. Cool on a rack, and serve warm with honey.
A man is like the bagpipes; he never makes a noise until his belly is full.
— Irish Proverb
Irish Apple Cake
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 35 to 45 minutes
• 3 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
• ¾ cup all-purpose flour
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 1 egg beaten
• 3 tablespoons butter, softened
• ¼ cup chopped pistachios or walnuts
• ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Generously grease a 6-inch square cake pan (or 8-inch for a shorter cake).
In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the nuts, vanilla and egg, and stir well. Add the apple, and then sift in the other ingredients. Mix well.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Irish Shepherd’s Pie
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 50 to 60 minutes
Cheesy potato topping:
• 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
• 1 cup mature white cheddar cheese, grated
• 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
• 3 tablespoons butter
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 ½ pounds ground lamb or beef
• 1 cup garden peas
• 1 cup corn
• 2 carrots, diced
• 2 stalks of celery, diced
• 1 ½ cloves garlic, diced
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ cup beef stock
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large saucepan, add 3 quarts of cold water, 1 teaspoon of salt and the quartered and peeled potatoes. Bring the saucepan to a boil, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft but not mushy. Strain the potatoes, and add them back to the same saucepan. Let them cool while beginning the base.
To a large skillet, add the butter and olive oil, and heat to medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic, and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes, until softened. Add the tomato paste. Stir for 1 minute on the same heat.
Add the ground lamb or beef. Cook until no longer pink, approximately 10 minutes. Strain the entire mixture to eliminate all of the cooking grease. Return to the same skillet.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the peas and corn, and simmer for 1 last minute. Transfer the entire meat/ veggie mixture to a casserole dish.
Add the butter, cheese and cream to the potatoes, and mash to the desired consistency. Using an electric mixer, ensure all of the ingredients are smoothly mixed. Transfer the potato mixture on top of the base, and smooth it out evenly with a large spoon or spatula. Once the entire mixture looks uniform, take a fork and rake it across the potato base. This will create textured peaks to brown nicely.
Place the entire dish in the oven, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until browned. Top with fresh parsley.