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Celebrate with a true Irish meal

March 15, 2014

In the United States people have a long standing tradition with preparing corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, trying to be just like those in the land of saints and scholars.

Sadly, all of those people don’t realize that corned beef and cabbage is a popular Irish dish, but it is not one that is traditionally served on March 17 in Ireland.

With the stigma of corned beef and cabbage being so popular this time of year in the U.S. it is sure to be on sale in supermarkets everywhere this week, so it might not be a bad choice to decide to prepare that to get in touch with some of your Irish roots.

As far as more traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal recipes, there are many that you may or may not have heard of.

If a traditional Irish meal is what you are planning on having in the coming days, then there is only one place to start: soda bread.

Soda bread is made with baking soda as the leavening agent and can be made with a wide range of flours, and can also include fruit like raisins or dried cranberries. While the Irish are known for having hearty meals, the bread is just the beginning.

A popular side dish similar to mashed potatoes is served as well. It is called colcannon, and is a mashed potato based dish with greens mixed in, like cabbage or kale.

Main courses are usually filled with hearty meats, vegetables and potatoes all rolled into one. Some of those main courses are shepherd’s pie, Irish stew, or a rack of lamb with a side of potatoes of course, to name a few.

Shepherd’s pie can easily be compared to a pot pie with a potato spread acting as the crust instead of the traditional flaky crust that is used in the U.S. With lamb being one of the most common meats in Ireland, it is usually incorporated into many of the dishes served. Specifically, with shepherd’s pie, it is used in a lean ground form with many other ingredients ranging from spices to vegetables to dairy.

Irish stew is a hearty blend of meats, starches and veggies. Allrecipes.com suggests bacon and lamb be used in your stew for a “hearty and traditional lamb stew.” The Irish stew is slow-cooked allowing for all of the meats, potatoes and vegetables to blend together, and whether you use beef or lamb, there is not necessarily a specified meat that need be used.

As you can see, if your dish includes a heavy blend of potatoes and vegetables, and most commonly lamb, then you are set to enjoy a fairly traditional Irish meal.

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