It's St. Patrick's Day, and we can't help but feel the Irish love. We're all about green beer, shamrocks, and leprechauns, but there's a lot more to Irish tradition than the commercialized side of the holiday — especially when it comes to Irish wedding traditions. You don't have to be an Irish bride-to-be to appreciate these sentimental Irish and Celtic traditions, which have inspired some of our most well-known big phrases like "tying the knot" and "honeymoon." See how you can add a little luck o' the Irish to your wedding now!
St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow, and the Irish holiday just wouldn't be the same without a pint of Guinness in hand. You may have mastered the stout's double pour, but what do you know about the history of this legendary beer brand? Take the quiz to find out!
Looking for a less traditional — that is, compared to corned beef and cabbage — way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year? These hearty but daintily portioned Guinness-braised beef stew pot pies are just the ticket. Paired with an Irish brew, whiskey (or both), and a side of roasted vegetables, they make for an appropriately celebratory meal perfect for a casual dinner party.
Admittedly, they're a bit of work, but they're hardly challenging to prepare, just slightly time-consuming as braised dishes are by nature. Just plan ahead so that you and yours can dig into a meal to remember. Come evening's end, I can near guarantee that y'all will leave the table satiated, satisfied, all around jolly, and in the Irish spirit.
Adapted from Sam Sifton
Individual Guinness Beef Pot Pies
For a family-style pot pie, pour the stew into a deep 8-by-8-inch square pan, cover with pie dough, and bake slightly longer, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, this stew can be served without a pastry lid alongside a starchy dish like a potato gratin, just make certain to braise the stew for an extra 30 minutes (since it would cook longer while the pie crust browns).
3 pounds brisket or stew meat, chopped into bite-size pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large red onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
10 mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 sprig rosemary
About 4 cups (2 cans) Guinness or other stout
8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
Sherry vinegar, to taste
1 recipe (2 discs) pie dough
1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Season the beef generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
- Melt the butter in a dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, flour, and another pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and the mushrooms have begun to brown and have shrunk considerably, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a mixing bowl.
- Brown the beef in two batches, transferring the first batch of browned beef to the bowl of vegetables to make space for the second round.
- Pour about half of the beer into the dutch oven and scape up any browned bits with a flat-sided wooden spatula.
- Transfer the vegetables and beef back into the dutch oven, and add the rosemary and enough beer to just cover the beef and vegetables. Put in the oven and cook, covered, for 1-1/2 hours.
- Remove from the oven and stir. Return to the oven and cook for another hour.
- If the stew remains thin, set the pan over medium-low heat, and cook uncovered until the liquid has reduced to a sauce-like consistency. Fold in half of the cheddar and season to taste with salt and sherry vinegar.
- Ladle the stew into eight 8-ounce ramekins, dividing evenly. Sprinkle each stew with the remaining cheddar.
- Roll out pie dough rounds until 1/8-inch thick, divide each round into quarters, and top each ramekin with a piece of pie dough. Trim excess dough leaving an inch border around the rim, tuck the excess underneath itself, crimp with a fork, and make a few slits in the center with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape when cooking.
- Whisk the egg and a tablespoon of water together in a small mixing bowl. Brush the tops of the pie dough with the egg wash. Set the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the dough has crisped up and browned.
- Serve hot, or reheat in a 350°F oven until warm.
German-Irish sexpot Michael Fassbender is my personal favorite Ireland-hailing actor, but there are plenty of steamy Irish lads to share. With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, we got to thinking about other Hollywood hunks with similar Irish blood and that supersexy accent. Some are prim and proper, but others have some serious scruff happening. Whatever your eye candy preference, we've got you covered with some gorgeous actors who hail from Ireland.
No, there are no insects involved in grasshopper pie. We're not sure why this mint-chocolate pie obtained the name it did, but we do know that these mint-green miniature pies are a festive way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The mason jars make it easy to transport the pie; simply screw on the tops and garnish the pies with whipped cream when you're ready to serve.
Crush Oreo cookies to create the chocolate pie crust, and top each jar with a hefty scoop of minty, marshmallowy filling. Garnish the mason jars with a tall peak of whipped cream, a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips, and a mint leaf.
Recipes for green food, whiskey-infused treats, indulgent potato dishes, and other Irish delights abound, but — believe it or not — I'm most partial to an Irish ingredient with humble, hearty origins: oats. So when we received a shipment of three varieties of the Irish grain, my eyes lit up and my stomach immediately began to grumble. A little simmering and stirring later, I sat down to a hearty bowl of each seasoned with naught but a pinch of salt and a pat of butter to let the true texture and flavor of each variety shine. Keep reading to learn which tin (or bag) is right for your morning routine.
From left to right: McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal, Kilbeggan Organic Porridge Oatlets, Flahavan's Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal
McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal
Chances are, if you've had steel-cut oats stateside, McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal was the variety you tucked into. Chewy, dense, and nutty, I consider them to be a standard-bearer of sorts and regularly turn to their gold-bedecked tin when simmering up my morning pot of oats or to add texture to a big batch of baked oatmeal.
St. Patrick's Day isn't until tomorrow, but we've been celebrating all week. If you don't really have a penchant for black and tans, and the prospect of drinking whiskey straight-up isn't really your thing, then consider raising a glass with the Irish Buck.
On first sip, you'll notice immediately that this cocktail manages to highlight all three of its main ingredients: Irish whiskey, ginger ale, and lime juice. The result is a fizzy, boozy drink that's hop-free yet still channels the fighting Irish spirit. Keep reading to get the party started.
Boxty, an Irish potato pancake that translates to "poor-house bread," is like a cross between an American pancake and hashed browns. While it can be served at any meal, including dinner, I think American palates will appreciate it most for weekend brunch. Try topping it with smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and dill fronds to make it a complete meal.
If you're looking to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a big traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage feast, there's just one problem. As it turns out, corned beef and cabbage is not actually a traditional Irish dish. The meal features salt-cured beef, which gets its name from the large "kernels" of salt that covers it during its curing process. But beef was rare and incredibly expensive in Ireland, hardly something that farmers would readily have access to. It was more likely that these boiled dinners would feature some kind of bacon cooked with cabbage.
When the Irish immigrated to the United States, beef was more available and certainly more affordable, and corned beef in particular became an important part of the culture, as it took the place of bacon in the boiled meal. So don't feel disheartened if you had planned to enjoy a boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage on Sunday, because not only is it a part of the Irish-American St. Patrick's Day tradition, but it's also wholesome and full of slow-cooked flavor.
Ireland is known for much more than Guinness beer and Jameson. The country is also home to one of the butters most cherished by home and professional cooks alike: Kerrygold. So what makes Kerrygold butter so special?
Let's begin with its appearance: compare Kerrygold (pictured at top) to conventional American butter (shown below). Kerrygold has a deep straw color, rather than the pale, chalky color of standard butter. And no, Kerrygold butter isn't dyed with artificial colors to amp up its golden hue; the dairy cows graze on Ireland's emerald-green grass 10 months out of the year, and the beta-carotene in the fresh grass contributes to the rich color. (In contrast, most conventional dairy cows in America don't have the luxury of grazing freely on green pastures and are fed a diet that consists of corn and soybeans.)
In my opinion, even the greatest beurre Français doesn't hold a candle to Kerrygold in flavor. I'll never forget my first experience eating it: I melted a tablespoon on a hot piece of toast and took a bite. It was the best butter I had ever experienced. I quickly and unapologetically slathered another tablespoon on my toast until it became saturated in the unctuous fat. Creamy and sweet with a pure butter flavor, Kerrygold is so fresh-tasting, it will make you think a farmer has just hand-churned the butter for you that day.
Such a luxurious butter must have an outrageous price tag to match, right? Wrong! At my local Whole Foods, the butter is usually on sale at two for $5. (It should be noted that each Kerrygold stick is the equivalent of two standard American sticks of butter.) It's even available at Trader Joe's. Test Kerrygold butter for yourself and prepare to fall into a passionate butter love affair.
Here are a few recipes I've used Kerrygold butter in:
Are you a Kerrygold fan, too?