As appeared in: Celtic Canada

Mid March is usually significant of two reasons for me; spring time approaching and St. Patrick’s Day. Having Irish blood run through my veins means that a good pub crawl with some traditional Irish food, live music and friends make for a perfect celebration!

This year for my Irish recipes I choosing 2 menus :
The first one is perfect for a Brunch/Lunch menu
A traditional Irish Boxty and a Dublin Coddle

Boxty is Ireland’s potato pancake: served with caramelized leeks or shallots … so yummy! I like to pair it with a Dublin Coddle is a light stew or soup dish. Traditionally, a “Coddle“ was a way of using up leftovers from the week.

Irish stew with Champ is my second menu.

Both menus are wonderful finished with the salad. Be advised….salads don’t always have to have lettuce!

Irish Boxty Recipe (Irish Potato Cakes)
9 oz (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder.
1 tsp Kosher or sea salt.
8 oz (1 cup) mashed potatoes, boiled in salted water.
1 1/2 cups (8 oz) grated, raw potato (grated or with a food processor)
8 oz (1 cup) buttermilk (or more if needed)
Butter preferably (organic unsalted) for the pan.
1/2 cup of sautéed leeks & shallots with a dash of brown sugar or Maple Syrup

Combine all ingredients (except for leeks & shallots) and form in ice-cream scoop. Fry in a hot pan with butter until crispy and golden. Finish on a tray lined with parchment paper in the oven.
Serve topped with caramelized leek/ shallot mixture!

Dublin Coddle
4 -1/2lb potatoes, peeled and cubed
500ml (1 pint) boiled water.
1 ham, chicken or beef stock cube (optional)
450g (1lb) good quality pork sausages.
450g (1lb) piece thick-cut bacon.
2 large onions, sliced.
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley.
salt and coarse ground pepper to serve.

Preheat oven to 300°F
Cut potatoes into three or four pieces, leaving smaller ones whole so that they will cook evenly. Dissolve the stock cube in the boiled water, if using.
Grill the sausages and bacon long enough to colour them but taking care not to dry them out. Drain on paper towels and chop the bacon into 2 1/2cm (1in) pieces. You can chop the sausages into bite-sized pieces, though some prefer to leave them whole.
In a large ovenproof casserole dish with a tight lid, layer the onions, bacon, sausages and potatoes, seasoning each layer liberally with pepper and parsley. Continue until the ingredients are used up and pour the hot water or bouillon mixture over the top.
On the stovetop, bring the liquid to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and cover the pot.
Place the covered pot in preheated oven and cook for at least three hours. After a couple hours, check liquid levels and add more water if necessary. There should be about an inch of liquid at the bottom of the pot at all times.
Serve hot with fresh soda bread or molasses brown bread to sop up the tasty gravy.

Traditional Irish Stew with Lamb Or Beef
Choose lamb or beef what ever your budget or preference. Choose wine or beer; Again preference. I am allergic to beer so I always use wine.
1/2 Lb. bacon (thickly sliced, diced)
6 Lbs. lamb (boneless shoulder, cut into 1 ½ – 2-inch pieces)
6 Lbs. beef (stewing beef, or boneless shoulder cut in 1 ½ – 2 inch pieces)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cloves garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
1 large onion (yellow, peeled and finely chopped)
4 cups stock (homemade or canned, beef)
2 teaspoons sugar
4 cups carrots (cut into 1-inch pieces)
2 large onions (yellow, peeled and sliced)
3 pounds potatoes (peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
1 teaspoon thyme (dried, whole)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine (dry)
1/2 cup Guinness … just add the can after you have a few sips LOL
Garnish: parsley (chopped)

Champ is an Irish version of mashed potatoes with green onions and cheese in the mixture. This is a stellar compliment with Irish Stew as the gravy and potatoes make life complete.

Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain and remove from the pan. Leave until just cool enough to peel. Mash thoroughly.
Boil the milk and add to the potato, together with the spring onions.
Season and stir well.
Pile into a beautiful bowl for serving
Make a well in the centre and add the butter. Serve immediately.