What to eat on Saint Patrick’s Day 2022? Traditional Irish specialties

Published by Manon C. · Published on 9 March 2022 at 12h32
This March 17th will be Saint Patrick’s Day, a day celebrated in the streets, pubs and restaurants in Paris. But what do you know about the main dishes of the Irish cuisine? Here is a quick scan of traditional Irish specialties to whet your appetite!

As Saint Patrick’s Day 2022 is just around the corner, it is time more than ever to get ready for this traditional day celebrating Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick, every March 17. While some will rush to costume stores in Paris to find the perfect green wig or the ideal leprechaun outfit, others will work hard discovering the most famous Irish gastronomy dishes, and even try to make them at home.

Although flavorsome, Irish cuisine is yet not the most popular in the world nor the most famous one. Among the main and affordable ingredients, cabbage holds a special seat, so does lamb’s meat, very common, as well as beer, often used to create savory and sweet dishes.

Introduced in Ireland in the 15th century, potato is also part of the Irish gastronomy. Despite the famine from the 19th century – also known as the Irish potato famine – potato is still found in plenty of traditional recipes.

And while breakfast – mixing sweet and savory flavors and hearty enough to make you full for the day – is a must, fishes and seafood never really found their place on the tables in the country, although Ireland is an island… crazy, right?!

Irish stew, colcannon, coddle, boxty… Let us discover traditional specialties coming straight from the Eire, to pair with a pint of Guinness or any other stout!

  • Irish stew
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Considered as THE national dish, the Irish stew is the flagship dish of the Irish gastronomy found in pubs, restaurants, and at home as well. Ingredients can vary from one place to the other or from one family to the other, and there are versions with beef and sheep, but the Irish stew is traditionally made with lamb.

At the boundaries of soup and stew, the stobhach Gaelach (in Gaelic) is a flavorsome and highly comforting dish. This lamb stew – stewed for at least two hours in a dish in the oven – usually includes potatoes, carrots, onions and is served with a slice of brown bread to dip the sauce to the last drop. This is THE traditional Saint Patrick’s Day dish!

  • Shepherd's Pie 

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Although the name suggests a pie, this traditional dish actually looks like the French “hachis Parmentier”. Originating from England, this dish met such success in Ireland it quickly became a staple of the local cuisine.

Looking like a hearty casserole, this Irish specialty includes a layer of meat’s lamb or beef – it is then a cottage pie – a layer of vegetables, usually carrots and peas. And the whole is topped with a nice layer of broiled mashed potatoes based on breadcrumbs and cheese.

  • Colcannon

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Easy to make, economical and nourishing, colcannon is some thick mash made with potatoes, green cabbage or sliced Savoy cabbage, onion fried in butter, and milk. To make it even more scrumptious, some families add cream, ham and even bacon.

Served all winter long as a side, this dish is especially enjoyed for Halloween. On the occasion, tradition calls to hide a coin, a thimble, a button, or a ring that once is found is said to bring good luck to the guest who almost broke a tooth on it. A sort of Irish-style Epiphany Cake.

  • Coddle

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More famous as Dublin Coddle, coddle originates from Dublin. This economical and popular dish is a sort of broth made of the leftovers at the end of a week’s work.

Although recipes change from one family to the other and depend on what sits in the fridge, coddle is usually made with pork sausages, bacon, potatoes, onions, or to put it with other words, the very basics of Irish cuisine, cooked in a chicken stock. A hearty and comforting stew enjoyed on Saturday evening, with a pint of beer.

  • Boxty

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Also known as poundy, the boxty is a patty that looks like pancake with extra-crispiness, based on mashed potatoes, grated raw potatoes, buttermilk, flour and salt.

Boxties are usually served for breakfast with eggs and bacon, and at dinner with a nice slice of smoked salmon or as a side to many dishes.

  • Bangers and mash

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Yes, another potato-based dish! Bangers and mash is the traditional pub grub, namely the Irish pub food.

It simply consists in mashed potatoes with onions served with sausages.

  • Bacon and cabbage

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Bacon and cabbage also is a dish available in any Irish truck stop or pub. Like the traditional steak-frites in France, this economical and easy-to-make dish is based on cooked bacon slices served with mashed potatoes and cabbage, covered in sauce with herb and garlic – the famous garlic sauce.

  • Seafood chowder

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Some fish, now! Seafood chowder is some thick soup made with several fresh fishes from the daily’s fishing, generally salmon, haddock, and pollock. They are mixed with crustaceans, vegetables – potatoes, carrots, celery – and spices.

A creamy dish to enjoy hot in small Irish seaside villages to warm up after a cold or rainy day.

  • Guinness Pie

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This is not a secret; Irish people love beer. But they also enjoy cooking recipes based on beer! The best example being the Guinness pie, namely a meat and stout pie. Under the golden crust, some beer beef stew cooked for hours.

A filling dish available in the country’s pubs, served with a nice pint, obviously. The sweet version of this Guinness pie is the chocolate Guinness cake, a chocolate and beer dessert served in Irish households on major occasion.

  • Full Irish breakfast

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Like in England, Irish breakfast is a major moment of the day. Hearty, easy and quick to make, the traditional Irish breakfast is to make you full all morning. Inside this Irish fry, many ingredients also found in the English version.

On the menu of this feast: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, black or white pudding, potato hash, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and porridge. To enjoy with a cup of black tea or coffee.

The Irish also enjoy many bread recipes, like the Irish soda bread, with a slightly sour taste made with baking soda, buttermilk, flour and salt, and it can be spruced up with dried fruits, seeds and spices; the barmbrack a sweet loaf of bread based on dried fruits traditionally enjoyed during Halloween; and of course, the brown bread, some bread with thick scented crumb with a strong taste.

  • Irish apple crumble cake

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As for sweet treats, the Irish are fond of the Irish apple crumble cake, a cake both moist and crunchy eaten for breakfast or in the afternoon with a cup of tea. The cake is based on smooth apple and topped with a golden, crunchy, crumbly crust.

  • Irish tea brack

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Another sweet specialty, the Irish tea brack, a traditional cake based on dried fruits macerated in black tea. A moist dessert usually served in the afternoon during Halloween or Saint Patrick’s Day.

  • Hot cross buns

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Enjoyed in most Anglo-Saxon countries with a cup of tea or coffee, the hot cross buns also are in Ireland, but enjoyed with some fresh beer.

Sold in bakeries or homemade, these sweet buns with spices, nuts or candied fruits like citrus fruits, are some of the traditional dishes enjoyed when Easter is around the corner.

  • Irish coffee

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And we could not not tell you about the staple Irish drink – alongside beer obviously – I name: Irish coffee. Made with coffee, Irish whisky, cane sugar and whipped cream, this cocktail – to be enjoyed warm – can be sipped at any time of the day, as a pick-me-up after a tiring day.

So, which of these Irish specialties are you craving the most?

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
Starts 8 March 2022

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    Location

    Paris
    75 Paris

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