Taste o’ the Irish


Whether or not you have any Irish heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a fun day, especially for children. Some of these recipes are semi-authentic and others are just whimsical, but they are all delicious. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Enjoy.

Cheater Shepherd’s Pie

1  pound lean ground beef                      

1 small white onion, chopped

1 can sloppy Joe sauce

1 (15-ounce) can green beans

2 cups prepared mashed potatoes

1 1/3 cups shredded Colby Monterey Jack blend

Note: I bought Bob Evans refrigerated prepared mashed potatoes, but you could use homemade leftovers, too. If you don’t like green beans, you can substitute frozen, cooked peas.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium skillet, cook ground beef and onion together until the meat is done. Then drain the fat and add the can of sloppy Joe sauce. Cook on low for 10 minutes.

Spread the meat in the bottom of an 8 x 8-inch pan. Drain the green beans thoroughly and then spread those on top of the beef. Spread mashed potatoes over the green beans and then top potatoes with cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese melts and potatoes are warm.

Irish Stew

2 ½  pounds chuck roast (or lamb) cut into chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil     

Salt and pepper

2 ½ cups chopped white onion

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 bay leaves

4 thyme sprigs

2 parsnips

2 cups beef broth

2 cups chicken broth

1 clove garlic

1 small russet potato

3 cups new potatoes

3 cups baby carrots

A Dutch oven is best for this recipe.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice parsnips. Scrub the russet potato and then cut it into quarters. Chop onion and garlic and set aside.

Generously salt and pepper the meat, and then heat the oil in a Dutch oven. When it’s hot, add the beef and sauté for 2 minutes, and then add the onion and cook together for 7 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, parsnips, beef broth, chicken broth, garlic and the russet potato.

If you like soggy vegetables in a stew (a lot of people in my family do), then add the remaining potatoes and carrots now. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 3 hours.

I don’t like my vegetables to turn to mush, so I cover the Dutch oven and bake it for 1 ½ hours, then take it out and add the carrots and potatoes. It’s important that all the vegetables are submerged in broth, so if they are not covered add a little more beef or chicken broth. If you don’t have any, you can add water, but only add enough to cover the vegetables. Then bake for 60-90 minutes, checking it after 1 hour. Stew is done when potatoes are fork-tender.

Serve stew with Irish soda bread.

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour             

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons olive oil

Note: Sour cream and olive oil are not traditional ingredients, but I love the texture the sour cream produces and the flavor of olive oil. If you want to skip the olive oil you can, but you will need to add more buttermilk (2-3 tablespoons). Add buttermilk until you are able to briefly knead the dough.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Then add buttermilk, sour cream and olive oil. Stir and then use your hands to gather the mixture into a ball. Knead the dough for 1 minute.

Grease a cast iron skillet. Place the ball of dough in the skillet and cut an X in the top of the dough.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with butter.

Note: Irish soda bread does not keep well, so it’s best made right before you serve it. If you want to keep leftovers, the best bet is to freeze it and reheat in foil.

Leprechaun Juice                                          

2/3 cup Hawaiian Punch Green Berry Rush

1/3 cup white grape juice

1/3 cup ginger ale

Chill all ingredients. Then measure ingredients, pour in a cup and stir. Serve immediately.

Serves 1.


Juliana Goodwin is a food columnist, cookbook author and avid traveler. If you have a question, email julianalovesfood23@gmail.com.