It’s Not Corned Beef And Cabbage In Ireland

Wayne celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with recipes that don’t include corned beef.

Corned beef and cabbage is synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day in America. But,  in Ireland, it’s not a popular dish.  Many of my Irish friends weren’t even familiar with it until they came to the United States.  So, I decide to pull together a number of more traditional dishes that I’ve learned to make, either from friends’ recipes or from my travels to The Republic of Ireland.  All of the recipes are listed below, but you can also download a “mini cookbooklet” at this link: Wayne’s Weekend Irish Cook Booklet.

Irish Stew

courtesy of Donncha and Cathy Carroll
Serves 4 to 6


1/4 cu Olive Oil
1 1/4 lb Stewing Beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 lg Garlic Cloves, minced
6 cu Beef Stock
1 cu Guinness Beer
1 cu Red Wine
2 tbl Tomato Paste
1 tbl Sugar
1 tbl Dried Thyme (I substituted 1 1/2 tsp Fresh Thyme)
1 tbl Worcestershire Sauce
2 Bay Leaves
3 tbl Real Butter (Kerrygold if you can get it)
3 lb Spuds, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lg White Onion, chopped
2 cu Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and Pepper


Season beef with about 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes.

Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes.

Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.


For a little extra hit of flavor, roast half of the potatoes in a 350 degree oven with 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary for about 40 minutes. Stir the potatoes a few times while they are roasting.

Add these potatoes to the stew with the remaining carrots, onions, and potatoes.

Brown Bread


1 cu All Purpose Flour
1 cu Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cu Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 cu Wheat Germ
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
6 tbl very cold Real Butter (Kerrygold if you can find it), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cu Buttermilk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix flours, oats, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Mix in butter with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour in buttermilk and mix until dough forms. Knead dough for just a minute and mound into a ball. Flatten out slightly to form a 6-inch round. Cut and "X" across the top about 4-inches wide and about 1/2 inch deep.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until bread sounds hollow when you thump it. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool.

Irish Coddle
also often called a Dublin Coddle suggested by Susan Thorton-Hough
6-8 servings


1-1/2 lbs Bangers (Irish sausages)
1-1/2 lbs Boiling Bacon, cut into 1-inch dice
4 cu Water
2 lg Yellow Onions, peeled and thinly diced
2 lbs Potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
2 lg Carrots, thinly sliced
4 tbl chopped parsley
2 cu Beef Stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the sausages in 4 cups of water and boil for 5 minutes.  Add bacon and boil for 5 minutes longer. Remove the meat and strain the liquid and set aside.  Allow meat to cool and then cut sausages into thirds, crosswise.

Place sausages and bacon in the bottom of an oven proof dish and add the onions, potatoes, carrots and parsley. Add the beef stock and enough of the boiling liquid to just below the level of the contents of the pot. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 40 minutes.  Remove the lid and check to see if more liquid is necessary.  If contents are dry, add additional liquid to reach about 2/3 of the contents.  Replace the top and roast for 30 minutes more.  Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Shepherd’s Pie

courtesy of Bill Kelleher


2 lbs Ground Beef or Lamb
Olive oil (optional)
2 Carrots, cleaned and chopped
1 Parsnip, cleaned and chopped
1 lg Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
4 tbl Butter
2 tbl Flour
1 cu Beef or Vegetable Broth
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2lbs potatoes (half white and half sweet), peeled and cubed
1/2 cu Heavy Cream
2 tbl Cream Cheese, softened
1 tbl Sour Cream
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped for garnish


Brown the meat in a large saucepan over medium-high heat (if the meat is not very lean, you can sauté it in 2 tablespoons of olive oil).  Add the chopped carrots, parsnips, onion, and minced garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.

In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour until it's blended. Whisk in the broth and cook until mixture thickens into a gravy, about 3-5 minutes.  Pour the gravy into the meat mixture and stir to combine.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 20 minutes or until tender.  Drain.  Separately, mix the cream, cream cheese, and sour cream together.  Add mixture to the potatoes with the ground nutmeg and whip until smooth. (If the potatoes are still a bit stiff, you can add more cream in small amounts).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spoon the meat mixture into a buttered, rectangular casserole. Spread the potatoes on top.  Bake it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes and then turn on the broiler to get a bit of a crust on the potatoes.

Sprinkle chopped parsley on top for a little color and serve.

Banoffee Pie


14 oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cu Graham Crackers Crumbs, about 2 packets of a three packet box
1/2 cu Unsalted Butter, melted
3 Ripe Bananas
2 cu Heavy Cream
1/2 cu Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 oz Bittersweet Chocolate squares


Remove the label from the condensed milk can and set aside.  Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the can by a few inches and bring it to a boil.  Carefully place the unopened can into the water.  Reduce heat to a low boil and cover.  Keep the water boiling for 3 hours, adding additional water if necessary (I keep a second pot of simmering water on the stove so boiling process isn’t impeded with the additional water).  Turn and flip the can from time to time during the cooking process with tongs.  BE VERY CAREFUL not to splash the water about.

Meanwhile, pour the melted butter over the graham crackers and mix thoroughly.  Pour mixture into a spring form pan and spread ingredients evenly over the bottom.  Press down firmly to pack the crust.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Once condensed milk has boiled for 3 hours, remove it from the water and let it rest for about 30 minutes so that it cools.  Carefully open can and pour ingredients into a bowl.  Use a spatula to stir and smooth out any chunks.  Spread this mixture over the graham cracker crust and refrigerate again until cool.

Slice bananas and spread them evenly over toffee topping.  Whip cream until soft peaks form.  Add powdered sugar and cinnamon and whip until stiff peaks form.  Spread whipped cream over bananas and refrigerate the dessert until you are ready to serve.

Remove pie from the spring form pan.  Grate the chocolate with either a potato peeler or a box grater and garnish the top of the pie before slicing and serving.

Guinness Cake



3/4 cu Butter (1 1/2 sticks), plus 1 tablespoon
1 cu Guinness
1 cu Sugar
1 cu Brown Sugar
3/4 cu Cocoa
2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
2 lg Eggs, room temperature
2/3 cu Sour Cream
1 tbl Vanilla Extract


8 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cu powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cu Whipping Cream


Place parchment on the bottom of a 9" springform pan.  Use 1 tablespoon of butter to butter the sides of the pan and set it aside.

Place remaining butter and beer in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add sugar and brown sugar.  Stir to combine and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.   In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sour cream and vanilla.  Pour beer mixture into a mixing bowl and mix at medium speed.  Gradually add in flour and sour cream mixture.  Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Pour ingredients into prepared springform pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Blend together cream cheese, powdered sugar and cinnamon.  Gradually beat in cream until mixture reaches a smooth spreadable consistency.  Once cake has cooled completely, liberally top with frosting.  The cake is supposed to look like the top of a glass of stout with a foamy head.

Scone Bread


1 cu Dried Fruit (combination of golden raisins, dark raisins, dried cherries)
2 1/2 cu All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/3 cu Sugar
4 oz Cold Butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/4 cu Buttermilk
1 lg Egg


Soak the dried fruit in enough water to cover for 10 minutes and then drain well.

Grease and flour a 4” x 8” loaf pan.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Add the salt and sugar and stir to combine.  Work the butter into the flour mixture with your hands by rolling the floury butter between your thumb and fingers until mixture resembles the texture of breadcrumbs.  Add dried fruit.  Stir the egg into the buttermilk and then pour over the flour mixture.  Stir until everything is just moist (don’t over mix).  Scoop mixture into loaf pan and shape it evenly.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until crust is golden brown and bread sounds hollow when you thump it.  Because ovens vary greatly, you can also loosely cover the pan with a piece of aluminum for the first 30 minutes to avoid over browning.

Serve slices with jam, butter and heavy cream.  This bread is also great toasted.



2 1/2 All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
3 oz Cold Butter, cut into small cubes
1 lg Egg
1 1/4 cu Buttermilk
2 tbl Sugar
I cu Mixed Dried Fruit (optional), soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder.   Add the sugar and salt and stir to combine.  Work butter into the flour mixture your hands by rolling the floury butter between your thumb and fingers until mixture resembles the texture of breadcrumbs.  Add fruit (optional).  Stir the egg into the buttermilk and then pour over the flour mixture.  Fold with a spatula until ingredients are just combined.

Put about 1/4 cup of flour on a work surface and transfer mixture onto it.  Knead the dough slightly and then gently roll it out to about a 1” to 1 1/2 “ thickness.  Cut out scones with a 2 1/2“ fluted cutter.  Dip the cutter in flour so that dough cuts clean (that will help scones rise evenly).  Transfer the scones to a baking sheet with a spatula.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm with butter, jam and heavy cream.

Traditional Irish Breakfast

The standard of a traditional Irish Breakfast often includes fried eggs, Irish bacon, bangers (sausages), beans, potato bread, a side of bread (either regular toast, soda bread, wheaten bread, or scones), juice and tea (or coffee).  Irish bacon is a bit different than the bacon we eat in the US.  But, Irish bacon is available here in Chicago at specialty import stores and Irish grocery stores.


Gaelic Imports
6346 W. Gunnison St., Chicago, Illinois 60630 773-792-1905

Donegal Imports

5358 W Devon Ave., Chicago, IL 60646 773-792-2377

Downloadable Booklet:

Special thanks to my Irish friends for their tips, recipes and suggestions!  If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at or follow me on Facebook.

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