On Monday, in my monthly post on consuming experiences and not stuff, I suggested trying your hand at cooking something that the folks in Ireland might cook for St. Patrick’s Day. It seems that America’s traditional corned beef and cabbage isn’t so traditional in Ireland.

I wondered what the Irish actually cook on St. Patrick’s Day, so I contacted Donal Skehan, author of Irish cookbook Good Mood Food, food photographer extraordinaire, pop star and the cook behind the The Good Mood Food Blog. He told me that in Ireland there isn’t a specific St. Patrick’s Day dish.

“It’s more a celebration of what is in season,” Donal told me, “both meat and veg.”

I asked him if he wouldn’t mind suggesting a traditional Irish dinner that might be served on St. Patrick’s Day. He was happy to.

He pointed me to three dishes that use many seasonally available ingredients in Ireland in March — Irish stew, colcannon (a mashed potato and cabbage mix), and Irish brown bread. I have to say that I absolutely love that two of these dishes contain potatoes. I am one Irish girl who fits a stereotype. I could eat potatoes, especially mashed potatoes, at every meal.

Donal has recipes for Irish stew and Irish brown bread on his blog. I won’t reprint them here. You can go to his blog if you’re interested in the recipes. You can use Gourmet Sleuth’s gram conversion calculator to convert the measurements of ingredients if you need to.

Donal’s stew uses beef (some Irish stews use lamb), and it is baked. The Irish brown bread looks like the bread I ate at the majority of my meals when I was in Ireland. I feasted on soup and brown bread at every lunch on my trip in order to keep our food bill down, but it wasn’t a sacrifice. I enjoyed every cup of soup and every butter-slathered slice of bread I ate.

There isn’t a colcannon recipe on The Good Mood Food Blog, but I found one from The Food Network. I’m a little leery about mashed potatoes with cabbage in them, but I think I’m going to have to give them a try. 

So there you have it — a real Irish meal to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with. Get cooking. 

See also:

St. Patrick's Day quotes

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

St. Patrick's Day dinner menu
Irish cookbook author Donal Skehan suggests a menu of traditional Irish foods for St. Patrick's Day.