There are those lucky people who get to hit the Irish pub all day on St. Patrick’s Day and celebrate with a pint or two (or three). Then there are those of us who will be working on St. Patrick’s Day. Hitting the pub after work isn’t a particularly smart option because we have to be up and back to work the next day.
We can still celebrate at home, and having an Irish-themed meal ready for you when you get home is possible if you make one in your slow cooker. So here’s the plan: Choose one of these recipes for your meal and perhaps add Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Baileys Frosting for dessert. Hit the grocery store tonight and get all the ingredients you’ll need.
Do all your prep work and make the cupcakes tonight, perhaps while drinking a pre-St. Patrick’s Day sustainable stout. Let me suggest Victory Storm King Stout if you don’t want to do the traditional Guinness. Tomorrow morning, throw everything in the slow cooker, go to work, and come home to a dinner that will just about be ready.
1. Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage: This St. Patrick’s Day favorite isn’t a traditional Irish meal but it's certainly popular here in the U.S. this time of year. The beef, onions, potatoes, and carrots cook for 8-10 hours, so it’s a great choice for a meal that can be thrown together before you go to work. Just put the cabbage on top as soon as you get home, and it will be ready when you sit down to eat.
2. Dublin Coddle: The story behind a coddle is that wives would prepare it and leave it on the stove for their husbands when they got home from the pub — at whatever hour they arrived. This bacon, sausage and potato dish cooks in your slow cooker and is ready whenever you get home from work — whatever hour that is.
3. Slow Cooker Irish Tacos: St. Patrick’s Day falls on Taco Tuesday this year. This recipe is a cross between a taco and a Reuben. The corned beef cooks in the slow cooker all day and then it’s shredded. It’s topped with Swiss cheese, cabbage and Thousand Island dressing.
4. Slow Cooker Colcannon: The traditional mashed potatoes and cabbage dish is cooked in the slow cooker all day and is ready to mash in about six hours.
5. Slow Cooker Guinness Stew: Beef stew is a traditional Irish dish, and this one is flavored with stout beer. It has no potatoes in it, so it’s perfect to serve with Colcannon.
6. Irish Venison Stew: This stew — which cooks in beef broth, stout beer and red wine — takes a little extra prep before it goes into the slow cooker. The stew meat and the vegetables are partially cooked on the stovetop first. This is what I’ll be making tomorrow with some venison a friend was kind enough to give me from this past hunting season. I’ll probably cook it with some of the Victory Storm King Stout I mentioned above and a Merlot-based wine like The Feast Red Blend.
7. Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew: St. Patrick’s Day meals tend to meat-heavy, but this vegan stew gets its heartiness from beans and barley, not beef.