St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

I thought it would be a good idea to collect all of my best Irish recipes together in one convenient post for you to try out and share with your friends.  Here in the U.S., St. Patrick’s Day recipes are something of a tradition, even if you haven’t a drop of Irish blood (as is the case with me, sadly.)

I spent one month in Ireland on a tour with Grand Circle Travel (highly recommended – check out their website here.)  We traveled from Galway in the northwest, to Connemara and Kylemore Abbey,

Kylemore Abbey
Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland

then to Killarney and the Cliffs of Moher.

The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher, Burren region in County Clare, Ireland

We toured the Ring of Kerry (in a horrific rainstorm!) and the Dingle peninsula.  Then on around to Cork and Blarney Castle to kiss the stone.  On the way to Kilkenny we stopped at Cahir Castle and the Waterford factory (where I bought some lovely glasses).

The Long Library

On our way to Dublin, we stopped at the Avoca Handweavers compound and the ancient monastic site of Glendalough.  In Dublin we toured Trinity College with it’s amazing Long Library with the Book of Kells.

Along the way, I would ask people for recipes of authentic Irish foods.  And of course, everyone’s recipe is authentic, until you share it with someone else, who insists that it isn’t!  But even so, I think I managed to get at least several that are as genuine as can be, along with tips on how to prepare them, and even some of the history behind them.  It was a magnificent experience, and one I would repeat.

The first recipe I gathered was one for Authentic Irish Soda Bread. I collected this one right at the beginning, from a small pub in Galway where I sat to listen to a local Irish band. Live music is everywhere in Galway. The pub served soda bread and I asked if they would share the recipe. Because it was busy, it took a while, but they did give me a quick verbal, with the admonition “Flour, salt, baking soda, buttermilk – anything else is tea cake.”

Authentic Irish Soda Bread

“Flour, salt, baking soda, buttermilk – anything else is tea cake.”
I visited Ireland a few years ago and I remember a pub owner telling me this when I asked for the recipe for his delicious soda bread.  You can find a thousand recipes for Authentic Irish Soda Bread, but if it varies from these 4 basic ingredients, it’s not the real thing. And you wouldn’t want the fae gettin’ all up in your business about that, now would ye?
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Authentic Irish Soda Bread
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Don Herman


  • 4 cups Flour I recommend pastry flour rather than all-purpose. Traditional Irish wheat is soft, and pastry flour will mimic this better.
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 to 1 3/4 cups Buttermilk or sour milk. The liquid required will be determined by the flour choice. If you use whole wheat you’ll need more liquid than the 1 cup.


  • Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat sheet, or brush the sheet with melted butter or spray with non-stick spray.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Gradually stir in 1 cup buttermilk, mixing gently with your fingers until dough is firm enough to be gathered into a ball. If dough crumbles, add more liquid 1 tbsp at a time, just until it holds together. Avoid kneading the bread! The less you handle it, the better!
  • Place on a lightly floured board and pat into an 8-inch flattened round loaf. It will look a bit rough. It’s supposed to.
  • Place the loaf on baking sheet and slash a 1/2-inch deep “X” into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
  • Bake at 425 degrees F for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden.


Serve warm with Irish Stew or Corned Beef and Cabbage. Sláinte!
For a good video that shows how you form and mark the loaf, click here.

This bakes best on a quality baking sheet or stone. Check out these options from Kerekes – The Chef Station:

Winco Bun / Sheet Bake Pan 13Winco Bun / Sheet Bake Pan 13″ x 18″ (Half Size)Winco Bun / Sheet Bake Pan 13Pizza Baking Stone: Rectangular, 14Pizza Baking Stone: Rectangular, 14″ x 16″Pizza Baking Stone: Rectangular, 14


Later down the road in Killarney, we were treated to some delicious Irish Stew, so of course I had to get that recipe.  I had to gather several versions and piece them together to re-create what I remembered from the dish I had there, and this one comes closest.

Authentic Irish Stew Recipe

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Authentic Irish Stew
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Don Herman


  • 3 pounds Lamb Shoulder cut in 2-inch chunks.   Can substitute mutton, beef, veal, venison – even goat meat!
  • tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp Flour optional – especially if adding sliced potatoes below
  • 2 pounds Onions about 6 medium, cut in wedges
  • 1 pound Carrots about 6 medium, cut in large chunks
  • 4 cups Water or beef or chicken broth
  • Splash of red wine to taste optional
  • Dash of Worcestershire optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large Thyme sprig
  • 3 pounds Russet Potatoes peeled and halved.  For thicker broth, slice 1/2 potato in thin slices.  (Can substitute Yukon gold potatoes, but the broth will be thinner).


  • Pat meat chunks with a paper towel to dry, and season well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, oven-safe soup pot with lid over medium-high heat until shimmering. If desired, dredge the meat in flour.  Brown meat on all sides.
  • Remove meat and and add onions and carrots to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables, stirring, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
  • Depending on the size of your pot, remove all but the lowest rack in the oven, and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Return meat to pot, add broth and bring to a simmer. Add thyme and arrange potatoes on top of the meat.  Add a final dash of salt and pepper, cover the pot and put into the oven.

This recipe works best in a good quality Dutch oven. Find a professional-grade Dutch oven at Uno Casa

And finally, at our farewell dinner, we were served this Irish Cream Coffee Cake. It’s not coffee cake in the American sense – a yellow cake with a sugar crumble on top. No – this is cake made with coffee, and some Bailey’s thrown in because – well, because it’s Irish. It was so unusual I had to get the recipe.

Bailey’s Irish Coffee Cake

Everyone is familiar with Coffee Cake, right? It’s that yellow cake with brown sugar and you eat it with coffee. Well, that’s not what this is. This is cake . . . with coffee. Coffee in the cake. And throw in a little Bailey’s while you’re at it. Yeah. There you go.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Irish Cream Coffee Cake
Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Don Herman


  • 2.25 Sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 12 oz Caster or Baker’s sugar see Instructions
  • 6 lg Eggs
  • 8 oz Milk
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tbsp Coffee Extract or 1 TBL instant coffee granules and 2 tsp water
  • 1 tbsp Irish Cream liqueur


  • 1 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Coffee Extract
  • 1 tbsp Irish Cream liqueur
  • 2 tsp Water or Milk


  • Grease and flour a bundt pan.  Be sure to dust all the corners.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and pale.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated.
  • Add the milk and sour cream and combine.
  • Mix the baking powder and flour with a whisk and slowly add to the batter.  Scrape down the sides and beat until smooth – about two more minutes.
  • Pour about 3/4 of the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  • Mix the coffee extract or granule/water mixture and the Irish Cream to the remaining batter.  Drop this batter onto the top of the batter in the bundt pan and cut through it several times with a butter knife.
  • Bake at 350 for about 55 minutes (mine was right on at 55 min.) or until a pick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, invert and let the cake cool completely.
  • To make the icing, simply mix together the powdered sugar, Irish Cream and coffee extract or granules and slowly add water or milk until you get a fairly thin consistency.  The icing on my cake in the picture is just a little too thick – I should have added a few drops more water.
  • Drizzle the cake with icing.


Caster sugar (in the U.S. we call it “baker’s sugar”) is simply a finer granulated sugar. You can find it in most stores in the baking section. But you can also make it yourself – see the instructions here.
Coffee extract: This too, you can find in a store, but it’s pretty pricey.  I just used the coffee granules and water.  I picked up a box of Via French Roast packets from Starbucks – one tablespoon is about 3 packets.
The original recipe called for 2 full tablespoons of coffee extract in the icing, which for me would have been just waaaaaay too much.  But you may like it.  Just taste your icing as you’re working on it and add more if you want.

See a good selection of Bundt pans below. I recommend nothing with edges that are too sharp – it can make getting the cake out of the pan more difficult:

Nordic Ware 50342 Anniversary Bundt Pan, 12 cupNordic Ware 50342 Anniversary Bundt Pan, 12 cupNordic Ware 50342 Anniversary Bundt Pan, 12 cupNordicware Bavarian Bundt Cake Pan 10-Cup capacity 8-1/2Nordicware Bavarian Bundt Cake Pan 10-Cup capacity 8-1/2″ diam. Non Stick Cast AluminumNordicware Bavarian Bundt Cake Pan 10-Cup capacity 8-1/2


Of course, it’s not St. Patrick’s Day without considering a classic Corned Beef and Cabbage.  And rather than crock-pot mush, here’s my recipe for baked Corned Beef.

Baked Corned Beef and Cabbage

This recipe uses the oven for a gentler braise, retaining the basic texture of the meat, while tenderizing it, too.  And throw away that seasoning packet – the authentic seasonings here will taste far better.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time4 hours 30 minutes
Resting time30 minutes
Total Time5 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Baked Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Recipes
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Don Herman


  • 4 lbs Corned Beef Brisket preferably flat-cut, not point cut
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Water
  • 12 medium Carrots peeled, halved
  • 2 ribs Celery sliced
  • 1 med Onion thick cut or quartered
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme minced
  • 1 tsp Allspice Berries really critical for authentic corned beef
  • 3 tbsp Butter unsalted
  • 1 1/2 lbs Small Red Potatoes halved
  • 1 head Cabbage (2 lbs) cut into 8 wedges, leaving core intact
  • Pepper


  • Preheat oven to 300F.  Rinse off the salt from the brisket under cold running water.
  • Combine beef, broth, water, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme and allspice in a covered baking dish (I use my Le Creuset casserole).  Bake at 300F for 4 1/2 to 5 hours, or until a fork pierces the meat easily.
  • Remove the meat to a baking dish.  Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh and skim off excess fat.  Add 1 cup of liquid to meat and cover with foil, letting it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Pour the remaining cooking liquid into a large pot and add the butter.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Add potatoes and cook to soften – about 10 minutes.  Add carrot halves and cabbage, cover and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Transfer veggies to a serving dish and season with pepper to taste.  Slice the beef across the grain into 1/4″ slices.  Serve with vegetables


When slicing cabbage for cooking, leave the core intact – otherwise it will all fall into a withery mess that’s unattractive.
You can leave the potatoes whole if they are really small.  I halve them.
Slicing “across the grain” – prior to cooking, gently pull the meat apart until you see small crevasses appear on the surface.  You want to cut across the crevasse, not with it.  

I think you’ll enjoy this Tour of Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day! Leave me a note if you decide to give it a try.

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  1. I was in Galway many times and once in Dublin. I have many Irish friends and I have to tell that I like their foods. I am vegan, so these recipes are not for me, but I have to agree with you that the country is beautiful and their recipes are delicious. There are more and more vegans and vegan options in Ireland. 

    I checked the Grand Circle’s website and they have very good tours. I’ve been visiting mostly all European countries and I have to tell that these are very good for first visits. This looks like a very good company.

  2. This a very educative post and very interesting to read of your adventure in getting the right recipe for all these.I like the Irish Cream Coffee Cake and the Irish Stew. The recipe stated gives a clear stet by step procedures on how to prepare them. This post will be very helpful to those who like trying out different types of foods.

  3. Hello,

    The authentic Irish Stew recipe has really cut my attention. I enjoy eating meat and I’ll relish enjoying this Irish delicacy. The Irish cream coffee cake is also worthy of a mention, looks very yummy even from my screen. You forgot to add recipe for colcannon, I actually love this meal and wish you’d put up your own recipe.

    Warm regards

    1. Good idea on the colcannon.  I didn’t pick up a recipe there, but I did get the chance to try it and it was very good.  I’ll hunt around to see if I can find one.

  4. I just shared your site link with my elder sister who is a baker. She bakes really tasty bread, although she isn’t familiar with the Authentic Irish Soda Bread. She was really wowed at the various recipes you shared. I am not a baker but enjoy eating bakes and fries …LOL. The Authentic Irish Soda Bread looks like something I would love to try since the ingredients are readily available. It appears crusty and would go well corned beef or even butter. What would you recommended as a good choice of drink to go with the Authentic Irish Soda Bread?

  5. Hi Don! It is quite thoughtful of you to have written on St. Patrick’s Day Recipes. Wow! How time flies, soon we will be in March. I envied you as I read through your Tourism story. That was quite an interesting tour. I love Irish foods so much. Of all the Irish food recipe you gave, Irish stew is my favourite.  

    You really took your time to give detail instructions on how to prepare these Irish foods that even someone who doesn’t know how to cook can easily pull this through. Thanks so much for making my day.

    1. Glad to help!  Enjoy!

  6. I love the description of your Irish tour!

    I am ashamed to say that I have not yet visited Ireland, as I live in the UK, and it’s so close!! I have always meant to go, asI know it is a beautiful place, but so far have not got round to it!

    What a great idea to collect authentic Irish recipes whilst you were there! I will definitely be trying out your recipe for soda bread, which I really like, especially as it is not necessary to use yeast.

    Thank you so much for your fascinating post

    Chrissie 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s a really good yeast-less bread, and so easy to make.  I really enjoyed Ireland very much, I’m sure you would too.

  7. Hi Don,

    Something I really enjoyed about your blog is the description and contents. I love recipes and am definitely coming back for more recipe articles. I think you are doing a great job generally of being visible on the blogging space, your work is amazing and helpful.

    Amazing to see that you don’t have a following button on your site, how can i follow your new post

    1. Yes, I need to get around to that (adding a follow button).  I’m too busy baking!  Haha.

  8. You have taken some serious pressure off my back today. As St. Patricks day is getting closer I also get confused on what to make. But after reading this article I have some wonderful recipes to try out. I’m definitely going to try your recipes this year. It was really easy to follow through your recipes. Thank you for sharing this post.

  9. Ireland, such beautiful place, with the most pleasant people on Earth, I never felt so welcomed in a country (specially in Europe like in Ireland).

    I don’t remember trying so good food like these ones you posted, this bread makes me want to crack it and eat it whole with butter <3 looks so crunchy.

    The stew <3 … The Irish coffee cake… oh my… funny enough I just had an Irish coffee today (and of course it is not something I usually do… but well it is sunday and it is well deserved! 

    Thanks for the tips, and you just got yourself a follower!

    1. Yes, nothing like a good Irish coffee to start your day!  Haha!  I also toured the Guinness factory and got certified on making a perfect pour.  And I bought two rocks tumblers at Waterford.  I’m sensing a theme here . . . 

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