Traditional Irish Dishes and Recipes to Make for St. Patrick’s Day

The other Irish foods: Tired of celebrating St. Paddy’s Day with corned beef, cabbage, and green beer? Try one of these truly traditional Irish dishes instead

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colcannonPhotograph by Kristen Perers

At Blue Mountain Bistro to Go in Kingston, they do serve corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. But by far the most popular Gaelic treat on the menu on March 17 is the colcannon. “Some people have never heard of it; some people have heard of it but don’t know what it is,” says chef and co-owner Richard Erickson. This traditional Irish dish, originally eaten on Halloween, mainly consists of mashed potatoes mixed with either kale or cabbage. “You can use collards and leeks too,” says Erickson. “Any green that you can pull out of the garden in the winter will work. People often take it home as a side dish. It’s really good. In fact, sometimes we don’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day.”

Chef Erickson's Colcannon

  1. Mash potatoes (he prefers Carola spuds) in your normal fashion.
  2. Take a bunch of leeks, chop them fine, and soak in water to clean out the sand. Drain, then sweat them in a pan on top of the stove, sautéing with some butter, salt, and pepper until soft.
  3. Chop kale and savoy cabbage (the queen of all cabbage) into horizontal strips about one inch wide and put into a deep pot with about one inch of water in the bottom. Steam until the vegetables are tender, and drain off the excess water.
  4. Toss in some olive oil, salt, and pepper and stir into the potatoes along with the leeks. Check the seasoning, and voila! Colcannon!
irish oatmeal

So What Is Irish Oatmeal?

Irish oats are simply steel-cut oats — whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into only two or three pieces. They are commonly grown in Ireland and Scotland. Alternately, rolled oats (think the Quaker Man) have been steamed and run between rollers to create flakes. Many think that because Irish oats are the least processed, they offer superior nutritional value — but some nutritionists don’t think there is much difference. But two things are for sure: Irish oats have a nuttier taste, and take longer to prepare.

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