St. Patrick’s day dinner.

We threw our  St. Patrick’s Day party over the weekend, but there is still time for you to put together a nice dinner for Thursday or next weekend!

Corned beef. I made my own corned beef by making a brine with sugar and salt and leaving it to soak for three weeks, but you can easily buy ready made corned beef. I slow cooked ours for 8 hours on low with two Guinesses, chopped carrots, quartered onions and water to cover. My brine originally included lots of cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and allspice, but if you’re using store bought corned beef I would recommend adding these into the slow cooker as they (the cinnamon in particular) really adds a lot of depth of flavor. I served the beef with mustard.

(We had 25 people at our little fete so I got a pony keg for the deck, which cut down on bottles and cost. Plus, I used it for the beef! If you’re in HK and looking to order a keg, just call Johnny at 9326-7327)

Champ. This is a very traditional Irish side dish and the perfect accompaniment to corned beef. I did Epicurious’s version, which included potatoes, lots of milk, chives, and peas. You can make this the morning of and just re-heat it when you’re ready to eat.

Kelly’s Irish Soda Bread
. My good friend from Notre Dame Kelly (who is so Irish that her wedding color is Kelly green) gave me this recipe and it was divine! And also super easy. This is also good made a day or two ahead of time, but it is insanely good right out of the oven!

  • Sift together 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder and a dash of salt.
  • Add 1 and 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup of raisins and 1/2 cup of caraway seeds and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour into a loaf pan and sprinkle top with sugar.
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.

Currant scones. Now you probably don’t need these if you’re also doing the soda bread, but I thought they were quite delicious so I’m including them here.

Finally, in addition to the signature Irish Carbomb cocktail (if you can even call it a cocktail), I made some little jello mint mojitos, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles. The Mr. manned his bar, played traditional Irish music, and read a few Irish toasts. It was a very fun night indeed!

All the flowers are by Diane at the very talented Ellermann Design–didn’t she make simple white carnations look amazing? The dessert table is on tap tomorrow.

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10 responses to “St. Patrick’s day dinner.

  1. Wow, that is truly an Irish feast. Very elegant! I wish I could have tasted the corned beef, because I’m always intrigued about how to vary the flavor. I once corned my own beef and then found that it was pretty darned similar to what you buy (of course, we CAN buy it here!) so I gave up on that 😉

    It is a favorite, however. It just tastes so good!

    Did you have lots of leftover beer? I made a wonderful stew with some Guinness that had gotten frozen out in the garage…

  2. Looks so amazing! Corned beef with mustard sounds absolutely divine right now! 🙂

  3. Oh SO FUN! My mom just hosted her St. Patrick’s Day dinner in Marblehead. No green jello shots but she does make the most amazing Irish Coffee. 🙂


  4. Very festive indeed…everything looks amazing! We had our corned beef dinner this weekend as well. In New England the Irish tradition is the flat cut grey cured beef which is boiled on the stove top for 3-5 hours.
    Thank you for sharing Kelly’s Irish Soda Bread recipe. I’ll try it soon.

  5. Oh my!! I can’t believe you corned your own beef!! Where did you keep it for three weeks? Also, I am looking at carnations in a whole new light after seeing the way they were presented here- gorgeous!!

  6. Thanks for the soda bread recipe – it’s quite different from the one I used, which just had some cardamom in it. Is it really a half cup of caraway seeds in your recipe?!

  7. Sylvia–I suppose boiling corned beef for 5 hours is pretty similar to slow cooking it for eight… love that you carry on the New England version!

    Sydney–I kept it in my fridge for three weeks, which meant I had to pack in everything else very carefully! And, yes, Diane did amazing wonders with the carnations!

    Marg0–Yes, it does call for 1/2 cup of caraway seeds, but to be honest I omitted them entirely because I couldn’t find them here in HK. I strongly recc Kelly’s recipe!

  8. Everything looked so festive, loved all the green decorations and wow, all the food looked amazing. How very fun!

  9. ok, I HAVE to try something with a half cup of caraway seeds! I love caraway seeds – most people think that is the flavor of rye bread, but it’s not the rye, it’s the caraway seeds. I love to sprinkle some caraway seeds on pork and sauerkraut and apples before they roast.

  10. I know I’m late but…

    The corned beef sounds so good and I am very impressed that you began preparing 3 weeks in advance! How very organized of you!

    Your little mint cocktails are so cute!

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