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5 things you should eat on St. Patrick’s Day

It creeps up quickly, the start of spring does. And with it, comes a hint of warmth in the air, NCAA March Madness, South by Southwest, and of course, St. Patrick’s Day. And while we all like a good pint of Guiness or other beer of choice on this Irish-inspired holiday, it also brings to mind a few choice food items. Well, it does in my mind, and this is a food blog, so let’s talk about the 5 things you should eat on St. Patrick’s Day:

1. Corned beef and cabbage–Well, duh. But we have to mention it, because it’s the gold standard of St. Patty’s Day fare. And it’s really simple, assuming you work from home or have a few hours to let it simmer. Here is a basic corned beef and cabbage recipe from Food Network, but you will likely find the same premise for cooking corned beef anywhere on the Web.

Chef Jim2. Variations of corned beef and cabbage–This would include the classic Reuben sandwich, and I posted a recipe for a grilled version on Bullz-Eye.com’s Grub for Guys last year. I also posted related recipes right here on Mikey’s Kitchen the last few days for Braised Cabbage with Guinness, and for Corned Beef Meatballs.

3. Irish Stew–There are so many great Irish stew recipes out there, so here is a link that will help you narrow your search down a bit, and one that includes different variations on this classic dish. I should mention, however, that traditional Irish stew is made with lamb. That said, here is my own recipe for beef stew with beer that can aptly pass for the real thing, especially after you’ve downed a few.

Chef Jim4. Bangers and mash–Okay, full disclosure. I’m Irish and I’ve never tasted bangers and mash. I’ve had sausage, and I’ve had mashed potatoes, but have never had them together. I know, shoot me. But anyway, this is an assignment for a future column here–both to have bangers and mash, and also to try cooking it. Meanwhile, here is a super easy version you can try at home.

5. Irish soda bread–This is a malty bread with raisins, and for whatever reason, always tastes best on St. Patty’s Day or a few days before. Make sure to slather it with some real butter and wash down with a pint of your favore beer, or some Irish coffee. You can try making your own, or just try any bakery or even grocery store this time of year.

Yeah, I know. I didn’t include Shepherd’s Pie. I could have squeezed it in if I made corned beef and cabbage and variations 1 and 1a. But then I thought about it–I don’t recall shepherd’s pie being a St. Patty’s Day specialty, so I’m going to make the executive decision to not include it here. Well, unless you’re curious about it and want to try it. Until then, I will vow to make shepherd’s pie some time soon on this site. Fair enough?

Until then, enjoy St. Patrick’s Day and please, as they say, enjoy responsibly. That’s a fancy way for saying that if you’ve tossed back a few, don’t get behind the wheel. Of course, eating any of the above to soak up the alcohol is always a good thing. Enjoy!

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