The Only Sides You Need For St. Patrick's Day

March 13, 2017
Easy. Traditional. Delicious. That's what both of these Irish side dishes have in common. But they're so good, they just might make it into your weekly dinner rotation.
Danielle DeSiato
The Only Sides You Need for Your St. Paddy's Day Dinner | WGBH | CRAVING BOSTON

Whether you’re planning on Corned Beef, Irish Stew, or another traditional dish for your St. Patrick’s day feast, these are the only two side dishes you’ll need on the table.

Colcannon is a lesser-known Irish accompaniment, which is really a shame because it’s just about the most delicious mash-up you can imagine. Creamy mashed potatoes meet tender green cabbage and buttery sautéed leeks. You can cook up the greens while the potatoes are boiling, and everything comes together in a snap. Simplicity never tasted so good! 

Irish soda bread is essentially a quick bread masquerading as a traditional boule, but that’s okay because it means getting the loaf on the table is much quicker than a standard yeast bread — under an hour in this case. The two things that really amp up a classic Irish Soda Bread, in my opinion, are caraway seeds and dried currants. The currants add a little sweetness so no sugar is necessary in the dough, and the caraway seeds delightfully complement whatever traditional main dish you're serving. Buttermilk and a little bit of butter add moist richness to this bread, so it’s not too crumbly to dip in your stew. 

Both of these delights are perfect vehicles for all your salted Kerrygold butter fantasies.

Irish Colcannon

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
1 tablespoon kosher salt, for water
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, divided (plus extra for serving)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 leeks, dark greens trimmed, halved lengthwise, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/2 head of green cabbage, finely shredded (about 4 cups)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place potatoes and tablespoon kosher salt in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Boil until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add buttermilk, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mash until only small chunks of potato remain. 

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large non-stick skillet. Add leeks and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sauté until leeks are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage and cook covered until cabbage is wilted, about 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid is evaporated and cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes.

Gently fold leek and cabbage mixture and black pepper into mashed potatoes. Season with additional salt and butter to taste.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread | WGBH | CRAVING BOSTON
3 cups all-purpose flour (15 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line an 8-inch oven-safe skillet with a large piece of parchment paper, which will overhang the sides and act as a sling for removing the bread from the skillet. Grease paper with butter or non-stick spray.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl. Work in the butter with your fingers until no large pieces of butter remain. Stir in currants and caraway seeds, and make a well in center of mixutre. 

Add buttermilk and combine thoroughy with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until no dry flour remains, but don't overmix. Spread dough onto grased parchment in skillet and smooth top. Run a sharp knife under warm water and cut a 1/4-inch deep X in the top of the dough.

Bake until top is evenly browned, 40 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Carefully remove skillet from oven, leaving an oven mit or dish towel draped over hot handle. Immediately remove bread from skillet using parchment paper sling and transfer to wire rack to cool. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. 

  • March 13, 2017