Chef Dez: Celebrate St. Patricks Day with traditional Irish fare

Chef Dez: Celebrate St. Patricks Day with traditional Irish fare

Try a little Dublin Coddle or Colcannon if you want to get traditional

  • Mar. 15, 2020 5:00 a.m.

There are a number of novelty consumables that consistently reappear in the marketplace during the days leading up to March 17.

These will most undoubtedly include items such as green tinted beverages like beer and milkshakes for example. Although this may be an amusing way to recognize St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, a culinary adventure of Irish cuisine would be more nostalgic, in my opinion.

There are a number of traditional Irish dishes that one can prepare to make the dinner table a celebratory venue in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day. Potatoes continue to be a staple in Irish cuisine but there are many dishes, with or without potatoes, which capture the essence of their time-honored meals.

Dublin Coddle is a recipe that first comes to mind when thinking about Irish food. It is a dish that consists of pan-frying sausages, bacon, onions, & garlic before placing them on potatoes slices in a casserole dish and baking together with some broth and seasonings. The seasonings can be as simple as using some dried sage with salt and pepper.

Colcannon

is a very traditional vegetarian dish consisting of a mashed combination of potatoes with cabbage. The potatoes are cooked and mashed while the cabbage is pan-fried with butter and onions before being combined with the mashed potatoes with some milk or cream and seasoned to taste.

Soda Bread is a common accompaniment to many meals. It is a simple quick bread that rises with the chemical combination reaction of buttermilk with baking soda. There are many varieties of this recipe and my favorite includes the addition of wheat germ. The classic shape of this bread is round with the surface scored with a knife four times in star shaped pattern.

Lamb and Beef Stews are also very popular as one-dish meals in Ireland. Many also can include the addition of Guinness beer – a delicious black stout from Dublin.

A classic sweet with a cup of tea would be Irish Tea Brack. It is similar to a fruit cake but made without butter or margarine, and has no candied fruit. Raisins and lemon rind usually grace this heavy cake along with Irish whiskey, and warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

This is just a small sample of traditional Irish fare. The Internet and the local library will prove to be valuable resources to elaborate on these ideas and make this St. Patircks Day a mealtime celebration. Also, most of these recipes are included in my ‘best of’ cookbook: The Best In Your Kitchen, available online at chefdez.com or Amazon.

Dear Chef Dez:

A Scottish friend of mine, use to talk about a dish called “Rumbledethumps”. Do you know what this is? How do you make it?

Rebecca L.

Burnaby, BC

Dear Rebecca:

Through some investigation, I have determined that “Rumbledethumps” is a Scottish dish that is almost identical to the Irish dish “Colcannon”. It is a mixture of pan-fried cabbage with white onion stirred into mashed potatoes. The difference is that Rumbledethumps is baked with the inclusion of grated cheddar cheese mixed in and melted on top of the dish.

Chef Dez is a BC-based food columnist and culinary instructor. Visit him at www.chefdez.com.

Just Posted

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

The memorial site for double-murder victims Nellie Williams and Fran Shurie, located in Charles Hoey Park, will be allowed to stay for another two months after the City of Duncan changed its policy on temporary memorials. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan allowing memorials to murdered pair stay longer

Policy change related to memorial for double-homicide victims in city park

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

(Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Victoria police will be making numerous arrests throughout the day Jan. 27 as part of its #VicPDWarrantWednesday project. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Numerous arrests today part of Victoria police #WarrantWednesday project

VicPD says arrests part of warrant enforcement project

The barge sank again on Jan. 8 and is still resting under water. (Bill McQuarrie photo)
Refloating of sunken Port McNeill barge to resume in early February

This will be the second attempt at recovery after poor weather conditions caused barge to re-sink

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Victoria police are seeking a young woman suspected of spitting on a bus driver in October 2020. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Young woman sought after ‘spitting assault’ on Victoria bus driver

Suspect became irate after bus came to a sudden stop

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read