If all you can picture when thinking about Irish food is a marshmellowy cereal and corned beef and cabbage, we’re here to put a little more culture in your back pocket, especially in the case of putting on or participating in a St. Patrick’s Day-themed pot "luck". You can be the talk of the town with any one of these traditional Irish foods.
Bring on a great cheese dip that will make it hard for guests not to double dip (cue the sharp inhales from the audience). The Irish Artichoke Cheese Dip is a warm cheesy appetizer that has caramelized onions, cream cheese and a good amount of artichoke hearts. When mixed all together and baked so that the top layer has a nice golden brown color to it, you’ll have to beat everyone back, or better yet, have a second batch waiting in the wings so you can be the hero of the party.
An obvious choice for an appetizer should be a cliche thought of Irish and potatoes, but many people forget that Potato Skins make an easy and terrific quick dish. These used to be on the menus of many sit-down restaurants, but they’ve lost their popularity in the last few years. But this is the perfect excuse to scrub up a few russets, bake, choose your favorite toppings, bake again and call them delicious. Let inspiration be your guide when it comes to those toppers: cheese is a must, bacon, chives, sour cream and tomatoes, but don’t stop there. Add some jalapenos for spice, use gouda or gruyere for sophistication, or make it with a sweet potato for uniqueness. Sky’s the limit.
For no other reason than the fact that this cocktail is green, the Luck of the Irish drink will get the party started early. Start with a good Irish whiskey, toss in some peach schnapps, pineapple juice, lime soda, ice and a couple drops of green food coloring and you have something a leprechaun would be happy to sip on. There are some other variations to this recipe and we recommend trying a few before choosing one to serve up.
Green beer is sooo last century, how about trying a Black Velvet? This foolproof, 2-ingredient pairing is surprisingly charming. Simply mix equal parts champagne and a good Irish dry stout together. This drink has a nice strong kick from the stout, while the champagne provides the light, boozy bubbles everyone loves. This may become a new tradition at many special occasions throughout the year.
Although not originally from Ireland, Shepherd’s Pie is one of those main dishes that screams comfort food. This meat and veggie medley used to be a way to cook up leftovers, but your version will be anything but ordinary. First and foremost, don’t make the Americanized version with ground beef, go the extra mile and be authentic with diced or minced lamb. Take the time to sear the meat, make sure the gravy is rich and flavorful, and absolutely make sure the potatoes are fluffy with a hint of goat’s cheese to make everything come together.
Hear me out… Corned beef and Cabbage doesn’t have to be your grandma’s old recipe where everything is boiled and the only seasoning is salt. Mix up the dish by making a creamy Reuben casserole topped with sauerkraut, or go way out in left field with a corned beef and cabbage pizza. This last one comes with a warning to not serve in a traditional Italian family’s home unless they’re open to a groundbreaking experience.
Every Irish family has their own recipe for Colcannon Potatoes, so don’t be surprised if the variety of ingredients varies quite a bit. One thing’s for sure, don’t skimp on the butter! In fact, there are some recipes out there that call out only using Irish brand butters, because they're the best (of course!). We’re not so picky in that department, just sure that anything like margarine is a truly unacceptable travesty.
A very versatile side dish that will catch everyone’s eye is a batch of Boxties. Similar to latkes, traditional boxties are potato pancakes served with sour cream and applesauce but are just as good with a smattering of jam or all by themselves. One of the other great things about them is that at a pot "luck", if they get mingled with other flavors on your overstuffed plate, they’re bound to taste delicious with just about everything.
For a country surrounded by water, you know seafood has a large influence on the cuisine. Irish Seafood Chowder is a hearty, creamy soup that might just make it on your regular menu items at home, it’s that good. With its customary blend of mussels, calamari rings and prawns (aka shrimp for us basic folks), this chowder sounds complicated, but cooks up in 30 minutes and is deceptively filling. It may be the dish some guests fill up on.
Maybe the only soup that could possibly challenge the seafood chowder would be the Irish Beer Cheese Soup. Traditionally served in a hollowed-out bread bowl, this soup incorporates rich-flavored cheeses with a lemony freshness that comes through from a good Irish lager. When serving at a St. Paddy’s Day pot "luck", don’t worry about bringing bread bowls for everyone, just serve with generous slices of a hearty, crusty bread on the side.
When you’re done with praying to the yeast gods to make sure your bread rises, try making
Irish Soda Bread instead. This divine bread doesn’t require kneading or yeast and is versatile enough to take on many different flavors, including a good stout ale. If you’re looking for a nice savory twist, garlic and rosemary are just the right combo. Want something a little sweeter, go with raisins or currents and a little more sugar. And don’t forget the cheese and bacon version is always a home run.
To keep the baking to the simple side, there are a couple versions of Irish Potato Bread that go perfectly at any pot "luck". The loaf-style potato bread is also a yeast-free bread that gets its lift from baking powder. There is something magical about the potatoes that gives the loaf a softness and irresistible taste. The flat version, known as farl, is the perfect vessel to put toppings on, dip with or enjoy with a dusting of powdered sugar. Who doesn’t want that?!
Don’t mock it till you try it: the Shamrock Shake is anything but traditional but is older than you think. Introduced back in the ‘70s, is a good ol’ minty milkshake that will bring out the kid in everyone. Combine in a blender vanilla ice cream, milk, mint extract and food coloring and serve in tall malt shop glasses. Then the real fun begins: bring fun toppings to crown your shake with. Things like whipped cream, sprinkles, crushed cookies, marshmallows, maraschino cherries, and even gummy bears.
With all the appeal of an adult beverage, but none of the alcohol, Shillelagh is a light and sweet drink named after a traditional walking stick used in Ireland. Pull out your shaker and add in lemon juice, powdered sugar, peach juice and ice. Mix well and pour, then garnish with a fresh raspberry on a stirstick and call it a day (or a delicious drink).
Who knew potatoes could be used in a dessert? The Irish, of course, with their simple Potato Candies. Warning: do not use instant potatoes for this recipe: they’re too processed, too watery and are just a travesty to an already easy-to-make sweet treat. With its swirl of peanut butter layer and sugary potato outside, these candies are perfect pinwheels of softness that will have you believing potatoes do make delectable desserts.
For this one, you’re going to have to dust off that apron sitting in the corner of your pantry. The traditional Irish Apple Cake uses wonderfully tart granny smith apples sliced thinly and tossed in the batter to make irregular style layers when baked and topped with a silky custard sauce that is cooled and poured over each slice when served. We can tell you the work behind this one is well worth it, and the guests will think so too.
Hosting the Pot "Luck"
Going all out doesn’t mean breaking the bank; go to your local discount store and load up on everything green. It’s amazing how much St. Patrick’s themed items are out there that will make your gathering the one everyone wants to emulate next year.
If you’re still stumped, a simple internet search for “St. Patrick’s Day decorations” will have you seeing clovers and buckets of gold till you’re green in the gills. But try to not go too far overboard; the get-together is more about the people than the decorations.
Attending a Pot "Luck"
Try to coordinate what you’re bringing, your outfit and even a gift you can offer the host to the theme they’ve presented. If “pot of gold” is the gist, serve your food on a gold plate with gold utensils. When it’s “everything Irish” bring in the green, white and orange of the flag to all that you’re offering. And if the theme is a little vaguer, you can’t go wrong with making your Irish soda bread or potato candies with a touch of green to them.
Pot "Luck" Rogue-style
Keep every party going with Rogue at your fingertips. Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure, so pair up a Wintergreen Pouch to enhance the flavor of a cocktail or enjoy a quick-dissolving Berry Tablet to keep the fruity dessert flavor going.
No matter what you choose, you’ll know one thing for sure: this St. Patrick’s Day pot "luck" will be the best one yet.