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Three Irish Recipes from Ireland's Culinary Traditions

Updated on March 15, 2015
Traditional Irish milk wagon outside a farmhouse.
Traditional Irish milk wagon outside a farmhouse. | Source

Ireland, the Irish, and St. Patrick - Assimilation and Influence

Irish immigration in the 1800s took the Irish to a number of new countries, although a large portion traveled to America. Even in the USA, the Irish found a land of ethnic neighborhoods, especially developed in the big cities. As ethnic peoples became acquainted and intermarried, their original culinary traditions were handed down to new generations of Americans with adjustments for including the best of all ethnicities.

Some of the Irish recipes handed down to future cooks include a

  • Scallop and Mushroom or Scallop-Haddock-Mushroom Pie, a
  • Cabbage and Pork dish, and an
  • Irish Boiled Dinner --

The latter dish was tweaked in Boston by a visiting chef that possessed international cooking experience in the early 1980s. It was customized again in Ohio by an Irish-English descendant of mine that married into a Ukrainian Jewish family (options are included below).

A view in Galway (
A view in Galway (

Scallop Mushroom Pie


  • 1.5 Pounds of fresh scallops
  • 1/4 Pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 Cup good quality sherry
  • 3 Cups of cold mashed potatoes

Garnish Options:

  • Chopped parsley, chives, or green onions


  • Wash the scallops well and if they are large, cut in half.
  • In a large soup pot over medium heat, place the milk and add the scallops and salt and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes after the milk begins to bubble.
  • Remove from heat, strain the milk away and save it.
  • In another large pot, melt the butter over medium high heat and the flour to from a light-colored roux. Mix well and add the milk slowly; mix again to remove all lumps.
  • Add in the scallops, mushrooms, and sherry. Stir.
  • Pour the contents of the pot into a rectangular baking dish and top evenly with the mashed potatoes.
  • Dot potato surface with butter and bake the dish for 20-30 minutes or golden brown.
  • Garnish and serve at the table.

Note: An alternate recipe calls for the addition of 1 Pound of chunked haddock filets to be added to the scallops in the beginning of the recipe. This builds a larger dish of food. Some recipes call additionally for a small yellow onion, chopped. Still other versions of this dish used ham instead of haddock.

5 stars from 1 rating of Scallop Mushroom Pie
Serve corned beef or smoked pork with cabbage.
Serve corned beef or smoked pork with cabbage. | Source

Smoked Pork and Cabbage

Similar one-pot meals are served also in some areas of Southeastern Europe.


  • 1 smoked boneless pork butt, 2 Pounds
  • 3 Quarts of boiling water in a large soup pot
  • 1/2 Cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup soft bread crumbs (you can make these in your blender)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 Head of cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp molasses or honey
  • 1 Yellow onion, peeled and studded with a several whole cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Add the pork butt to the boiling water, cover, and simmer for 90 minutes.
    In a bowl, stir together the brown sugar, bread crumbs, and dry mustard and set aside.
  • Trim up the cabbage to remove dead leaves, do not core, but cut into wedges. If wedges begin to separate, secure with toothpicks.
  • After the 90 minutes required cooking time for the pork, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove the pork from the soup pot and set it on a plate and keep the pot of broth.. Pierce the pork several times with a fork and brush the meat with the molasses or honey.
  • Pat the dry mixture over the pork but, put it into a baking dish, uncovered, and bake 30 minutes (like you would a ham).
    Put the cabbage wedges and the whole onion into the pot of broth, turn the heat up to medium high, and cook only 5 minutes, or until the cabbage just begins to soften.
  • Taste and re-season as necessary.
  • Remove from heat, drain and slice the cabbage, pork butt, and the onion (after removing the cloves), and serve.


An Irish Blessing

May your neighbors respect you,

Trouble neglect you,

Ten angels protect you,

And heaven accept you.


Variations on a Brisket

This is an Irish Boiled Dinner that contains variations, as noted.


  • One 4-Pound beef brisket
  • 24 ounces of lager (optional)
  • 2 Cups water or beef broth
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 10 Black peppercorns
  • 1/2 Cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Cups chopped leeks
  • 1 Yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 Pound carrots, washed and cut into chunks
  • 3/4 Pound red potatoes (the small ones)
  • 1 Pound of turnips, washed, pared, and cut up (optional)
  • 1 2-Pound head of cabbage, cut into sixths (secure with toothpicks)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, add the brisket, beer, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, and salt.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil.
  • Sauté the garlic, leeks, and yellow onions until softened and add to the Dutch oven.
  • Cover the Dutch oven and simmer about 3-4 hours, or until meat is fork tender.
    About 20 – 25 minutes before the meat is done, add in the carrots and potatoes.
  • About 10 minutes before all is done, add in the turnips, cabbage, salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat when meat and vegetables are done, remove toothpicks from cabbage, and arrange food attractively on a serving platter.

Note: If you don’t care for turnips, use large pieces of celery or a few cut up sweet potatoes. Some cooks also add a few whole cloves to the pot and remove before serving.

An Irish Swedish Chef's Celebration for Fun

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS


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