Morn ta ya, all you unfortunate non True Sons and Daughters o’ Erin. ‘Tis sorry I am that none o’ you were lucky enough to be born true Irishmen or women.
Tomorrow incase you didn’t know is St Patrick/Padraig’s Day (Padraig being the Gaelic spelling of Patrick) a.k.a my my favorite n patriotic holiday of the year! NO! I’ll not be one o’ the thousands of you heathens using the day as an excuse the lay about sodden drunk in your cups, and no bloody green beer will be ever passing my lips. ‘Tis mass I’ll proudly be attending early on the morrow – you’ll see more on that below. That followed by a full day of traditional Irish fare and music both home and at the pub.
Irishopoly is the Irish version of Monopoly my favorite game- except I play with real streets real houses real Railroads & Utilities and I own the bank!
Well, we’ve a really full o’ the Craic and Blarney issue today, so its best you get right to it.
Taking a wee break from the golf course, Rory Mcllroy drives his new Mercedes into an Irish gas station.
An attendant greets him in a typical Irish manner, unaware who the golf pro is…
“Top o? the mornin to ya”
As Rory gets out of the car, two tees fall out of his pocket.
“What are those things, laddie?” asks the attendant.
“They’re called tees,” replies Rory.
“And what would ya be usin ’em for, now?” inquires the Irishman.
“Well, they’re for resting my balls on when I drive,” replies Rory.
“Aw, Jaysus, Mary an’ Joseph!” exclaims the Irish attendant.
“Those fellas at Mercedes think of everything…
Actually we refer to them as our ‘’”McGoogles”.
Wolfe Tones – Wearing Of The Green
A shillelagh ( Irish: sail éille [ˈsalʲ ˈeːl̠ʲə], “thonged willow”) or blackthorn stick is a wooden walking stick and club or cudgel, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob at the top, that is associated with Ireland and Irish folklore.
Originally known as the Irish: bata, or stick, the name shillelagh is an Anglophone corruption of the Irish sail éille and appears to have become convoluted with that of the village and barony of Shillelagh, County Wicklow. The shillelagh was originally used for settling disputes in a gentlemanly manner — like a duel with pistols or swords. Modern practitioners of bataireacht study the use of the shillelagh for self-defense and as a martial art. Of the practice, researcher J. W. Hurley writes:
Methods of shillelagh fighting have evolved over a period of thousands of years, from the spear, staff, axe and sword fighting of the Irish. There is some evidence which suggests that the use of Irish stick weapons may have evolved in a progression from a reliance on long spears and wattles, to shorter spears and wattles, to the shillelagh, alpeen, blackthorn (walking-stick) and short cudgel. By the 19th century Irish shillelagh-fighting had evolved into a practice which involved the use of three basic types of weapons, sticks which were long, medium or short in length.
Shillelaghs are traditionally made from blackthorn (sloe) wood (Prunus spinosa) or oak. Wood from the root was prized as it was less prone to cracking during use. The wood would be smeared with butter or lard, and placed up a chimney to cure, giving the shillelagh its typical black shiny appearance. Shillelaghs may be hollowed at the heavy “hitting” end and filled with molten lead to increase the weight beyond the typical two pounds; this sort of shillelagh is known as a ‘loaded stick’. They are commonly the length of a walking stick (distance from the floor to one’s wrist with elbow slightly bent). Most also have a heavy knob for a handle which can be used for striking as well as parrying and disarming an opponent. Many shillelaghs also have a strap attached, similar to commercially made walking sticks, to place around the holder’s wrist.
In modern usage, the shillelagh is recognized (particularly in an Irish-American context) as a symbol of Irishness. For example, the NCOs of the Fighting 69th regiment of the United States Army National Guard carry shillelaghs as rank badges in parades. The Boston Celtics logo has a leprechaun leaning on his shillelagh, and it is regularly featured with the leprechaun on the logos for many Brothers Rugby league teams across Australia. In San Diego, Padres broadcaster Mark Grant popularized the shillelagh as a rally call, by using terms like “Shillelagh Power” to describe late game heroics by the Padres. (The success of the phrase led the San Diego Padres store to carry inflatable shillelaghs). Similarly, in college football, a Jeweled Shillelagh is the trophy given to the winner of the rivalry game between the USC Trojans and Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Professional wrestler Finlay carried a shillelagh to the ring as an “illegal weapon”.
Shillelaghs are sometimes referred to in a similar context in folk songs, such as in the ballad “Finnegan’s Wake,” in which the term “shillelagh law” refers to a brawl, and in the 19th century song “Rocky Road to Dublin,” in which references are made to fashioning a shillelagh, using it to hold a tied bag over one’s shoulder, and using it as a striking weapon.
The MGM-51 Shillelagh anti-tank missile was named for the club.
Lt Colonel John Storch of the 364th Fighter Squadron – 357th Fighter Group based in Leiston Suffolk England from 1944–45 had a Mustang P-51B 2106826 named “The Shillelagh” and also had a P-51D 472164 with the same nose art.
Officers of the Irish Guards and Royal Irish Regiment carry Blackthorn sticks, as did past Irish Regiments of the British Army, such as the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and Fusiliers
This is my nephew, Less Than Lethal Leprechaun
Prayer to St. Patrick, Patron of Ireland
Dear St. Patrick,
in your humility you called yourself a sinner,
but you became a most successful missionary
and prompted countless pagans
to follow the Savior.
Many of their descendants in turn
spread the Good News in numerous foreign lands.
Through your powerful intercession with God,
obtain the missionaries we need
to continue the work you began.
Even the Bishop wore green at St Patrick’s Church in Galveston this morning for Mass. Of course he’s not the only one wearing Green today!
A “Lorica’ is a protective case a sheath. The term first came into use referring to a Roman Centurions breastplate
A sobbing Mrs. Murphy approaches Fr. O’Grady after mass.
He says: “So what’s bothering you?”
She replies: “Oh, Father, I’ve terrible news. My husband passed away last night.”
The priest says: “Oh, Mary, that’s terrible. Did he have any last requests?”
“Certainly father,” she replied. “He said: “Please Mary, put down that damn gun.”
Then there are those who wear their green on the outside:
A Texan walks into a pub in Ireland and clears his voice to the crowd of drinkers. He says, “I hear you Irish are a bunch of hard drinkers. I’ll give $500 American dollars to anybody in here who can drink 10 pints of Guinness back-to-back.”
The room is quiet and no one takes up the Texan’s offer. One man even leaves. Thirty minutes later the same gentleman who left shows back up and taps the Texan on the shoulder. “Is your bet still good?”, asks the Irishman.
The Texan says yes and asks the bartender to line up 10 pints of Guinness. Immediately the Irishman tears into all 10 of the pint glasses drinking them all back-to-back. The other pub patrons cheer as the Texan sits in amazement.
The Texan gives the Irishman the $500 and says, “If ya don’t mind me askin’, where did you go for that 30 minutes you were gone?”
The Irishman replies, “Oh…I had to go to the pub down the street to see if I could do it first”.
No, he is NOT what we mean when we say “Black Irish’!
NO! There is no such thing as black Leprechauns either! Sheesh! That’s Garrett Morris very credibly singing “Oh Danny Boy” on an Original Episode of SNL while comedic comments scrolled the screen.
Who were the Black Irish, and what is their story?
The term “Black Irish” has been in circulation among Irish emigrants and their descendants for centuries. Yet, as a subject of historical discussion, it is almost never referred to in Ireland. There are a number of different claims as to the origin of the term, none of which are possible to entirely prove or disprove.
The term is commonly used to describe people of Irish origin who have dark features, black hair, a dark complexion and dark eyes.
A quick review of Irish history reveals that the island was subject to a number of influxes of foreign cultures. The Celts arrived on the island about the year 500 B.C.
Whether or not this was an actual invasion or rather a more gradual migration and assimilation of their culture by the native Irish is open to conjecture, but there is sufficient evidence to suggest that this later explanation is more likely.
The next great influx came from Northern Europe, with Viking raids occurring as early as 795 A.D. The defeat of the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf in the year 1014 by Brian Boru marked the end of the struggle with the invaders and saw the subsequent integration of the Vikings into Irish society. The migrants became ‘Gaelicized’ and formed septs (a kind of clan) along Gaelic lines.
The Norman invasions of 1170 and 1172 led by Strongbow saw yet another wave of immigrants settle in the country, many of whom fiercely resisted English dominance of the island in the centuries that followed. The Plantation of Ulster in the seventeenth century saw the arrival of English and Scottish colonists in Ulster after the Flight of the Earls.
Each of these immigrant groups had their own physical characteristics and all, with the exception of the Ulster Planters, assimilated to some degree into Irish society, many claiming to be “more Irish than the Irish themselves”
The Vikings were often referred to as the “dark invaders” or “black foreigners.” The Gaelic word for foreigner is “gall” and for black (or dark) is “dubh.”
Many of the invaders’ families took Gaelic names that utilized these two descriptive words. The name Doyle is in Irish “O’Dubhghaill” which literally means “dark foreigner” which reveals their heritage as an invading force with dark intentions.
The name Gallagher is “O Gallchobhair” which translates as “foreign help.” The traditional image of Vikings is of pale-skinned blond-haired invaders but their description as “dark foreigners” may lead us to conclude that their memory in folklore does not necessarily reflect their physical description.
The Normans were invited into Ireland by Dermot McMurrough and were led by the famous Strongbow. The Normans originated in France, where black-haired people are not uncommon. As with the Vikings, these were viewed as a people of “dark intentions” who ultimately colonized much of the Eastern part of the country and several larger towns.
Many families, however, integrated into Gaelic society and changed their Norman name to Gaelic and then Anglo equivalents: the Powers, the Fitzpatricks, Fitzgeralds, Devereuxs, Redmonds.
It is possible that the term “Black Irish” may have referred to some of these immigrant groups as a way of distinguishing them from the “Gaels,” the people of ultimately Celtic origin.
Another theory of the origin of the term “Black Irish” is that these people were descendants of Spanish traders who settled in Ireland and even descendants of the few Spanish sailors who were washed up on the west coast of Ireland after the disaster of the Spanish Armada of 1588.
It is claimed that the Spanish married into Irish society and created a new class of Irish who were immediately recognizable by their dark hair and complexion. There is little evidence to support this theory and it is unlikely that any significant number of Spanish soldiers would have survived long in the war-torn place that was 16th century Ireland.
It is striking, though, how this tale is very similar to the ancient Irish legend of the Milesians who settled in Ireland having traveled from Spain.
The theory that the “Black Irish” are descendants of any small foreign group that integrated with the Irish and survived is unlikely. It seems more likely that “Black Irish” is a descriptive term rather than an inherited characteristic that has been applied to various categories of Irish people over the centuries.
One such example is that of the hundreds of thousands of Irish peasants who emigrated to America after the Great Famine of 1845 to 1849. 1847 was known as “black 47.” The potato blight which destroyed the main source of sustenance turned the vital food black. It is possible that the arrival of large numbers of Irish after the famine into America, Canada, Australia and beyond resulted in their being labeled as “black” in that they escaped from this new kind of black death.
Immigrant groups throughout history have generally been treated poorly by the indigenous population (or by those who simply settled first).
Derogatory names for immigrant groups are legion and in the case of those who left Ireland include “Shanty Irish” and almost certainly “Black Irish.” It is also possible that within the various Irish cultures that became established in America that there was a pecking order, a class system that saw some of their countrymen labeled as “black.”
The term “Black Irish” has also been applied to the descendants of Irish emigrants who settled in the West Indies. It was also used in Ireland by Catholics in Ulster Province as a derogatory term to describe the Protestant Planters.
While it at various stages was almost certainly used as an insult, the term “Black Irish” has emerged in recent times as a virtual badge of honor among some descendants of immigrants. It is unlikely that the exact origin of the term will ever be known and it is also likely that it has had a number of different iterations, depending on the historical context. It remains therefore a descriptive term used for many purposes, rather than a reference to an actual class of people who may have survived the centuries.
Sadly regardless of how many times I explain and demonstrate this to Impish, bless his soul, he never stops trying.
The Irish Rovers, Raise A Glass To St. Patrick
Lassi says “Paddy we’ve been married along time. You’re good lookin and I think you’ve slept with alotta women. I won’t be mad but I would like to know how many if any. Paddy says. My lovely Lass you should know I never slept with anyone but you my Darlin. All the rest I was awake.
Ah a nice Shepard’s Pie and a mug o’ Guinness! A grand lunch ta be sure!
Food History Fast – Corned Beef and Cabbage
Traditionally, boiled bacon [Irish bacon isn’t anything like American bacon. American bacon comes from the belly while Irish bacon comes from the back so its leaner and not streaked with the fat as American bacon. It’s also usually not smoked or smoked only very lightly.- LL] was the food of choice on St. Paddy’s day for the Irish. When Irish immigrants came to the US, they couldn’t afford the high price of pork products, so they turned to the cheapest cut of meat: beef brisket. Since the US was a melting pot of cultures, the adopted cooking techniques from other countries, and instead of boiling it they brined the brisket like the Eastern Europeans. As for the “corned” part? It has nothing to with corn but actually refers to the corn-sized salt crystals used in the brining process.
Patricia Taylor, daughter of the late Arnold Reuben, told “New York Times” that an actress friend of Charlie Chaplin walked into Reuben’s deli and said, “Reuben, make me a sandwich, make it a combination, I’m so hungry I could eat a brick.” With that motivation, Reuben stacked up the legendary ingredients for the first time. The actress liked it so much that she said, “Gee, Reuben, this is the best sandwich I ever ate. You ought to call it the Annette Seelos Special.” Taylor says her father then responded, “Like hell I will, I’ll call it the Reuben’s Special!”
A shamrock is a young sprig of clover, (Not to be confused with four-leaf clover) used as a symbol of Ireland. Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, is said to have used it as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity. The name shamrock comes from Irish seamróg, which is the diminutive of the Irish word for clover (seamair) and means simply “little clover” or “young clover”.
Shamrock usually refers to either the species Trifolium dubium (lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí) or Trifolium repens (white clover, Irish: seamair bhán). However, other three-leaved plants—such as Medicago lupulina, Trifolium pratense, and Oxalis acetosella—are sometimes called shamrocks or clovers. The shamrock was traditionally used for its medicinal properties and was a popular motif in Victorian times.
The word shamrock derives from seamair óg or young clover, and references to semair or clover appear in early Irish literature, generally as a description of a flowering clovered plain. For example, in the series of medieval metrical poems about various Irish places called the Metrical Dindshenchus, a poem about Tailtiu or Teltown in Co. Meath describes it as a plain blossoming with flowering clover ( mag scothach scothshemrach). Similarly, another story tells of how St. Brigid decided to stay in Co. Kildare when she saw the delightful plain covered in clover blossom (scoth-shemrach). However, the literature in Irish makes no distinction between clover and shamrock, and it is only in English that shamrock emerges as a distinct word.
The first mention of shamrock in the English language occurs in 1571 in the work of the English Elizabethan scholar Edmund Campion. In his work Boke of the Histories of Irelande, Campion describes the habits of the ‘wild Irish’ and states that the Irish ate shamrock “Shamrotes, watercresses, rootes, and other herbes they feed upon”. The statement that the Irish ate shamrock was widely repeated in later works and seems to be a confusion with the Irish word seamsóg or wood sorrel (Oxalis). There is no evidence from any Irish source that the Irish ate clover, but there is evidence that the Irish ate wood sorrel. For example, in the medieval Irish work Buile Shuibhne or ‘The Frenzy of Sweeney’, the king Sweeney who has gone mad and is living in the woods as a hermit, lists wood sorrel among the plants he feeds upon.
Writing soon after in 1596, was the English Elizabethan poet Edmund Spenser who described his observations of war-torn Munster after the Desmond Rebellion in his work A View of the Present State of Ireland. Here shamrock is described as a food eaten as a last resort by starving people desperate for any nourishment during a post-war famine: “Anatomies of death, they spake like ghosts, crying out of theire graves; they did eat of the carrions …. and if they found a plott of water cresses or shamrockes theyr they flocked as to a feast for the time, yett not able long to contynewe therewithall.”
The idea that the Irish ate shamrock is repeated in the writing of Fynes Moryson, one-time secretary to the Lord Deputy of Ireland. In his 1617 work An itinerary thorow Twelve Dominions Moryson describes the ‘wild Irish’, and in this case their supposed habit of eating shamrock is a result of their marginal hand-to-mouth existence as bandits. Moryson claims that the Irish: “willingly eat the herbe Schamrock being of a sharpe taste which as they run and are chased to and fro they snatch like beasts out of the ditches.” The reference to a sharp taste is suggestive of the bitter taste of wood sorrel.
What is clear is that by the end of the sixteenth century the shamrock had become known to English writers as a plant particularly associated with the Irish, but only with a confused notion that the shamrock was a plant eaten by them. To a herbalist like Gerard it is clear that the shamrock is clover, but other English writers do not appear to know the botanical identity of the shamrock. This is not surprising, as they probably received their information at second or third hand. It is notable that there is no mention anywhere in these writings of St. Patrick or the legend of his using the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. However, there are two possible references to the custom of ‘drowning the shamrock’ in ‘usquebagh’ or whiskey. In 1607 the playwright Edward Sharpham in his play The Fleire included a reference to “Maister Oscabath the Irishman … and Maister Shamrough his lackey”. Later, a 1630 work entitled Sir Gregory Nonsence by the poet John Taylor contains the lines: “Whilste all the Hibernian Kernes in multitudes, /Did feast with shamerags steeved in Usquebagh.”
Link to St. Patrick
St. Patrick depicted with shamrock in detail of stained glass window in St. Benin’s Church, Wicklow, Ireland
Traditionally, shamrock is said to have been used by Saint Patrick to illustrate the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity when Christianizing Ireland in the 5th century. The first evidence of a link between St Patrick and the shamrock appears in 1675 on the St Patrick’s Coppers or Halfpennies. These appear to show a figure of St Patrick preaching to a crowd while holding a shamrock, presumably to explain the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. In pagan Ireland, three was a significant number and the Irish had many triple deities, which could have aided St Patrick in his evangelization effort Patricia Monaghan states that “There is no evidence that the clover or wood sorrel (both of which are called shamrocks) were sacred to the Celts”. However, Jack Santino speculates that “The shamrock was probably associated with the earth and assumed by the druids to be symbolic of the regenerative powers of nature … Nevertheless, the shamrock, whatever its history as a folk symbol, today has its meaning in a Christian context. Pictures of Saint Patrick depict him driving the snakes out of Ireland with a cross in one hand and a sprig of shamrocks in the other.” Roger Homan writes, “We can perhaps see St Patrick drawing upon the visual concept of the triskele when he uses the shamrock to explain the Trinity”.
The first written mention of the link does not appear until 1681, in the account of Thomas Dineley, an English traveller to Ireland. Dineley writes:
The 17th day of March yeerly is St Patricks, an immoveable feast, when ye Irish of all stations and condicions were crosses in their hatts, some of pinns, some of green ribbon, and the vulgar superstitiously wear shamroges, 3 leav’d grass, which they likewise eat (they say) to cause a sweet breath.
There is nothing in Dineley’s account of the legend of St. Patrick using the shamrock to teach the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and this story does not appear in writing anywhere until a 1726 work by the botanist Caleb Threlkeld. Threlkeld identifies the shamrock as White Field Clover (Trifolium pratense album ) and comments rather acerbically on the custom of wearing the shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day:
This plant is worn by the people in their hats upon the 17. Day of March yearly, (which is called St. Patrick’s Day.) It being a current tradition, that by this Three Leafed Grass, he emblematically set forth to them the Mystery of the Holy Trinity. However that be, when they wet their Seamar-oge, they often commit excess in liquor, which is not a right keeping of a day to the Lord; error generally leading to debauchery.
The Rev Threlkeld’s remarks on liquor undoubtedly refer to the custom of toasting St. Patrick’s memory with ‘St. Patrick’s Pot’, or ‘drowning the shamrock’ as it is otherwise known. After mass on St. Patrick’s Day the traditional custom of the menfolk was to lift the usual fasting restrictions of Lent and repair to the nearest tavern to mark the occasion with as many St. Patrick’s Pots as they deemed necessary. The drowning of the shamrock was accompanied by a certain amount of ritual as one account explains
“The drowning of the shamrock” by no means implies it was necessary to get drunk in doing so. At the end of the day the shamrock which has been worn in the coat or the hat is removed and put into the final glass of grog or tumbler of punch; and when the health has been drunk or the toast honored, the shamrock should be picked out from the bottom of the glass and thrown over the left shoulder.
The shamrock is still chiefly associated with Saint Patrick’s Day which has become the Irish national holiday, and is observed with parades and celebrations worldwide. The custom of wearing shamrock on the day is still observed and depictions of shamrocks are habitually seen during the celebrations.
Symbol of Ireland
As St. Patrick is Ireland’s patron saint, shamrock has been used as a symbol of Ireland since the 18th century, in a similar way to how a rose is used for England, thistle for Scotland and daffodil for Wales. The shamrock first began to change from a symbol purely associated with St. Patrick to an Irish national symbol when it was taken up as an emblem by rival militias, during the turbulent politics of the late eighteenth century. On one side were the Volunteers (also known as the Irish Volunteers), who were local militias in late 18th century Ireland, raised to defend Ireland from the threat of French and Spanish invasion when regular British soldiers were withdrawn from Ireland to fight during the American Revolutionary War. On the other side were revolutionary nationalist groups, such as the United Irishmen.
The United Irishmen adopted green as their revolutionary color and wore green uniforms or ribbons in their hats, and the green concerned was often associated with the shamrock. The song The Wearing of the Green commemorated their exploits and various versions exist which mention the shamrock. The Erin go bragh flag was used as their standard and was often depicted accompanied by shamrocks, and in 1799 a revolutionary journal entitled The Shamroc briefly appeared in which the aims of the rebellion were supported.
Since the 1800 Acts of Union between Britain and Ireland the shamrock was incorporated into the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, depicted growing from a single stem alongside the rose of England, and the thistle of Scotland to symbolize the unity of the three kingdoms. Since then the shamrock has regularly appeared alongside the rose, thistle and (sometimes) leek for Wales in British coins such as the two shilling and crown, and in stamps. The rose, thistle and shamrock motif also appears regularly on British public buildings such as Buckingham Palace.
Throughout the nineteenth century the popularity of the shamrock as a symbol of Ireland grew, and it was depicted in many illustrations on items such as book covers and St. Patrick’s Day postcards. It was also mentioned in many songs and ballads of the time. For example, a popular ballad called The Shamrock Shore lamented the state of Ireland in the nineteenth century. Another typical example of such a ballad appears in the works of Thomas Moore whose Oh the Shamrock embodies the Victorian spirit of sentimentality. It was immensely popular and contributed to raising the profile of the shamrock as an image of Ireland.
It has become a tradition for the Irish Taoiseach (the head of government or prime minister of Ireland) to present a bowl of shamrocks in a special Waterford Crystal bowl featuring a shamrock design to the President of the United States in the White House every St. Patrick’s Day
The shamrock has been registered as a trademark by the Government of Ireland. In the early 1980s, Ireland defended its right to use the shamrock as its national symbol in a German trademark case, which included high-level representation from taoiseach Charles Haughey. Having originally lost, Ireland won on appeal to the German Supreme Court in 1985.
An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman were reading a newspaper article about which nationalities’ brains were for sale for transplant purposes. An Irishman’s or a Scotsman’s brain could be bought for €500 but an Englishman’s brain cost €10,000. That proves,’ said The Englishman, ‘that Englishmen are much cleverer than Irishmen or Scotsmen.’
‘No it doesn’t,’ said The Irishman, ‘it just means that an Englishman’s brain has never been used.’
Dr O’Mahony tells his patient: “I have bad news and worse news, John.”
“Oh dear,” John replies. “What’s the bad news?” asks the patient.
The doctor replies: “You only have 24 hours to live.”
“That’s terrible,” says the patient. “How can the news possibly be worse?”
Dr O’Mahony replies: “I’ve been trying to contact you since yesterday.”
Slow-Cooker Cabbage, Potatoes and Bacon
You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy cabbage with potatoes, and while this is a great dish for St. Patrick’s Day, you can also enjoy it year-round.
And one of the best ways to appreciate cabbage and potatoes is straight from the slow cooker, after they’ve had a long simmer with bacon and Irish beer, of course. During the cooking process, the smoky, salty and umami bacon flavors melt into the cabbage and potatoes, and everything comes out perfectly cooked. The beer adds moisture and just makes the whole dish better.
But there is a trick: You have to layer the ingredients in the right order. To avoid overcooked, mushy potatoes and to make sure the bacon flavors everything, you can’t throw everything in the pot willy-nilly. Here’s how to layer right:
Bottom layer: Since the cabbage takes the longest to cook, place it in first, as the bottom of the crock is the largest heat source. Onions go in next — toss them with the cabbage so they add flavor throughout.
Middle layer: Here’s where the potatoes go, along with salt, pepper and sweet-savory anise-flavored caraway seeds.
Top layer: Bacon goes on top so its flavorful juices can drip down into the pot and make everything yummy.
Final touch: Pour Irish beer (or chicken stock) over everything.
Slow-Cooker Cabbage, Potatoes and Bacon
Yield: 6 servings
1 small cabbage, roughly chopped (about 6 cups)
1 small onion, chopped
3 medium potatoes (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 strips center-cut bacon, chopped
8 ounces Irish lager beer, such as Harp (or reduced-sodium chicken stock)
Spray large slow-cooker crock with nonstick cooking spray. Place cabbage in bottom of slow cooker; add onion and toss gently.
Add potatoes, caraway seeds, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle potatoes with bacon. Pour beer over potatoes and bacon.
Cook for 3 hours on high setting, or 6 to 7 hours on low setting, until potatoes are tender. Stir gently before serving.
Per serving (1/6th of recipe): Calories 142; Fat 2 g (Saturated 1 g); Sodium 421 mg; Carbohydrate 24 g; Fiber 4 g; Sugars 5 g; Protein 5 g
A Few Sage Words o’ Cooking Wisdom From Chef Lethal:
1.) For authenticity use thick cut bacon. Better yet since Irish bacon comes from the back where as American bacon comes from the (fattier) belly, use one or two thin cut smoked pork chops removed from the bone and sliced up. Toss the bones in between the Middle and Bottom layers for extra flavor and remove before serving.
2.) If you can’t find Harps, or have something against paying $8/ 6 pack for a beer you’re going to cook with (I would!) you can use Killian’s Irish Red or Budweiser’s American Ale with a similar result. In truth you can use just about any beer you are happy drinking, but for the love of St Paddric don’t let it be green beer!
3.) A good crusty bread is an accompaniment must with this.
Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb With Rosemary and Garlic
Lamb is a traditional meat in Ireland and most Shepard’s Pies there are made with chopped/ground lamb not beef. In some areas where family gatherings for a St Padraig’s Day meal will be large Lamb will likely be the meat on the menu. If not then certainly for Easter.
1 small bunch fresh rosemary (coarsely chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
Zest of 1 lemon
leg of lamb
freshly ground black pepper
For the mint sauce
4 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
2 pinches salt
1 tsp. sugar
3 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 tbsp. hot water
Mix the chopped rosemary, minced garlic, lemon zest and olive oil together. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and rub the marinade into it. Brown the lamb on all sides in a large frying pan. Transfer the meat to your slow cooker. You don’t need to add any liquid – the lamb releases enough on its own. Cook on low for 8 hours. To make the mint sauce, mix the chopped mint, salt, sugar, wine vinegar and hot water.
This slow cooked leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic is delicious served with the homemade mint sauce and crispy roast potatoes and veg.
Traditionally the veg will be carrots, parsnips and /or turnips in some combination. Onions may or may not make an appearance depending on preference.
Black Velvet Cocktail
There’re more options to toast St. Patrick’s Day than [shudder] green beer and Irish coffee. If you’re seeking a sip that won’t turn your mouth green or keep you up all night, the Black Velvet cocktail is the perfect pour.
This cocktail only requires two ingredients; Champagne and Ireland’s most famous stout- Guinness. It looks like black velvet and feels just as decadent to sip. The key to this cocktail is the correct assembly: just like any time you pour either Champagne or Guinness on their own, you need patience. Watching these pours settle into their glass is part of the enjoyment. So no shaking, stirring or swirling required. Just pour slowly and enjoy.
- 3 ounces Brut Champagne, chilled
- 3 ounces Guinness Stout, chilled
In a champagne flute*, pour the chilled Champagne. Slowly top with the chilled Guinness. Enjoy!
*You may need to adjust your amounts to fit your glass. The key is to combine equal portions of Champagne and Guinness.
Irish Descendants – Step it out Mary
An Irish priest is driving down the road and is pulled over for speeding.
The garda smells alcohol on the priest’s breath and then sees an empty wine bottle beside him. He asks the priest, “Sir, have you been drinking?”
The priest responds, “No officer, just water,”
The policeman asks, “Then why do I smell wine?”
The priest looks at the bottle and says, “The Good Lord! He’s done it again!”
Slightly Bawdy Irish Limericks
There are some things we musn’t expose
So we hide them away in our clothes.
Oh, it’s shocking to stare at what’s certainly there
but why this is so, Heaven knows
An Irishman from Montana
Who said he could play the piana
His finger slipped
His zipper ripped
And out came a hairy banana
An Irish lady named Mable,
whose ass was as big as a table.
“Never you mind.”
said a friend of mine.
She’s ready, willing, and able.
An Irish lady named Hilda
who went on a date with a builder –
he asked if he should –
she said that he could –
so he did, and very near killed her!
An Irish lady from Ongar
who was shagged in the sea, by a conger,
her girl friend from Deal,
asked “how did it feel?”
she said “nice – like a man – only longer!”
One night, Mrs McMillen answers the door to see her husbands best friend, Paddy, standing on the doorstep.
“Hello Paddy, but where is my husband? He went with you to the beer factory”
Paddy shook his head. “Ah Mrs McMillen, there was a terrible accident at the beer factory, your husband fell into a vat of Guinness stout and drowned”
Mrs McMillen starts crying. “Oh don’t tell me that, did he at least go quickly?”
Paddy shakes his head. “Not really – he got out 3 times to pee!”
Top 10 Irish Beers – A ‘must-know’ list for St. Patrick’s Day
A huge part of Irish tradition, the delicious stouts, ales and lagers of Ireland have become staple items at most St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the world. With flavorful beers from brands like Harp, Murphy’s, Guinness, there’s a notable Irish brew for all types of beer lovers . Whether you’re heading to an Irish Pub or hosting your own party, here are 10 of the best Irish beers to enjoy for St. Patrick’s Day!
Murphy’s Irish Stout
Light and sweet in flavor compared to the rest, Murphy’s Irish Stout has become increasingly more popular especially in the US.
A fair substitute for Guinness when its not available. however I prefer cooking with Murphy’s using it in place of Guinness as I find Guinness can tend to overpower many dishes. Plus to be honest its cheaper too.
O’Hara’s Irish Wheat
Joining fruits such as bananas, peaches and plums with traditional hops, this golden wheat ale is smooth and thirst-quenching. Although not the common Irish stout, this tasty brew is perfect for those who prefer a lighter, easy-drinking option.
Fruit in beer? That’s a drinkable dessert in a glass for beer snobs and ladies!
Smithwick’s Irish Ale
Often referred to as “Smitticks”, Smithwick’s captures a unique flavor that combines its hops with sweet aromatic fruits and deep malt, coffee and roasted barley notes.
Pairs well with Shepard’s Pie or Irish Stew. A good place to start your introduction of Irish Beers.
O’Hara’s Celtic Stout
This full-bodied, smooth and dry Irish stout combines the rich flavor of smooth coffee with traditional hops and tasty notes of licorice.
Since I’ve never tried it, I can nae offer my opinion on it.
Beamish Irish Stout
The fully rounded, malted flavor of Beamish Irish Stout is created using original Beamish yeast dating back to 1792 to capture the traditional taste of stout from Ireland.
Again since I’ve never tried it, I can nae offer my opinion on it.
Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
With a base flavor similar to Smithwick’s, the distinct smooth and creamy finish of Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale gives it its own unique and delicious blend.
Originally brewed in Kilkenny its now made by Guinness which makes more sense than you might think since the best description of it I’ve ever heard was ‘tastes like Smethwick’s but feels like Guinness in your mouth.
Light in color and refreshing in flavor, this highly-favored European-style lager is unlike the rest as it boasts a smooth and sharp finish.
Another one brewed now by Guinness, Harp despite those who claim its not a true Irish beer is one of my personal favorites asa much for its stand up well to most foods and wells as for its drinkability. I don’t like beers that go down like water. If I’m drinking beer I want to know when I hit the dregs that I’ve consumed a pint of beer on a glass of yellow water. That’s a large part of the reason I prefer Ales or Imported Beers over most Domestic beers
Murphy’s Irish Red
Originally dating back to 1856, this naturally red, hoppy Irish beer is crisp and dry with flavorful notes of fruit and caramel.
Pretty much the basis behind Coor’s George Killian’s Irish Red. In my humble opinion while there is absolutely nothing wrong with Murphy’s Irish Red (other than it being hard to find off the East Coast or anyplace sans a large Irish contingent) You’re better off buying the Killians and saving about $5 a 6 pack which is what I do. Besides this way that freeloaders who only bring a 6pack to the party but drinks 12 beers isn’t chugging your good Irish beer while drunk.
Guinness Draught, Extra Stout, and Foreign Extra Stout
With deep, dark and satisfying flavors and distinctly smooth aromas, the three varieties of Guinness brews are undoubtedly among the most popular Irish beers, especially in the US.
Nectar of the Irish God’s, Goddesses and all true son’s o’ Erin. ‘Nuff said right there.
The Irish Pub by The High Kings
Now that is what we Irish mean when we say ‘ the barmaid gives good head’
You’ll probably be wanting this line after sampling all those beers!
I always look forward to St. Patrick’s and Veteran’s Day because they are your finest issues!
I thenk ya kindly ma’am for those words of appreciation for me efforts.
Cead Mile Failte to all my fellow Sons and Daughters o Erin!
Thanks for all the kind words and coming forth to stake your claim to a long and proud heritage!
Now off with ye and go raise a Black & Tan to St Patrick’s beloved memory.
Lethal (Bloody proud ta be lucky enough ta be born an Irish Mythological Creature) Leprechaun
AH Lethal me boyo,, tis a GREAT issue, celebrating the heritage of a fine people. I am happy to be numbered among their descendants. I especially loved the videos,, and the info about the Shillelagh. My Grandad used to have one,but it got miss-placed when we moved one time and was never found again . Would like to have it to remember him by. I hope you enjoy the day as much as I will. Sláinte and Erin go Bragh
‘Twas a great issue! There were so many different parts of it that I enjoyed that it’s difficult to pick out one from the crowd, but I will say that I had no idea that thing that you regularly beat me with had such a colorful history.
Dragons are rare even among the myraid of mythical creatures, you didn’t think that I’d use just any stick to be such a rare and noble race of creature did you? Besides, I had to find something that would stand up to that stone hard, thick skull of yours!
Outstanding job on this issue. As a Irish lass my self…..it was fun be reminded of the good times.
Must remember to go to town hall and get my arse painted green.