Here's What The Mashed Staff Eat And Drink On St. Patrick's Day

On March 17, 2023 people across the globe will be clinking glasses filled with all sorts of green beverages and donning funny green hats in honor of Ireland's patron saint: St. Patrick. The Irish have been celebrating the death of St. Patrick for a thousand years or so, which usually occurs during the Christian period of Lent, when many of the faithful give up some kind of food or drink for 40 days. In fact, Catholics are actually prohibited from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, and all Fridays during the lent period. However, as the story goes, this prohibition was waived in Ireland, on St. Patrick's day, allowing people to chow down on the traditional celebratory Irish bacon and cabbage dish, according to History

Taking an example from the Irish here, we at Mashed are unlikely to withhold the food and drink celebrations on St. Paddy's day. We see it as just another excuse to bust out the pint glasses, fire up the stove, switch on the oven, and turn up the music ready for a jig and a feast (preferably in that order) in honor of a saint some of us may have tenuous links to. But, hey, we're always up for the craic. So, here's our pick of what to eat and drink on the Feast of Saint Patrick.

Oysters and Guiness - Séamus Gregan

Ideally, I'd eat in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day. And so, my perfect foodie St. Paddy's would start with native oysters paired with the Guinness at Linnane's by the Flaggy Shore on the Wild Atlantic Way. You can practically see the oyster beds from your table. 

The afternoon's Guinnesses will require the judicious deployment of potato, ideally in the form of chips, served with expertly fried fish at the award-winning Larkin's Bar on the shores of Lough Derg. The place looks like what every other Irish bar tries to emulate, and I swear the live music seasons the food like nothing else!

Shepherd's Pie - Matt Lardie

As a redhead and Certified Irish American, I do enjoy celebrating St. Patrick's Day, albeit in a bit more lowkey way. I avoid all bars and nothing dyed green will ever touch my lips. Instead, I usually make something from one of my Darina Allen cookbooks. Allen was named the "the Julia Child of Ireland," by the San Fransisco Chronicle, and I especially love her recipe for Irish Soda Bread. 

This year however I'm making her Shepherd's Pie (which uses mushroom ketchup, a classic condiment from Ireland and Britain) and her Rhubarb Fool for dessert, both of which are dishes served at Allen's Ballymaloe House & Cooking School.

Irish Soda Bread - Molly Clark

It wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without Grammy's Irish soda bread. My mother has her original recipe written in her handwriting, albeit now on a much-loved piece of paper that has been folded many times, has torn edges, and fading ink. 

I love the dry taste of the bread, and while some Irish soda bread recipes list raisins as optional, I — and I think Grammy, too — think the leprechauns would be very disappointed if they were left out. While you could certainly slice it and use it for sandwiches, it's best enjoyed while still warm, slathered with some butter, and perhaps served with some milk dyed green, another St. Patrick's Day family tradition!

Chocolate cupcake with bright green frosting - Maria Scinto

If I eat anything special for St. Patrick's Day, it's usually a chocolate cupcake with bright green frosting and maybe some shamrock sprinkles. This is a nostalgic salute to those good old elementary school days when we'd have a party for even the most minor of holidays as long as they occurred between September and June. 

These days, however, I'm more apt to make it a mini cupcake since my family's real splurge comes two days later. That's when we have zeppole di San Giuseppe for St. Joseph's Day, a holiday food tradition that beats the heck out of corned beef and cabbage!

Dark chocolate Guinness cake - Samantha Sied

I may prepare for the day by baking a dark chocolate Guinness cake, the bitter coffee notes in the beer complement chocolate. It's beyond decadence when topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting, but the cake is moist enough to serve without frosting if you are in a hurry. 

After trying a chocolate Guinness cupcake at a local cupcakery, I found Nigella Lawson's cake recipe and the rest is history. That night, I plan to support a local Irish-themed pub by enjoying a pint of Guinness while listening to a band. I may top it off with their smoked salmon with soda bread.

A schooner of beer - Madi Swenson

If you find yourself in Salt Lake City, Utah, for one of the biggest days for glorified drinking, you may feel like you're out of luck thanks to the seemingly ubiquitous alcohol abstinence practiced by many Utahans. There are over 2 million Mormons in the state and, per LDS guidelines, booze is "not good." But, you might find a touch of Irish luck, if you can get to O'Shucks. 

Apostates rejoice! In the heart of Downtown Salt Lake City, O'Shucks offers schooners of beer (AKA really, really big pints), peanuts, and ... sushi? I recommend skipping the latter and sticking to a trough of lager, as many peanuts as you can handle, and a lap around Temple Square to celebrate the holiday in true Utah fashion.

Guiness braised short ribs and mash - Rebecca Cherico

My family loves Shepherd's Pie, and I often make that for St. Paddy's Day, but recently we've tried to brand out a bit and do something more specifically Irish. We experimented a couple of years back with beef stew and colcannon (yummy Irish mashed potatoes with cabbage), and really enjoyed it. This year I think I'll stick with the beef but try out a recipe I found for Guinness-braised short ribs and serve that with the mash. 

To wash it down, my husband will have a Guinness but I prefer Harp (or just a local Yuengling Lager or Fat Tire if I can't get the Harp, though you can often find it on tap at Irish pubs). I may also try a new cocktail recipe I saw for an "Irish Maid" which includes St. Germaine, Irish whiskey, and cucumber. For dessert, we have to have Irish Potatoes; I'm not sure how they got their name but they're a Philly-area specialty that look like tiny potatoes but are actually luscious cream cheese-coconut balls rolled in cinnamon. They're easy to get at Wawa or at supermarkets in Southeastern PA.

Corned beef and cabbage - Jennifer Mathews

At a pub a few years ago, I was served corned beef eggrolls as an appetizer and was blown away. The combination of the crispy fried eggroll shell with salty, fall-apart-in-your-mouth meat was so delicious I began making corned beef and cabbage once a year for St. Patrick's day, just for the leftovers. 

Since I'm not a beer drinker, I'd pair this dish with a crisp sauvignon blanc to cut through the richness of the eggrolls. If I want to add some green to the menu, I'll mix a classic mojito for the salty/sweet combination I love so much.

Smoked salmon - Linda Brockman

My mother-in-law's ancestors, probably escaping the Russian pogroms in Eastern Europe, stopped in Ireland (County Cork), in the late 1800s. The theory is that the Jewish passengers disembarked either because they mistook Ireland for the New World, or to seek out kosher food. 

In any case, many Jews immigrated there at the time, and stayed. I think about that journey and those family members on St. Patrick's Day and wonder about the influence Ireland's Jewish population had on traditional Irish foods, namely corned beef (and cabbage) and smoked salmon, my two favorite St. Paddy's Day traditions.

Irish Brown Bread - Nancy Mock

Growing up, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day in a very American-Irish way: dinners of boiled corned beef and cabbage, and if we were really lucky, a Shamrock Shake at McDonald's. Nowadays I celebrate St. Patrick's Day with my favorite, traditional recipe of Ireland: Irish Brown Bread. 

On a recent trip to the Emerald Isle, my family and I discovered that brown bread was served everywhere, from B&Bs to restaurants to bakeries — and we fell in love with it. Made with Irish wholemeal flour, this bread is so delicious and comforting, especially with lots of sweet Irish butter. If you can't find it locally, coarse, wholemeal flour from producers like Odlum's can be purchased online."

Green River soda float - Ceara Milligan

Growing up in Chicagoland, St. Paddy's Day was a huge deal, especially for families with Irish blood. Every March 17, my siblings, parents, and I would feast on corned beef and cabbage sandwiches, soda bread, and colcannon. While these dishes certainly hit the spot, Green River floats were an indulgent treat we all looked forward to. 

Pouring the iconic, emerald-colored, lime-flavored soda over a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream was a tradition that created lasting memories for all of us. Green River, a Midwest staple, tastes delectable on its own, but when mixed with rich, sweet ice cream, it's nothing short of the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.