St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is not far away and corned beef is one of the food staples that shows up on most menus even though the history of the dish is not really Irish. It actually began as American corned beef derived from Jewish culinary traditions. Regardless, if you’re not crazy about it, here are 14 foods that make a good substitute for the famous Irish holiday that may make good substitutes. You probably won’t be familiar with several of the items on the list!
- Irish Stew – traditionally prepared with lamb or mutton, carrots, and root vegetables in a hearty broth. A solid go-to choice for a corned beef replacement.
- Guinness and beef stew – similar to Irish Stew with the addition of onions, garlic, beef instead of lamb or mutton, and the famous Irish stout, Guinness used in the broth.
- Colcannon – this dish is basically a deluxe version of mashed potatoes with the addition of butter, seasonings, leeks and cabbage, and even fried bacon for a main dish.
- Shepherd’s Pie – the basic recipe of this classic dish includes sautéed ground meat along with mashed potatoes that are baked into a crust. It’s really a favorite with the British but is still a good choice for St. Patrick’s Day if you don’t want corned beef.
- Boxty – this is a potato pancake that is a mix of grated potatoes, eggs, flour, and milk then seasoned and fried until crispy. It can be eaten as a side dish or even a main dish or dessert.
- Beef and Guinness Pie – this one is Guinness and beef stew baked into a pastry pie similar to what Americans know as a pot pie checks all of the boxes.
- Spice bag – not a familiar dish here in the US, it’s a combination of thick-cut fries, fried chicken, bell peppers, onions, and spices. The Irish people love it and it was voted their favorite takeaway dish back in 2020. It’s very popular in Dublin and often served in Chinese restaurants there.
- Mussels – this is not what you would expect from an Irish dish but when paired with Irish cream or even alcohol for the sauce it’s a popular choice.
- Irish soda bread – soda bread is made from flour, salt, and buttermilk and rises high and is used in a sandwich or can be eaten at any time of the day.
- Dublin Coddle – aka Irish coddle, this is a combination of sausages, bacon, onions, and potatoes layered in a pan. Broth and seasoning are added and it simmers in the oven for several hours. Coddle originated back in the 18th century and remains popular today.
- Bacon and cabbage – the bacon used is not like we have in the states – it’s taken from the back of the pig and has more meat than fat. If you aren’t crazy about corned beef and cabbage this would be your substitute. It’s usually served with sauce and boiled potatoes.
- Blaa – this is a plain bread roll in an uneven shape with a crusty outside layer with a soft, tender center. It also holds protected PGI status which means that it can only be made with specific ingredients that follow traditional production methods in Waterford utensils.
- Gur cake – a dessert item consisting of a pastry shell filled with bread chunks that are flavored and soaked with dried fruit, black tea, and spices. It originated in the 1930s and is sliced and topped with powdered or caster sugar. It’s also known as Chester cake or fruit slice.
- Irish Coffee – a favorite in Ireland and the US, it’s freshly brewed coffee with Irish whiskey and cream. You may want to add a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream to make it more creamy and alcoholic.
photo: Getty Images Source: mashed