St. Patrick's Day menu: Cork countryside plate and corned beef chowder

Cork Countryside Plate. (Courtesy of Chef Bryan Jurek of Fionn MacCool's and D'Arcy)

Cork Countryside Plate. (Courtesy of Chef Bryan Jurek of Fionn MacCool's and D'Arcy)

Rita DeMontis, National Food Editor, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:26 PM ET

You know spring's in the air when St. Paddy comes calling.

You don't have to be Irish to appreciate the glory of March 17, a true harbinger of the upcoming season, and a time to toast the famous saint with all things green and good for you.

Do as the Irish do and combine good friends with flavoursome Irish eats and a refreshing libation or two says Chef Bryan Jurek of authentic Irish pubs Fionn MacCool’s and D’Arcy McGee’s.

"There are few moments in the year where we can free our inhibitions and not feel guilty about it," says Jurek. "For me, it’s Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day...we can all dive head first into plates of Irish goodness and remind ourselves that we are doing it for cultural reasons and there is no guilt involved."

Jurek says St. Patrick's Day "makes us feel connected with the heritage of the holiday and gives us an excuse to have another drink, and another plate of food, and another drink, and another plate of food!"

Here's a selection of authentic Irish dishes created by Jurek - perfect to celebrate not only on March 17 but help us through the last remnants of winter, too!

Check out primepubs.com for additional details. All recipes courtesy of Chef Bryan Jurek of Fionn MacCool’s and D’Arcy.

Cork Countryside Plate

McGee’s and available on the menu until March 23.

Chef’s Tip: Colcannon is a nice side with this dish. However if you wish to simplify the meal preparation, substitute your favourite mashed potato recipe for the Colcannon.

Braised Ham Hock

  • 4 ham hocks 14 oz (400g) each
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) celery, small diced'
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) carrots, small diced
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) onions, small diced
  • 1 hot house tomato, rough chopped
  • 1 can Magners Cider (or favourite cider)
  • 4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock

Remove rind and fat from ham hock. Add all remaining ingredients to a large pot. Add hocks. Cover with foil and place in oven at 325F (160C). Cook for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue to cook for about 30 minutes. Hocks are done when skin begins to caramelize and meat is very tender. Remove from oven and allow hocks to sit for about 20 minutes. Serve with colcannon and braised red cabbage.

Braised Red Cabbage

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, cored and julienned
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) caraway seeds
  • Pinch salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a large saucepot on medium heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Be sure to scrape the sides of the pan so the sugar doesn’t burn. Cabbage is done when it is bright purple in colour and most of liquid has evaporated. Strain cabbage through a fine mesh cap and place in a bowl. Add 1 Tbsp. (15ml) of reserved liquid back in to the cabbage. Serve immediately.

Colcannon

  • 1 cup (250ml) cabbage, cut into 1/4” by 3” strips
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) olive oil
  • 1 cup (250ml) onion cut into 1/4” by 3” strips
  • 6 thick slices bacon, cooked, cut into 1/8” pieces
  • 1 cup (250ml) baby spinach
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) potatoes, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) old white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 tsp (2ml) nutmeg, ground
  • Salt and pepper

Fry bacon in pan until just crisp. Drain on paper towel and chop into 1/8” pieces. Place large pot of water on stove and bring to boil. Add 1 Tbsp (15ml) of salt to water. Place cut cabbage in salted boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain in colander. Add oil to large pan and place on stove on medium high heat. Add onions and saute for 4 minutes or until onions are tender. Add cabbage, bacon and spinach. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Place cabbage mixture into large bowl. Add mashed potatoes, breadcrumbs, egg, cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Serve immediately

Corned Beef Chowder

  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) peanut or grape seed oil
  • 1 Vidalia onion, peeled and julienned
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) caraway seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) white wine
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 4 cups (1 litre) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (250 ml) corned beef, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) sauerkraut

Heat oil in saucepan on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add caraway seeds and continue sauteing for another 30 seconds. Add white wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add stock, milk, cream and sauerkraut. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chopped corned beef and continue to simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste (adjust amount depending on how salty your corned beef is). If you like thicker chowder, mix a little cornstarch and water together and whisk into simmering soup. Ladle chowder into bowls and top with a little horseradish, croutons and green onion.

Serves 4-6.


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