In a climate known for being cool and damp, the Irish have devised many different ways to warm up including Irish Winter Food. We’ve got beautiful Aran knitwear, hot whiskey drinks and roaring turf fires. And of course, we have some delightful dishes to enjoy in winter. Irish Winter Food is often described as hearty and homely.
Ireland might not be known as a food destination, but when it comes to winter fare, you might be surprised at how good these culinary Irish gifts really are. Here are some traditional Irish dishes and popular Irish Winter Food that will keep you going through the cold months. The fun part is that they are flexible and you can put your own spin on them. We aren’t including exact recipes here, but you can find many variations online to try out.
This hearty classic can be made with lamb or beef, and vegetarians can even skip the meat and add extra barley. Purists will insist on mutton, but across Ireland, families have their own preferences. Onion and potato are non-negotiable, however! Carrots are optional. Barley keeps the broth from getting too watery.
A beloved comfort food, this humble dish is traditionally made with leftovers. That means you have a lot of leeway in what you include. Long before slow cookers, Dublin mothers put leftover bacon, sausage, cabbage and potato in a pot to simmer for hours while they went about their business. Add plenty of parsley and a bit of black pepper.
Forget kale smoothies, this is the way to get your greens on a cold, wet winter day. Colcannon is essentially mashed potato with kale and spring onions with plenty of butter. If you can’t stand kale, cabbage is an authentic substitute. It’s perfect with sausages.
Yes, the Irish love of spuds is not a stereotype. They’ve been a staple of the diet for centuries, so we’ve come up with plenty of ways to enjoy potatoes. Boxty is not quite a bread, not exactly a pancake and not really a dumpling. Made of mashed and grated potato, it can be baked or fried. That might sound like hash browns, but it isn’t. You’ll just have to try some to understand! Boxty is perfect with a steaming mug of tea and some egg.
Perfect slathered with butter and jam, soda bread is an Irish staple. If you spent 2020 making bread, it’s time to try this one. You can make it with white or whole wheat flour, and you can add seeds or oats for some texture if you like. The critical ingredients for these round loaves are baking soda and buttermilk.
These five winter classics will keep you warm in the worst of the cold months. Soda bread and boxty make lovely homemade Irish gifts too. For other Irish gift options click here.
The end of this strange year and this pandemic are in sight, but we aren’t done yet. January and February are a great time to keep busy in the kitchen trying out new recipes, and these are perfect for the season. Explore them now, and you’ll be ready to cook up the perfect Irish dinner for St. Patrick’s Day!
Other ways the Irish keep warm is through their clothing and in particular their Irish Knitwear range. Browse all of our traditional clothing range here.