Patricia Noonan plans a day of feasting for St. Patrick…

On the big day, start out with something healthy like a big bowl of Irish oatmeal topped with brown
sugar and a splash of cream. ( I may try Bernard Walsh’s (Walsh Whiskey) magic touch – a few caps of
Irish whiskey with the oatmeal.) Pineapple, ginger, kale and spinach in a smoothie is pretty green
and healthy if breakfast isn’t your thing… it’s a virtuous way to prepare yourself in case you overdo it
at your favorite Irish pub. That Catholic guilt is kicking in early.

To help fend off serious hangovers, get some food into you throughout the day. Oysters, spuds,
lamb or beef, lovely Irish cheeses… make it a day to devote yourself to some classic Irish food and
drink pairings.

Remember, Ireland was one of the first countries of culture and higher learning in western
civilization. It was traveling monks who brought the art of distillation to the Emerald Isle, so happily,
culture for me includes the table and of course, the wondrous selection of Irish beers and spirits.

Try these perfect pairings on St.Patrick’s Day:

Freshly shucked oysters with a Black Velvet – a glass of champagne or dry sparkling wine topped
with Guinness. Two perfect matches rolled into one drink, to pair with the bivalves.

Irish (or local) smoked salmon served on warm slices of soda bread ( my Mum’s recipe, of course)
with an Irish dram like Tullamore Dew or Green Spot Irish whiskey – a fruity, lemony flavour to
contrast the smoked salmon but also to cleanse the palate between sips.

Beef stew or lamb shanks braised in rich Guinness gravy. Served with a pint of the brew, it brings
out the glorious depth of the dry stout in the dish.

Guinness braised lamb shanks recipe

  • 3-4 lamb shanks
  • 1 each cooking onion, celery stalk, carrot diced
  • 1 cup mushroom broth
  • 1 can Guinness (or to taste)
  • Sprigs of rosemary, 2 bay leaves, parsley

Dry shanks with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Brown in a medium hot saucepan,
then remove to a plate. Sweat the diced onion, carrot, and celery. Add mushroom broth and add the
shanks back to the pot. Top them with a can of Guinness and add herbs. Place lid on and braise in a
preheated 350 degree oven for 2-3 hours. When ready to serve, remove shanks and reduce the
braising liquid until it thickens. Serve the shanks on champ, and spoon the Guinness sauce over the
lamb. Garnish with parsley or rosemary.

Irish champ (mashed spuds with scallions, butter and milk), paired with a braised or roast salmon
and a good, crisp Harp Lager, made by Guinness, is also a great food/ beer pairing.

Dessert can be any number of things but let’s face it, an Irish coffee is dessert in a glass. Make it the
original way, made famous by The Buena Vista Bar in San Francisco. It’s the best one I’ve ever
tasted. Simplicity is the key. Just hot coffee into a pre-warmed glass, two sugar cubes, Irish whiskey
and luxuriant, lightly whipped cream floated over a spoon into the glass. None of this canned stuff! If
you must sweeten it up, then finish with a thin drizzle of Irish Mist or Baileys Irish Cream over on top.