Food o’ the Irish

Alabama Living Magazine

With St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 just around the corner, it’s a good time to think about preparing some traditional Irish dishes for family and friends.  While our local stores may promote corned beef and cabbage for the classic Irish supper, there are a variety of other Irish-themed dishes to try, courtesy of our readers, that will make you want to celebrate the day from breakfast to dessert, topped off with a chilled glass of Irish cream. After all, as an old Irish proverb says, “Laughter is brightest where food is best.” 

Dublin Coddle. Photo by Brooke Echols

The Buttered Home

Cabbage is a staple in lots of recipes that celebrate the heritage of St. Patrick’s Day. Many of the recipes that are steeped in Southern tradition are also ones that came over with the Irish when they settled in our region of America. Our cooking is steeped deeply in the history and tradition of our ancestors. That’s why I love it so much. We can see and feel history in the recipes that are handed down through the generations. This recipe takes cabbage (in ample supply this time of year) and changes it a bit by frying it in bacon grease. We then make it a real Southern recipe by putting it in a casserole!

Photo by The Buttered Home

Fried Cabbage Casserole

  • 1 medium head of cabbage, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut up into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup French-fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a Dutch oven, fry bacon in butter until brown and crispy. Remove and drain. Place cabbage in bacon grease, cover and cook over low to medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Turn off heat. Add in bacon, mayo, milk and cream of celery. Mix well. Pour into a lightly greased casserole dish. Spread evenly and top with cheese and fried onions. Bake 45 – 60 minutes until onions are browned and cheese is melted.

Cook of the Month: Janice Bracewell, Covington EC

Janice Bracewell, a “converted Yankee” from Boston who’s lived in her adopted home of Andalusia for many years, enjoys making her Irish Boiled Dinner as one of many “diversified dinners” she and her family enjoy. “I’m of Italian descent,” she says, “and even though my mother was Italian I got this recipe from my mother.” She uses two pans to make the dish, corned beef in one and the cabbage in another, and she doesn’t always add the turnips because not everyone likes them. With or without turnips, the combination of corned beef brisket and vegetables “makes a good hearty meal, especially on a cold day,” she says.

Photo by Brooke Echols

Irish Boiled Dinner

  • 3-4 pound corned beef brisket
  • 8 small onions
  • 8 medium carrots
  • 2 turnips, cubed, if desired
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and halved or quartered
  • 1 medium green cabbage, cut into wedges
  • Caraway seed

Place brisket in large cast iron pan or Dutch oven; cover with cold water. Cover tightly; simmer 3-1/2 hours or until tender. Skim fat from liquid. Add onions, carrots, turnips and potatoes. Sprinkle with caraway seed. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Remove meat to warm platter. Add cabbage; simmer uncovered 10 to 15 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Serves 8.

Homemade Irish Cream + Irish Shortbread Cookies

Irish Cream:

Homemade Irish Cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk


  • 8 ounces butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch

Irish Cream:
Mix 1 tablespoon of the cream in a bowl with the espresso and cocoa powder until smooth. Add the remaining cream and stir. Add the whiskey, vanilla and condensed milk. Stir until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bottle. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

For the Shortbread:
Mix the softened butter and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Add the sugar. Mix. Add the flour and cornstarch. Mix well. Empty mixture onto a floured countertop or cutting board. Knead for 30 seconds until dough forms into a ball. Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll out the dough so it’s ¼-inch thick. Cut with shamrock-shaped cookie cutters and place on sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Knead dough scraps together, roll, and cut out more shamrocks, until dough all used. Place pan in refrigerator, uncovered, for 1-10 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator. Bake for 12 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Robin O’Sullivan, Wiregrass EC

Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Crispy Roasted Potatoes
  • 6–8 medium red potatoes, skins on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Boil potatoes whole in salted water until a toothpick can go all of the way through. Do not over boil!

After potatoes have cooled, cube the potatoes to bite-size pieces. Spread in an even layer on a greased sheet pan with chopped onions. Drizzle with olive oil and mix well to distribute oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix again lightly and spread back into a single layer.
Bake in 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until crispy and brown.

The Buttered Home

Dublin Coddle

  • 1 16-ounce package of bacon, chopped
  • 5 bratwurst
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 beer
  • 3 cups new potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot cook the chopped bacon over medium-high heat until golden brown, remove to a paper towel to drain. Add bratwurst, browning on all sides and remove to a paper towel. Add onions and sauté for 4 minutes. Put in the garlic, cooking for 2 minutes. Pour in the beer and continue cooking the onions down 2 more minutes. Add potatoes and chicken broth, cooking until potatoes are soft. Add parsley, bacon and bratwurst back to the pot. Bring everything together and cook for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Kirk Vantrease, Cullman EC

Instant Pot Rosemary Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds stew beef
  • 1 envelope French onion soup mix
  • 4 cups water 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add first three ingredients to Instant Pot and stir well. Set Instant pot to manual or pressure cook for 45 minutes. NPR or release pressure naturally for 10-12 minutes.
Release vent to allow any remaining pressure to escape and open lid carefully.
Add in vegetables, salt, pepper and rosemary. Stir and place the lid back on and set for 15 minutes to manual or pressure cook. NPR again and enjoy!

The Buttered Home

Send us your original recipes and you could win $50! Recipes can be developed by you or family members. You may even adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Chosen cooks may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications.


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