Donal Skehan is a food writer, food photographer and television presenter living in Dublin, Ireland. Inspired by a family of passionate food lovers who have worked in the food industry for over 60 years, cooking and eating hearty home cooked food has always been a way of life. Throughout his cookbooks and TV series, Donal’s recipes are accessible, inspiring and encouraging for the everyday home cook.
Angie’s Skehan Family Irish Stew
Irish stew is one of my favourite traditional Irish recipes and this is one is dedicated to Angie, who looked after my dad when he was growing up, and when I first started going to school she used to walk me home and give me lunch, which was regularly Irish stew. Her Irish stew is legendary in the Skehan family, with my dad’s five siblings and my eleven cousins all having been brought up on it.
Wild Garlic Irish Soda Bread
Soda Bread is an amazingly easy, versatile recipe which has stood the test of time as an Irish classic because of it’s simplicity. It is a no-knead, no-fuss style of bread which is my kind of recipe! It get’s its rise from a combination of creamy Irish buttermilk and bread soda. It’s delicious on its own or served with a warm bowl of soup.
Rosemary and Garlic Roast Lamb
Lamb needs very little work to bring out the really fantastic natural flavours of the meat. Roasting it with the classic combination of rosemary and garlic is simply the only way to go in my books! You get delicious, mouthwatering end results with a kitchen filled with amazing aromas! Serve generous slices of this with some colcannon and you will be in St. Patricks Day heaven!
Irish Brown Yeast Bread
This has to be one of the easiest bread recipies in the world with no kneading it’s a no brainer! The loaf can be frozen and defrosted when needed and is the perfect accompaniment to a hearty soup or made into a chunky sandwich. For anyone hooked on white bread this is a really healthy alternative and you can also add rolled oats sprinkled on top for an extra crunch.
Mussels in Irish Cider
Mussels have a reputation for being difficult to cook, but this is just not true. The hardest part in reality is the washing. Place them in cold water (they should close, if they don’t you should throw them away). Scrub any dirt off the surface of the mussels and remove the beard with a small knife. If you can get this down you will have no trouble and they take minutes to cook, so they’re the perfect little starter. I love serving the pot straight to the table from the stove and clunking large spoonfuls of the cooked steaming mussels onto guest’s plates. Make sure to serve with some chunky bread to mop up the juices!
Irish Blue Cheese Beef Burgers
Hardly the most traditional recipe on this list but I love that these burgers have a bit of an Irish twist, the homemade soda bread buns are full of flavour and far healthier than those air filled sweet ones you buy in the shops. The blue cheese is a wonderful addition here too so make sure to pick some wonderful Irish blue cheese for your burgers.
Creamy Colcannon Mash
Colcannon is as traditional, as traditional Irish food gets, creamy mashed potatoes with gently cooked kale or cabbage and lots and lots of salted butter! When I speak to my granddad about it he always bursts into song. The dish of course, is the inspiration behind the traditional Irish song by the same name, “Oh weren’t them the happy days when troubles we knew not and our mother made colcannon in the little skillet pot”. This recipe is the one I grew up with, but if you want to experiment, you could also stir in a little bit of wholegrain mustard to add an extra bite to it!
Irish Apple Crumble Cake
Apple crumble is one of my most favourite desserts of all time, I remember making it growing up and to this day still swoon at the smell of it coming out of the oven. This Irish apple crumble cake is nice little twist on the classic with a moist apple cake interior and a light crumbly topping. That classic combination of apple and blackberries could also be used here.
Bacon and Cabbage
Although bacon and cabbage is often one of the dishes most commonly associated with St. Patricks Day, I think it may be one of the few times a year Irish people actually eat it. Still though, it continues to be popular and tastes great! For the best flavour, boil the cabbage in the salty water the bacon cooks in.
Howth Head Irish Seafood Chowder
My home town of Howth is famous throughout Ireland for its fish. Along the west pier there are plenty of fishmongers to choose some of the freshest fish for supper. This wonderfully creamy seafood chowder always reminds me of home and with a few slices of brown bread with Irish salted butter, I’m there in an instant.