March is that month when all Americans proclaim themselves Irish for a day. We wear green, attend boisterous parades and eat like we might have back in the old country, relishing our corned beef and cabbage. To finish the celebration, we drink Irish coffee or green beer.

Much of the fun on St. Patrick’s Day, like so many other holidays, has to do with good food and drink. So follow these easy recipes and show your family and friends how to raise a toast to Irish tradition.

Corned Beef with Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes

  • 3-4 lbs. corned beef brisket
  • ½ diced yellow onion (½ cup-plus)
  • 2 gloves of minced garlic
  • 4-6 medium potatoes (2 lbs.), red, yukon or russet, cut in half
  • 4-6 medium carrots (1 lb.), cut in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 small head of green cabbage, cut into 6 wedges

In a large stockpot (8-12 qt.), put the beef, spice packet (these come with most corned beef and can be omitted if spice is not wanted), and enough water to cover the corned beef. Add onions and garlic and bring to boil over high heat. Then reduce to a simmer until beef is nearly tender, after about three hours.

Add potatoes and carrots and cook another 30-45 minutes until potatoes are tender. Remove beef and vegetables to a warm platter and keep warm. Add cabbage, increase heat to high and boil cabbage for 10-15 minutes.

Serves 6.

Quick Irish Soda Bread with Raisins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first four ingredients in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, beat buttermilk, egg and honey. Add raisins and dry ingredients and mix just until blended. Pour this thick batter into a well-buttered bowl and bake for 45-55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with butter.

Serves 6.



Guinness Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce

  • 8 oz. butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup of Guinness beer
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup of sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. In a 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat, bring butter and beer to a light boil. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl beat eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat until well blended. Add the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Spoon batter into a well-greased 12-cup bundt pan and smooth top. Bake until a tester inserted in cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Caramel Sauce

In a 2 qt. saucepan, bring the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and salt to a rolling boil, stirring constantly for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. Pour the warm sauce over cake when ready to serve.

Serves 10-12.

Irish Coffee Martini

  • 2 oz. Irish cream
  • 2 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 2 oz. strong coffee, cooled

Fill cocktail shaker half full with ice. Add all ingredients and shake until well mixed and chilled. Pour into a martini glass. Top with whipped cream and green sprinkles.

Serves 1 coffee.

  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 sugar cube (or packet)
  • 1½ oz. Irish whiskey
  • Heavy cream, slightly whipped

Pour coffee into a warm coffee glass. Add the sugar cube and stir until completely dissolved. Stir in Irish whiskey. Float two ounces of slightly whipped cream on top and serve hot.

Serves 1 coffee.


About the author: Debbie Denissen is a McKinney food connoisseur who travels the world with her husband learning about the latest culinary trends. Contact her at