St. Patrick’s Day, When Everyone’s Irish. Whether you live in Ireland, known fondly as the Emerald Isle, are of Irish heritage or just want to be Irish for a day, you may be planning to go to a pub on St. Patrick’s Day. Irish pubs will be shoulder to shoulder with people who want to enjoy a pint of Guinness stout with their friends, eat a plate of corned beef and cabbage and sing “Danny Boy”.
We don’t have an Irish pub in our small town in New Hampshire but not too far away in the town of Epping, we have a very atmospheric pub called the Holy Grail. The building was once a church, originally built in 1898. The former parish hall, which is now called Camelot, is its function hall. The Camelot, with its thatched roof, brings to mind a small building from an Irish village. Step inside the Holy Grail, have a seat at the large bar or at one of the tables and the first thing you will notice is the large mural covering one entire wall of the pub. The mural represents the various villages and countryside the owners of the pub encountered while traveling through Ireland. Light from the lovely stained glass windows of the former church make the large room bright and welcoming on a sunny day.
The Holy Grail serves typical Irish pub food such as Scotch eggs, fish and chips, and a boiled dinner along with lots of American favorites like burgers and ribs. I know that the pub will be packed with revelers on St. Patrick’s day but my husband and I will forgo the festivities there and celebrate the day at home.
Even though I will not be at an Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day, I like to prepare a meal that honors my Irish heritage. Bangers and mash, which is sausages and mashed potatoes or in this case colcannon, is very popular pub grub in both Ireland, England and the US and can be found on the menu at the Holy Grail. Simple to prepare, it is nonetheless a tasty dish and I think you would enjoy bangers and colcannon as much as I do.
Bangers And Colcannon With Onion Gravy
Serves two, adjust the recipe accordingly
Sausages and Onion Gravy
- 2 or 3 sausages, per person
- 1 small onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
- 2 tsp. oil
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1/4 c. red wine (beer can be substituted)
- 2 c. beef broth
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1 tsp. oil in a sauté pan and brown the sausages on all sides until fully cooked. Remove sausages to a plate and keep warm. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tsp. of oil and add the sliced onions and slowly cook until they are soft and caramelized. Remove the onions to a small bowl. Add the butter and flour to the same pan, stir and cook over moderate heat until light brown. Add the wine and stir to blend then add the beef broth. Cook until starting to reduce, add the cooked onions and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until desired sauce consistency. Just before serving, you can add the sausages to the gravy and reheat if necessary.
- 2 large potatoes, cubed (I use Gold Yukon)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 c. bite size pieces green cabbage, steamed
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1/4 c. cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped green onions or parsley for garnish (optional)
Place the cubed potatoes and garlic in a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain and add the butter, cream, salt and pepper. Mash until desired consistency and then mix in the cooked cabbage.
To serve the dish, put a mound of potatoes in the middle of a plate, make a well in the center and add a pat of butter, if desired. Top with the sausages and spoon over a little of the onion gravy, serving more at the table.
If you don’t have a pub in your area and want to cook an appropriate meal for St. Patrick’s Day, I have some other suggestions for you if you don’t want to prepare the bangers and mash. Click on any of the highlighted dishes and you will find my recipes for corned beef and cabbage, lamb stew, beef and Guinness pie and shepherd’s pie.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day To You All – Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh!