National Food of Ireland

It’s a well-known fact that Ireland boasts one of the finest ranges of quality food in the World. This is a direct result of the high fertility of the Irish landscape and experience and agricultural competence of Irish farmers.

Additionally, the producers of many foods in Ireland are long-established family-owned businesses who take great pride in their products. See this video about how to make a classic Irish Shepherd’s pie:

Some Irish foods are also historically acclaimed as being influential in their industry. For example, the popular Irish crisps made by the County Armagh crisp manufacturer, Tayto, were the first potato crisps in the World to have flavorings.

These facts have been recognized by many international Irish Country Cooking organizations and consequently, they provide an excellent service of delivering a comprehensive range of recipes for those with a desire to cook as the Irish do! Now if you feel like studying in Ireland as so many do, you should also try to master some of the traditional ways of cooking in Ireland. Let go with some typical Irish examples:

Parsnip and Apple Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of Butter
1 pound of Parsnips, thinly sliced
1 pound of Apples, peeled/cored/sliced
1 chopped onion
2 teaspoons of curry powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom seeds
1 large crushed garlic clove
1 and 1/4 liter stock of beef or chicken
150 ml of Cream
Salt and pepper
Chopped chives or parsley

Method

1)  Heat the butter, and when foaming, add the parsnips, apples, and onions. Soften them but do not let color.

2)  Add the curry powder, spices and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring well.

3)  Pour in the stock slowly, stirring until well mixed.

4)  Cover and simmer gently for half an hour, or until the parsnips are quite soft. Taste for seasoning.

5)  Strain or liquidize, and if too thick, dilute with a little stock or water. Add the cream and reheat, but do not let boil. Want to see if becoming a cook is your cup of tea? One of the towns to best enjoy traditional Irish food is Limerick. Learn more about Limerick, and specifically the University of Limerick, here.

Irish Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

450g of minced beef
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 medium sized chopped onions
75g chopped carrots
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of plain flour
275ml of beef stock
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
Salt and pepper
900g of potatoes
50g of butter

If you want to learn more about the differences between education systems in Europe or globally, check out this post about High School Year experiences in Ireland. So before venturing on a college course in Ireland, you may even give a thought or two to completing your high school education here. Bear in mind, though, that the melodramtic discussions about wearing school uniforms is still going on, and not only in Ireland!

Method

1)  Heat the olive oil and fry the onions for about 5 minutes and then add the chopped carrots and continue frying for an additional 5 minutes. Then remove the vegetables from the frying pan.
2)  Increase the heat on the frying pan and cook the beef in batches and afterward season with salt and pepper and add the vegetables along with thyme and parsley.
3)  Stir in the flour and gradually add the beef stock to the mixture. Then add the tomato puree and reduce the heat and allow mixture to cook for 30 minutes.
4)  Peel and boil the potatoes and sprinkle with salt. After about 25 minutes the potatoes should be ready and at this point mash them and add butter.
5)  When the meat is ready put it into a baking dish and spread the mashed potato on top. Now bake for a further 25 minutes until golden and crispy on top. Great when you celebrate a birthday!

Traditional Irish Beef Stew

Ingredients

3 Medium Sized Carrots
3 Medium Sized Parsnips
1/2 Cup of Pearl Barley
8 Potatoes (If you’re hungry just add more)
1 1/2 lbs Steak
Beef or Oxtail Stock
Salt & Pepper
Selection of Mixed Herbs

Method

1)  Boil enough water to cover all the meat with a 1 “excess above.

2)  Add in the large chopped chunks of beef, along with the diced carrots, parsnips, herbs and seasoning. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.

3)  Add the peeled whole potatoes and the stock. This will thicken the stew. Let it simmer on a low heat for roughly 1 hour while stirring occasionally.