St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish culture on or around the 17th of March. People across the globe rejoice to remember St. Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century. The day is celebrated in countries with people of Irish decent.
We all know the Irish know how to drink, so bar crawls and green beer might come to mind when you think of St. Patricks Day, however, there’s more to offer kids and the family than you might think. It is a holiday of pots of gold, leprechauns and rainbows after all.
- Host a St. Patrick’s Day Party or Brunch
Even though St. Paddy’s day falls on a Tuesday this year it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a festive get together or prepare for a party on the weekend. Invite your friends and family over to enjoy delicious Irish food and St. Paddy’s Day themed drinks.
Dinner Party Recipes:
Stout-braised Steak with Stacked Chips
- 2 x 250g steaks of beef shin
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 500ml bottle of Guinness or other stout
- 1 beef stock cube, crumbled
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sauce
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 shallots, 3 halved with their skin still on, 1 chopped as finely as you can
- 1 tsp grated horseradish, or 2 tsp creamed
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 handfuls watercress
For the chips
- 600g large baking potato
- 1 tbsp fine polenta or plain flour
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Season the steaks well on all sides, then heat a frying pan with 2 tsp of the oil. Brown the steaks well on all sides, then transfer to a snug casserole or narrow, deep baking dish.
- Tip the Guinness into the frying pan and bring to a simmer, scraping up any stuck meaty bits. Pour over the steaks along with the stock cube, Worcestershire sauce, brown sauce, bay and skin-on halved shallots (leave the skins on to save time – they are removed from the sauce later). Cover the dish tightly with foil first, then add the lid (or a flat baking tray). Bake in the oven for 3 hrs until the meat is meltingly tender. Can be done up to 1 day in advance, then cooled and chilled.
- For the chips, 1 hr before serving, turn up oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil while you cut the potatoes into as many 3cm fat chips (save the trimmings in a bowl of water and use for mash another night). Par-boil for 3 minutes, then drain and let steam-dry for a few minutes. Tip onto a baking tray, toss with the polenta or flour and some sea salt, then drizzle over the oil and toss again. Roast for 45 minutes until really crisp and golden.
- When the chips have 20 minutes left, lift your steaks from their cooking liquid and use a few sheets of baking parchment to wrap them in a parcel, followed by foil. Put on a low shelf in the oven to heat through for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, strain the cooking liquid into a pan, discarding the herbs and shallots. Boil fiercely until reduced by three-quarters. Taste for seasoning, then keep warm.
- Whisk the chopped shallot, horseradish, remaining 2 tsp oil, vinegar and 1 tsp water with some seasoning, then use to dress the watercress.
- To serve, carefully open the meat parcel over your saucepan to catch any juices, and add your beef to the sauce to coat. Stack your chips between 2 plates and add a pile of dressed watercress. Lift a steak onto each plate and spoon over the syrupy juices. Any extra can be served in a jug on the side.
Guinness Chocolate Puddings
- 150g unsalted butter, plus extra for the ramekins
- 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), roughly chopped
- 90g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 90ml Guinness or other stout
- clotted cream or thick double cream, to serve (optional)
- Butter four 9 x 5cm ramekins and set aside. Tip the butter, chocolate and a generous pinch of salt into a heatproof bowl. Set over a small pan of just-simmering water and stir until melted, then remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.
- Put the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until pale, almost doubled in volume and thick enough to leave a trail when the beaters are lifted up. Gently fold in the melted chocolate and the Guinness. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, then chill in the fridge for 1 hr. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and put a baking tray on the top shelf to heat up.
- Place the ramekins on the hot baking tray and bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for a minute, then serve with a dollop of cream, if you like.
St. Patrick’s Day Grazing Board
Grazing boards are perfect for all the family as there’s something for everyone!
It is essential to have a good balance of flavours on a grazing board, spicy, sour/bitter, sweet, salty and umami (savoury) you’ll need at least one of these for 4 people or multiple of each the bigger the party. Doing this ensures the board has a balance of flavours that allows people to get creative pairing together different foods. Here are a couple of examples for a St. Patrick’s Day themed board:
- Spicy = grainy mustard
- Sour/bitter = pickled onions or mixed pickled vegetables
- Sweet = honey flavoured butter
- Salty = crisps
- Umami/savoury = corned beef brisket
Other additions include
- Irish butter
St. Patrick’s Day Drinks
Green Goddess Smoothie
Baileys S’mores Floats
Lucky Charms Shots
Sparkling Cucumber Limeade
Ginger Lime Spritzer
2. Plant Shamrocks
Family traditions are always fun so why not make planting shamrocks in your garden on St. Paddy’s Day a new tradition.
3. Watch an Irish Movie
Gather your friends and family, get all the festive snacks ready and enjoy a fun movie night watching Irish films. Green matcha popcorn is a great addition!
4. Get Creative with St. Paddy’s Day Crafts
These kid-friendly crafts will get everyone into the spirit, making shamrock pins, shamrock wands and much more!
- Candy cauldrons- create your very own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow by filling these mini cauldrons with your favourite sweets and gold chocolate coins.
- Clover sun catcher – an easy yet fun DIY project leaving you with a festive window decoration. All you need to do is stick on some colourful tissue paper onto clear contact paper, then watch the pretty green catch the sun.
- Get messy in the kitchen – bake some gingerbread and decorate in all the green icing, not only is the end result beautiful it’s also a delicious treat.
- Shamrock wands- let your little leprechauns dance around with these magical glittery wands.
5. Bake festive desserts
- Soda bread
- Baileys cheesecake
- Irish apple cake with custard sauce
- Soda bread pudding
- Guinness cake
- Baileys brownies
- Irish barmbrack
6. Go to a St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Put on your favourite green shirt and head over to your local St. Patrick’s Day parade. The fun won’t end there, festivities usually last way after the parade is over, so prepare for a full day of excitement.
7. Test your luck playing a St. Paddy’s day game
Getting stuck into a game with the family to test your luck. Organise a rainbow coin toss, a scavenger hunt and even a pin the clover on the leprechaun.
Now that you’ve got all these creative ideas for what to do on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll be able to host the best day filled with festivities.