St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland who lived from AD 385 - 461 and is responsible for bringing Christianity to Ireland and allegedly removing all the snakes there too!
The 17th of March is actually the day he died and it wasn't until the 17th century that the Irish started celebrating this day.
St Patrick's Day is celebrated all over the world, especially in The USA where there are huge parades with everyone wearing green and in Chicago the river is died green for the day.
Ireland is famed for it's good basic homegrown food. Irish soda bread is wonderful and we had a recipe last month for soda bread so you ca give it a go yourself, just add raisins for that special Irish touch. Corned beef and cabbage is a staple in Ireland as is champ which is mashed potatoes with spring onions (and you can read all about them here), Beef and Guiness pie is a favourite but the most famous of all is Irish Stew.
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 200g smoked streaky bacon chopped
- 900g stewing lamb in chunks
- 5 medium onions sliced
- 5 carrots chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- small bunch of fresh thyme
- 100g pearl barley
- 850ml lamb stock
- 6 medium potatoes chopped
- knob of butter
- 3 spring onions chopped
Preheat oven to 160C
In an ovenproof pan heat the oil and fry the bacon till crispy then add the lamb chunks till brown
Remove meats from pan
Add onion, carrots and herbs to the pan and cook for 5 minutes
Return the meats to the pan, add the barley and stock and simmer 10 minutes
Add the potatoes on top (don't stir them in) cover the pan and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours
Remove from oven and dot the top with butter and scatter on the spring onions
You can find lots more Irish recipes on our Pinterest Board.