St Patrick's Day Recipes


Delicious recipes from the Emerald Isle: celebrate St Patrick’s Day in true Irish style with Irish soda bread, traditional beef stew and some delightful Irish stout cupcakes.

Recipes and images taken from BBC Food

Irish Soda Bread



170g/6oz self-raising wholemeal flour

170g/6oz plain flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

290ml/½ pint buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.

  2. Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir.

  3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky.)

  4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.

  5. Form into a round and flatten the dough slightly before placing on a lightly floured baking sheet.

  6. Cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

Irish Beef Stew



2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 kg/2lb 4oz beef stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm/1in chunks

2 onions

3 celery stalks

4 large carrots

1 litre/ 1¾pint beef stock (from stock cubes)

900g/2lb potatoes

25g/1oz unsalted butter

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. First cook the beef by placing a large saucepan over a high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and brown the beef pieces. Do this in batches so the pan isn't too full. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside on a plate. Don't clean the pan, as you'll need this to fry the vegetables.

  2. While the beef is frying, peel and chop the onions and carrots and slice the celery.

  3. Heat the remaining oil in the same saucepan and fry the onion, celery and carrot for 4–5 minutes or until the onions have softened. Scrape any cooked on bits from the bottom of the pan. That will add flavour to the stew. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Mix the beef in with the vegetables, then take the pan off the heat. Tip the meat and vegetables into a large ovenproof dish and pour the stock over the top.

  5. Peel and slice the potatoes into ½cm/¼in thick slices and arrange over the top of the beef. Dot the butter over the top then cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour then remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes until the potatoes are crisp and golden-brown. Serve in deep bowls.

Irish Stout Cupcakes



75g/2¾oz cocoa powder

175g/6oz plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

225g/8oz caster sugar

3 free-range eggs

225g/8oz cooked beetroot (no added vinegar)

100ml/3½fl oz Irish stout

100ml/3½fl oz corn oil

For the cream cheese icing

200g/7oz unsalted butter, softened

200g/7oz full-fat cream cheese

1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out.

450g/1lb icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

  2. Sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl.

  3. Blend the eggs, beetroot, stout and oil in a food processor until smooth.

  4. Stir the beetroot into the flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix).

  5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cupcakes have risen and the tops are springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

  6. For the cream cheese icing, beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla together in a bowl until smooth; then slowly beat in the icing sugar.

  7. Spread the icing onto the muffins with a knife or spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm/½in star nozzle and pipe the icing onto the muffins.