Friday, May 30, 2008

Some Delicious Irish Meals

Dublin is a very cosmopolitan city, and most Irish that we met were well traveled and enjoyed the cuisines of different cultures as much as Americans do. On almost every corner there was a Thai restaurant, and yes, even Burger King and Little Cesar's Pizza and "All You Can Eat" Chinese buffet restaurants. Espresso and cappuccino are new favorite drinks, and wine is as popular as beer.

My cappuccino came to me one day with a face drawn in chocolate syrup at an Italian restaurant in Dublin!

But, since we were tourists in Ireland, we desired to try traditional Irish foods more than anything else. Honestly, I don't think I've ever taken photos of my meals in the past, but because of this blog, I thought it would be fun to record some of the traditional dishes that we enjoyed.

The traditional Irish breakfast is very hearty and suitable for a long day of hard work .... or tourist travels. It usually consists of a fried egg or two, three kinds of sausages, baked beans, a grilled tomato, potatoes and a thick ham bacon called "rashers," toast, and juice, coffee or tea.

I also enjoyed having just porridge some mornings. It is a creamy version of oatmeal and our hotel served it with lavender honey, which made it taste divine!

An Irish breakfast and porridge:

After such a big breakfast we usually skipped lunch, but we had a wonderful cream of vegetable soup in a pub one afternoon. Soup is always served with bread, and the traditional brown bread is thick and flavourful and the rolls were large and soft.

Sometimes we'd just have tea and a scone for lunch, or teatime. I love scones of all flavors and I indulged in quite a few! I figured I could do some extra miles on the treadmill when I got back home to burn them off. I omitted using the clotted cream which is sometimes served with them but couldn't resist using the strawberry preserves as a garnish.

Look at the size of the scones we had in Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street!

Having lunch or dinner in a local pub is very popular in Ireland. Most have a hot selection and a carvery of roasted meats with which they will make as a sandwich or serve with vegetables. Many families, workers, tourists come in and the atmosphere is very casual and cozy.
Some good pub meals:
Shepard Pie -- a mixture of ground meat and onions, carrots and celery in a gravy sauce and smothered with mashed potatoes.

Fish and Chips -- fried fish fillet, french fries, and minted peas. This dish also came along with a small salad. The traditional dressing for the chips is vinegar, but ketchup was readily available everywhere we went, too.

Beef or lamb stews are delicious, and rich and hearty.

Ireland has rich pastureland, and lamb, beef and pork dishes are plentiful on the menus. Here is a mixed grill dinner that had a little of each:

I'm sure you've noticed all the Guinness accompanying our meals. How could we resist when we are in the city where Guinness is brewed? It was the perfect accent beverage to drink along with the meat and potato meals. We even had a dish that incorporated the stout into the sauce a very delicious Guinness steak pie, that was served roasted garlic potatoes on the side.

I found some online videos from the United Kingdom on how to make Beef in Guinness, Irish Stew and Dumplings, Shepherd's Pie, Scones, Fish and Chips.

I hope you enjoyed this culinary peek of our favorite meals in Ireland!
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Vee said...

It all looks great to me! Welcome home!!

Tess Kincaid said...

Oh man, this made me hungry! That is my kind of breakfast...yum. And that lamb stew looks dee-lish.

Fun to see the food of Ireland, Pat!

Anonymous said...

That is so funny that we both took pictures of meals. I've never done it before either.

All of yours look quite delish, and the size of that scone is unbelievable. I believe that could be a "scone for two".

Think about participating in the quilt contest. I'd never heard of a Fat Quarter either, but I went to the fabric shop this afternoon and they definitely knew just what I needed. I'm mailing mine to Donna tomorrow.

Tess Kincaid said...

Just me again...

It was so,so fun to see your smiling face over on my new guest book!! Thanks, Pat!

I'll be back tomorrow for more of Ireland, I hope.

Proud Italian Cook said...

All your meals looked delicious Pat! What a breakfast!! I loved the cappucino design, I need to try that at home! Great photos!!

Anonymous said...

I think I would make the trip to Ireland just to eat that wonderful food you pictured!! I am astounded at how delicious that all looked. My mouth is truly watering at this very moment---and I just ate a DQ ice cream cone!!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I am having so much fun looking at your new Ireland posts! Those wonderfully colored doors in the past post are so fun! And this food...I think I gained 5 pounds just looking at the pictures!

Welcome home!

Just A Girl said...

That scone was huge! Were you able to eat the entire thing?
I've always wondered if Irish food was as bad as the English but it looks like they serve my kind of meals! How fun it must have been.

:) Cori

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Oh my gosh that made me hungry! Looks yummy!!

Tara said...


You are such a foodie--a girl after my own heart! I couldn't wait to see what fare you experieneced and I'd write more but I am off to the tutorials for Shepard's Pie--my favorite!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
Oh I'm hungry now! I LOVE your post on food. I always wonder what types of food dishes people commonly eat in other countries. Great photos! I'm going to check out the sites for recipes, especially the scones, I so love them!!
I've never heard of cream of vegetable soup, bet it was good!
Hugs, Sherry

{oc cottage} said...

Erin Go Bragh!

McM ^..^

Mrs. B said...

Hi Pat! Your meals look wonderful! My mom used to make shepard's pie when I was a kid and it was always one of my favorite meals. Eating different foods is so much fun on vacation and I never worry about what I eat because it seems like you end up walking so much on vacation that you burn off a lot of the calories. Can't wait to hear more about your trip!

I like a lot of the David Cook songs I've got on my blog right now, but Music of the Night, Day Tripper, and All I Really Need is You are some of my favorites. I'm going to the American Idol concert when they come to Sacramento and I'm so excited!

steviewren said...

Pat, I love it that you took pictures of your meals. What a delicious reminder these photos will be of your trip.

I have just nominated you as one of the five blogs that make my day. Please go to my site to see why. Congratulations!

Gina said...

Three of my favourite comfort foods: Shepherd's Pie, fish and chips and Irish Stew! Yummmm!...and that's what I call a decent scone :) Gx

Betsy Brock said...

Oh my goodness! Now THAT is a scone! ;)

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

This is my last post to read for the night, so I'll have to come back tomorrow and read the rest so that I can take my time. Catching up after missing 4 days has been very draining LOL

The food looks yummy! I'm surprised. The scones looked more than yummy too :)

Have a great night and I'll be back over here in the morning...


Anonymous said...

I have been researching our family's genealogy and realized that we have a lot of Irish in us. I was always told that we were English, so for fun I thought I would look up dishes that I grew up on as a kid. Well, whadda you know, I'm been eating traditional Irish meals all my life and didn't even know it. Thanks for taking a pic of the Shepards Pie, my mom made the best, she's been gone a long time and this blog has help bring back wonderful memory.