Irish Recipes for St. Patrick's Day 120x600

If you are teaching adult English Language Learners, consider celebrating St. Patrick's Day with an Irish feast— potluck-style, of course!

Day One: Give each student a copy of all recipes. Teach English names of various ingredients. This is best done by a class field trip to a local supermarket. If this is not feasible, a small sample of each ingredient may be brought to class.

Day Two: Review English units of measurement. Demonstrate/define cooking terminology (i.e., slice, chop, mince, add, mix, sift, stir, whip, knead, boil, bake, etc.). If at all possible, bring cooking utensils to class. Divide students into pairs. Assign each pair a recipe. One partner should read the ingredients while the other pantomimes preparing them (pointing out correct units of measurement while demonstrating proper technique). Partners should reverse roles about half way through directions. At the end of class, each student should be assigned a dish to prepare for the next day's potluck.

Day Three: Enjoy!

Potato and Leek Soup

2 oz. (1/4 cup) butter
1 whole leek, chopped
3 medium onions, chopped
1 ½ pounds potatoes, cubed
½ cup oats
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chives, chopped (for garnish)

Melt butter in a large pan. Saute onions and leek until tender. Add potatoes. Cook until potatoes are golden brown. Add oats and garlic. Cook one more minute. Reduce heat to low. Stir in chicken stock and milk. Simmer 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soup thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with chopped chives.

Note: If oats are not available, they may be omitted. It will be necessary, however, to use corn starch or another thickening agent.

Soda Bread

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk*
1 tsp. salt
2 oz. (1/4 cup) butter
2 eggs

Combine all ingredients and bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees.

*If buttermilk is not available, a substitution may be made by adding 1 tsp. vinegar to 1 1/3 cups milk. This mixture should be placed in a warm area until milk begins to separate (approx. ½ hour).


Corned Beef

2 beef briskets (1-2 lbs. each)
2 lbs. new potatoes
2 lbs. carrots
2-3 heads of cabbage
1/4 cup pickling spices

Place beef briskets in a crock pot. Add spices. Cover with cold water. Cook briskets on low temperature 12-18 hrs.

Wash and quarter the potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Place potatoes and carrots in a large pot. Add half the liquid from the crock pot. Finish covering with water (if needed).

Bring carrots and potatoes to a boil. Cover them, and cook on medium heat until tender (about 25 minutes). When carrots and potatoes are tender, add the cabbage and steam until cabbage is tender (about 5 more minutes).



Colcannon is an Irish dish traditionally served on Halloween. However, one has not thoroughly sampled Irish cuisine until he or she has tasted this famous dish!

It is customary to add a button, a coin, and a ring to this dish. According to tradition, the person who finds the coin is destined to become rich. The person who finds the coin will be an eternal bachelor. The person who finds the ring is the next to be married.

1/4 lb. bacon
1 lb. kale or cabbage, cooked
1 lb. potatoes, cooked
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
milk, if necessary

Fry bacon. Reserve 1/4 cup of bacon drippings. (Bacon will not be used.)

Mash the potatoes. Chop the kale or cabbage and add it to the potatoes. Mix well. Peel and chop the onion. Melt 1 Tbsp. of the drippings in a large, heavy frying pan and cook the onion in it. Remove fried onion and mix with the potato and cabbage. Season mixture to taste, and stir in a little milk if it is too stiff. Add the rest of the drippings to the hot pan. When drippings are very hot, turn the potato and cabbage mixture into the pan and spread it out. Fry until brown. Cut it into pieces, and continue frying until there are lots of crisp brown pieces.


Apple Scones

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup minced apples
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
2 tbsp. butter (reserve for topping)
2 tbsp. sugar (reserve for topping)

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in the butter. Add sugar and apples. Mix in the egg and milk to make a soft dough. Knead until ingredients are well-mixed. Spread in 8" x 12" greased pan, and bake 25 minutes at 450 degrees (Fahrenheit). Cut into 2" x 2" squares when done. Split each square diagonally. Butter. Dust the tops thickly with granulated sugar. Serve warm.


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