Irish cuisine is a feast for all the senses. Often made up of simple dishes that originate from conditions of poverty, it’s hearty, delicious, and adored by both locals and visitors. Many of the delicacies are made using staple ingredients such as potatoes and cabbage and are typically filling enough to ward off the cold weather.
Visit the pubs and restaurants throughout Ireland to sample some of these tasty foods. The chances are you’ll probably become addicted! And no, there is no such thing as too much potato.
Check out these 10 delicious Irish dishes!
10 Can’t Miss: Irish Stew
Irish stew is the most obvious dish that you absolutely must sample in Ireland. Unless you don’t eat meat, this one is really non-negotiable! Although you can now get Irish stew all over the world, you haven’t really had it until you’ve had it in Ireland.
Typically, Irish stew is made from lamb or mutton rather than beef. It also features root vegetables, particularly potatoes and carrots. You get slightly different recipes from pub to pub, but the essence of this dish is in its comforting vibe. You can’t go wrong with a bowl of Irish stew!
9 National Favorite: Champ
The potato is a staple in Ireland, having played a significant role in the history of the country. The Irish are masters at potato-based dishes and know exactly how to turn potatoes from just another ordinary root vegetable into something amazing. Champ is one of those dishes.
So simple and yet so much better than your average mashed potato dish, champ includes green onions which have been cooked in milk. A generous amount of melting butter also goes into it, making this dish something you’ll fall in love with.
8 Halloween Treat: Barmbrack
The Halloween tradition originates from the Celtic culture of Ireland, so you can bet the Irish have a sea of customs surrounding the famous holiday. One of these is barmbrack, which is a bread that is served during Halloween. Featuring sultanas and raisins, barmbrack comes in a round shape and is sometimes toasted.
According to the Halloween tradition, a ring or coin is placed somewhere inside the barmbrack. The person who eats the slice with the ring or coin then receives good luck. Although, we think the good luck is getting to eat this yummy bread!
7 For Breakfast: Black Pudding
Black pudding can take some getting used to if you’re from outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The description isn’t always enticing, but the flavor can be delicious. We recommend giving it a try while in Ireland. You never know … you might become addicted!
Essentially a type of sausage, black pudding is made from ingredients such as pork blood and pork meat. It is often served at breakfast time as an accompaniment to eggs, tomatoes, bacon, and toast. You’ll also find white pudding, which doesn’t contain the blood giving it a distinct black color.
6 Potato Pancake: Boxty
Another incredible potato dish from the Irish! Unlike champ, boxty is a potato pancake rather than a mashed potato-type of creation. The potatoes are grated and then combined with mashed potato and fried to give it that pancake-like texture and delicious taste.
Traditionally, boxty was boiled or baked, but now you’ll most commonly find it fried around Ireland. Kind of like a hash brown but better, boxty resembles a pancake rather than a fine crepe. Though it was once considered a peasant dish, it has become a favorite in Ireland amongst both locals and foreigners.
5 Iconic: Boiled Bacon And Cabbage
Cabbage is another ingredient that tends to feature pretty heavily in Irish cuisine. Bacon and cabbage is an iconic dish, but pretty self-explanatory. The bacon and cabbage are boiled together with potatoes to create a hearty and filling dish.
This dish inspired the more famous corned beef and cabbage and is one of the simplest and most authentic dishes you can get in Ireland. For many Irish people, this reminds them of their mam’s home cooking and takes them back to childhood. Sometimes, bacon and cabbage is served with a white creamy sauce to enhance the flavor.
4 Delicious Dessert: Goody
With a name like goody, how can this dessert not be amazing? Goody is very simple, but the best things often are. This dish involved boiling bread in milk and adding sugar and spices for sweetness and flavor. That’s it!
Typically, goody is a dish that is served up to children. Modern additions include chocolate or cocoa powder to add even more sweetness. Historically, this dish was served on St. John’s Eve, which according to Irish Archeology, is the eve of the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist which takes place in June.
3 Pigs' Trotters: Crubeens
Pigs’ trotters might not sound like the most appealing dish in the world. But when in Rome (or in this case Ireland), you have to do what the Romans do, right? Known as crubeens, this dish is made of pigs’ feet which are boiled, battered, and fried.
Although the dish doesn’t sound appetizing to some foreigners, it’s hard to argue that basically anything tastes great once it’s battered and fried. Traditionally, these are eaten as a snack at horse races. Parade explains that they were once a staple at bars and pubs.
2 Pork Stew: Skirts And Kidneys
Irish stew is the most famous kind of stew that you can get in Ireland, but that doesn’t mean there are no other stews on the menu. Be sure to sample skirts and kidneys, which is a kind of pork stew. Again, don’t let the name put you off this interesting delicacy. You never know what your taste buds might like!
The ingredients, including kidneys, potatoes, onions, and pork meat, are slowly simmered to let the flavors fully develop. Like many Irish dishes, the best way to have this is to scoop up the remaining juices with a chunky slab of bread.
1 Simply Divine: Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie is now a popular dish right around Ireland, the United Kingdom, and countries in the British Commonwealth including Australia and New Zealand. Basically, this hearty dish is made using lamb rather than beef.
The defining factor of Shepherd’s pie, other than the fact that it’s made with lamb, is that the top crust of the pie is actually made using mashed potato rather than shortcrust pastry. In some cases, the potato will be topped with melted cheese. Sensational! You can also get beef pie that is topped with potato, but this is called cottage pie.