Saturday, March 14, 2009

Eating in Ireland

I've been lucky to be able to visit Ireland twice (so far). The first time I went with my Mom and we took an organized motorcoach tour that turned out to be wonderful. We didn't really know what to expect but it was very cool - there was only a couple of times we wanted to stay someplace longer than the tour allowed, or stop at a place we drove by. But we stayed in wonderful B & B's and had traditional breakfasts that were incredible, visited pubs and local restaurants.

A few years later we returned with Megan and felt brave enough to handle the island on our own. We flew into Shannon, rented a car and made our way around the south of Ireland, ending in Dublin. We had a blast -- it was adventurous and so unlike us to travel without set plans or an itinerary (I make an itinerary when we take day trips to Orlando!). We ate in small waterfront restaurants, famous tourist spots, and got snacks at local bakeries and grocery stores. We walked the cities we visited looking for traditional Irish music at night. We played with a schnauzer in an abandoned church yard and we veered off the motorway at the last minute to find a monument of some sort.

I know this is a food blog and not a travel blog so let me get to the point -- THEY DO NOT SERVE CORNED BEEF IN IRELAND!! I never saw it on a menu! It never touched my lips. Here's what they do have that we will never forget and never be able to re-create or find at home:
  • Butter
  • Beef Stew at Greta's
  • Roasted Potatoes to put in the Beef Stew
  • Breakfast Sausage
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Brown Bread for Breakfast
  • Shepherds Pie
  • Butter
  • Toasted Special's!!
  • Club Orange
  • Bulmers Irish Cider, and finally,
  • Butter

I did see Bacon and Cabbage on a few menus, but bacon in Ireland is not like our bacon. It's more like our country ham.

Regardless, I love Corned Beef. I buy them primarily around St. Patricks Day because they're on sale. is my second use of the slow cooker this week.

Corned Beef

1 Corn Beef (I use the flat cut)

1 Bottle of Guinness

1/4 cup of Spicy Brown Mustard


Mix the beer and mustard and that funky flavor packet that comes with the meat. Pour over the meat in the slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the meat. I cook on low ALL DAY LONG until the beef is cooked through and passes the slice/crumble test. I kind of want it to fall apart like pulled pork. That's just me though.


Mom said...

Your corned beef couldn't have been any better than mine!! Mine didn't come with the spice packet, so I made my own, and also used beer. I'm really looking forward to the Reuben sandwiches I'm planning to make from the leftovers, and also some corned beef hash!

Elizabeth said...

I recently found Irish butter at Whole Foods and practically jumped for joy. Also, I've been able to successfully recreate the toasty. I should blog about those sometime soon.