A real feast day

MAKE paddy's day celebration of all that's great about irish food with this three-course supper

Stuart O'Keeffe

SAINT Patrick's Day is just around the corner and I love that this year it is on a Saturday. We'll all be able to have a day off after the big celebrations.

Why not host a great Saint Patrick's Day feast at home with some friends in the evening? I've chosen a starter, main course and dessert using very Irish ingredients. And there's not a bit of bacon or cabbage in sight!

Cream of Cod and Salmon Soup

Serves 6-8


>10 sprigs fresh rosemary

>3 bay leaves

>4 tbsp butter

>2 tsp dried thyme leaves

>2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

>1 large onion, diced

>1.5 litres cream

>500ml milk

>150g sweetcorn

>250g cod, cut into 2-inch pieces

>250g salmon, cut into 2-inch pieces

>Salt and pepper


> Using twine, tie the rosemary and the bay leaves together.

> In a saucepan, melt the butter.

> Add thyme leaves, leeks and onion. Sauté for 5-8 minutes.

>Add the cream and milk and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.

>Add in the bay leaves and rosemary. Tie the string to the handle of the pan.

>Let simmer for 20 minutes.

>Add in the sweetcorn, cod and salmon and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.

> Season with salt and pepper and stir.

> Serve in bowls with Irish soda bread.

Guinness Braised lamb shanks

Serves 4


>2 tbsp vegetable oil

>4 lamb shanks

>Salt and pepper to taste

>1 onion, diced

>4 cloves garlic, smashed with the back of a knife

>2 carrots, diced

>2 celery ribs, diced

>40g tomato paste

>500ml beef stock

>500ml Guiness stout

>4 sprigs fresh thyme

>4 sprigs fresh parsley

>1 bay leaf

>2 sprigs fresh rosemary

>12 baby potatoes, sliced in half


>Preheat oven to 180°C

>Heat oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper.

>Sauté lamb shanks until they become nice and brown then set them aside on a plate.

>Cook onion in the oil for 3-5 minutes until softened.

>Add garlic, carrots and celery and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.

>Stir in tomato paste until well combined with the vegetables.

>Stir in stock and stout and simmer.

>Add back in the lamb shanks. Then add the thyme, parsley, bay leaf and rosemary. Press down into the liquid using a wooden spoon.

>Season. Cover with the lid and place the pot in the oven on the middle shelf for 2 hours. Add potatoes for the last 25 minutes.

Chocolate Guinness Milkshakes

Serves 3


>200ml stout

>1 tsp vanilla extract

>6 scoops vanilla ice-cream

>2 scoops chocolate ice-cream

>50ml milk


>Whipped cream

>1 square of dark chocolate


>Place ingredients in a blender and blitz until well combined.

>Pour mixture into tall glasses, top with whipped cream and grated chocolate shavings.