St Patrick’s Day Feast:
Soda Bread, Ulster Fry & Salt Beef with Champ
St Patrick’s Day is just under a week away now, and although I’m not Irish, I welcome the opportunity to cook Irish food for my friends and family. There’s something very honest and wholesome about traditional Irish fare, and so when Ocado contacted me to ask if I’d like to be part of their St Patrick’s Day Feast challenge this year, I was delighted to accept. I was sent a £100 voucher to spend on the ingredients, from their Irish Shop or anywhere else on the site. I then spent a couple of happy hours shopping for my ingredients!
The Irish challenge was to cook a three course meal, with Irish inspired ingredients and recipes…..but, as there was just the two of us last week, and a three-course meal was a big ask, I decided to cook THREE meals for one day, namely breakfast, lunch and tea. I created a traditional Ulster Fry, which is a full cooked breakfast, a main meal of Irish salt beef with cabbage and champ and finally I made a traditional soda bread, which was served with Irish butter and Cashel Blue cheese for tea.
An Ulster Fry is a traditional full cooked breakfast from Northern Ireland, and usually comprises: back bacon, black pudding, sausages, potato farls, fried soda bread, fried eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms. I cooked mine with some splendid Irish produce including the famous Clonakilty black pudding, which is a favourite it ours; beautifully spiced and with a high oatmeal content, the texture is light and crumbly with a distinct flavour. And, my butter of choice for this filling Irish breakfast was Kerrygold of course.
Lunch was equally impressive! I served organic salt beef with traditional champ, carrots, cabbage and home-made parsley sauce. The salt beef was already seasoned and spiced, and after three hours of cooking, we both thoroughly enjoyed this tender meat; as you can see from my photos, it was similar to pulled pork and the meat just came away in juicy strands. It was perfect with the buttery champ potatoes and along with a classic accompaniment of boiled carrots and cabbage, the whole meal was filling, comforting and full of flavour.
After two hefty meals, it was obvious that tea was going to be a slightly more frugal affair! I LOVE traditional soda bread, and make it (and other British variations) often. And, as I had treated us to a couple of packs of Cashel Blue cheese in my Ocado shopping, it was an easy call to make – I would bake some soda bread for a late tea, served with butter and cheese. I made the classic soda bread recipe of just four ingredients: flour, soda, buttermilk and salt, and it was light and fluffy – the perfect vehicle for the creamy Cashel Blue cheese, and some salted Irish butter.
I have shared the recipes for my Ulster Fry, Champ and Soda Bread below, and I DO hope that you will enjoy making the and eating them as much as I did. The salt beef was cooked according to the instructions on the packet – it was an organic salt beef joint from Laverstokes. Do let me know what you will be making this St Patrick’s Day, Karen
May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.