Growing up I ate a diet rich in meat and potatoes, and I had no quarrels with that. In fact, I loved it. Now that I am living abroad I do every once in a while crave some of Ireland’s great cuisine.
Here is a list of 15 dishes you need to try, whether you hop on over to Ireland or make it yourself.
Ulster fry is more commonly referenced in the North of Ireland (Ulster) and has everything from black pudding, bacon, sausage, soda bread, potato farl, beans, eggs and a nice cup of tea on the side.
2. Black and White Pudding
This is something you will find with your traditional ulster fry. You don’t want to know what’s in it but trust me when I say it tastes good. That is all.
3. Curry Chip
The Irish love international cuisines which have gotten more and more popular over the years in Ireland. A favorite is a curry chip which you can get in most restaurants and definitely at your local Chinese take out.
It’s creamy, it’s buttery, it’s so good. Colcannon is usually a mix of cabbage (sometimes spinach) with buttery mashed potatoes. It’s the slam dunk of spud dishes.
Good old cherry trifle. It’s filled with layers of creamy custard, fluffy cream and gooey raspberry sauce. And to top it off, it’s even light enough to eat after a big, hearty Irish meal.
The Irish love their drink and they also love their meat, so naturally they took this match made in heaven and made Steak and Guinness Pie.
This bad boy is really popular in Northern Ireland (where I’m from). You will usually find a pastie served with chips (fries) which we call “a pastie supper.”
8. Fish supper
Deep fried battered fish and chips (again, fries). Add some salt and vinegar and you’re good to go with this one.
9. Sausage Rolls
These have the appearance of your typical pigs in a blanket but thankfully sausage rolls are actually made with real pork sausage and a flaky puffed crust that makes it even more special.
I suggest you get some Irish butter (Kerrygold is available in most shops in the U.S.) and some Irish tea. Barnbrack is traditionally served toasted with a slab of butter for tea time.
11. Mince Pies (Sweet)
Despite the name and appearance, these pies are not made of mince meat. They are fruit based (raisins, currents, etc). They are most popular around Christmas time but nobody really wants to wait that long for one of these.
12. Cottage Pie
This is just a simple minced beef and veggie dish topped with mashed potatoes. It’s comfort food that always hits the spot.
13. Tayto Crisp Sandwich
Judge all you want but this sandwich is comfort food at its finest for the Irish. You can’t go wrong with some buttered white bread and some deliciously flavored cheese and onion crisps. It may not be high-class cuisine but this is a childhood snack that just keeps getting better.
14. Beans on Toast
When you have not done the grocery shopping-have no fear! Most Irish homes have a few cans of Heinz beans stocked up in the cupboard. It does the job for any meal throughout the day, and is especially tasty on top of a nicely toasted piece of white bread.
15. Irish Stew
There’s nothing like a good Irish Stew. It has everything you could want in a dinner. Meat, potatoes and veggies. This is my go-to dish on a cold Irish winter night when I’m feeling extra homesick.
While I grew up eating these dishes in Ireland, some of the items on the list are popular across the British Isle. Which means even more people around the world enjoy these dishes just the same. So, go on and try a few!