Around my house any holiday, no matter how obscure, provides the perfect opportunity for creative cooking and trying traditional recipes from a verity of cultures. While it’s not really “obscure”, St. Patrick Day is one of my favorite holidays to cook for. Lots of potatoes, cabbage, Irish stews, and wild game. Whats not to love?
I consider St. Patrick one of the most fascinating historical figures of the Church. His dedication to evangelistic outreach and cultural understanding has inspired generations of people to dedicated their lives to bringing the biblical message to people in their own language and cultural, myself included. He was a deeply spiritual man with an intimate relationship with God. He called God “Anam Cara” or “Friend of my Soul”.
In honor of St. Patrick I present you with an amazing recipe for a Warm Irish Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing.
- 2 lb potatoes (small new potatoes is best but any will do)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
- 1 small bunch of chives, chopped
- 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard (Irish mustard is preferred)
- salt and pepper to taste
Clean your potatoes by scrubbing or scrapping them under running water then place in a pot of boiling salted water (about a tsp of salt). If you are able to use small new potatoes (white or red) you can place them in whole. However, if all you have are bigger potatoes such as “Russet”, then you will want to peal and cut them into 2-3 inches pieces before placing them into the boiling water. Cook for about 10 minutes or until just tender. You don’t want to over boil your potatoes or all you’ll get is mush. Once finished, drain and allow the potatoes to cool some.
In a frying pan heat your olive oil (medium-low heat), adding onions and cooking until they just begin to soften. Add your bacon and cook for about 5 minutes or until bacon begin to get a little crispy. Now add your garlic and cook for another minute. As you begin to small your garlic add the chives, parsley, mustard, and vinegar. Turn to low and mix together. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Place your potatoes in a large bowl and cover with the bacon dressing. Mix gently as you don’t want to break apart your potatoes. Server warm. I hope you enjoy. Happy Cooking!
Note: The original recipe recommends using “superior ingredients” and I don’t disagree. However, the best ingredients cost quite a bit more which does not go with the tradition of Irish peasant food or most peoples budget. So, above I have give instruction using every day ingredients. If you have access to “superior ingredients” and want to use them I would recommend switching a few things out: Instead of regular bacon use dry-cured bacon – Instead of Russet potatoes use new white fingerling potatoes – Irish wholegrain mustard from a specialty store is fantastic. – And, as my wife is always pushing towards, local produce from a farmers market is preferable.Adapted From: Lennon & Campbell. Irish Food & Cooking. London: Hermes House, 2004.