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Traditional Irish food

Favourite dishes from Ireland

Old food sign, Ireland

For most people, the mention of traditional Irish recipes conjures up visions of Irish stew, boiled bacon with cabbage and warm rounds of soda bread. These wholesome foods have been around a long time and they still make regular apppearances on the tables of most families in Ireland.

Of course, the Irish cook is not limited to these well-known dishes. There are many, often more sophisticated, specialities that didn't achieve fame despite passing down the generations. Those recipes now adorn the glossy pages of countless cookery books, together with a vast selection of modern recipes demonstrating Ireland's new culinary tradition.

But for family historians, the original cooking methods and ingredients used by our ancestors are of most interest. Therefore, the selection below deliberately sticks to what we all know and recognise as traditional Irish food recipes.

  • A perfect marriage of Ireland's most popular vegetables:– Colcannon

* The national dish: Irish stew

* A perfect marriage of Ireland's most popular vegetables:– Colcannon

* Two firm pork favourites:– Oven baked ham and Boiled bacon & cabbage

* Black and white perfection:– Irish coffee

* It must be Christmas:– Plum pudding

* Cheesy, fruity or plain? – Buttermilk Scones made easy

* Gateway to the Irish soul? The basic Irish soda bread recipe

* Baked genius! A traditional Irish whiskey cake recipe

Goose for celebrations

Turkey was introduced to Ireland in the late 17th century, only becoming the meat of choice for celebrations three centuries later.

Until then, goose was the preferred dish for special occasions. In the early years of the 19th century roasted goose appeared on Irish tables three times a year:

  • Michelmas (29 September)
  • St Martin's Eve (11 November), and
  • Christmas Day (25th December).

At Christmas the goose was usually accompanied by beef, especially Spiced Beef, which was considered a great luxury until well into the 20th century.