St Patrick’s Day Feast: Soda Bread, Ulster Fry & Salt Beef with Champ


Soda Bread


Salt Beef and 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!


Irish Breakfast 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.


Ulster Fry

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.


Champ

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.


Corned Beef and Champ

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.


Soda Bread and Cashel Blue Cheese

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 


Ocado Irish Shop

*Commissioned Post and Recipes for Ocado and Bord Bia*


Celtic Shamrock

May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.


Organic Salt Beef

RECIPES:


Irish Breakfast

“The Ulster Fry” – Traditional Irish Breakfast

A traditional Ulster Fry always has back bacon, black pudding, sausages, fried soda bread and potato farls along with fried eggs on the plate. Optional extras are tomatoes and mushrooms. My take on an Ulster Fry is slightly lighter, as I omitted the sausages, but DO add them if you want a heartier Irish style breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 eggs per person
  • 2 to 3 slices of black pudding per person
  • 2 rashers of back bacon per person
  • 1 tomato per person (cut in half)
  • 2 potato farls (potato cakes) per person
  • 1 slice soda bread per person
  • vegetable oil
  • butter

Note

A traditional Ulster Fry always has back bacon, black pudding, sausages, fried soda bread and potato farls along with fried eggs on the plate. Optional extras are tomatoes and mushrooms. My take on an Ulster Fry is slightly lighter, as I omitted the sausages, but DO add them if you want a heartier Irish style breakfast!

Directions

Step 1 Pre-heat oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2 to keep the food warm as it is cooked.
Step 2 Heat a little oil and some butter in a large frying pan or grease a griddle and add the halved tomatoes; fry for about 8 to 10 minutes until soft, then transfer to the oven to keep warm.
Step 3 Add the black pudding and bacon to the pan and fry to taste (crispy etc) before draining and adding them to the tomatoes in the oven to keep warm.
Step 4 Add more oil and butter if needed and fry the potato farls until golden brown, keep them warm in the oven. Then fry the soda bread until crispy and keep it warm in the oven.
Step 5 Finally, fry the eggs to taste (sunny side up, over easy etc) and serve the breakfast on warm plates like so: put the fried soda bread and potato farls on the plate, place the fried egg/s on top. Arrange the tomatoes, black pudding and bacon around the egg/s, farls and bread.
Step 6 Serve immediately with a pot of tea.


Salt Beef, Cabbage, Champ and Carrots

Traditonal Irish Champ

This traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with butter, milk and spring onions is unquestionably one of the most delectable potato dishes to come out of the Emerald Isle! Serve these comforting potatoes with corned beef, salt beef, ham, pork or sausages.

Ingredients

  • 900g potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 150ml milk
  • 75g salted butter
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped (about 12 to 14)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Note

This traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with butter, milk and spring onions is unquestionably one of the most delectable potato dishes to come out of the Emerald Isle! Serve these comforting potatoes with corned beef, salt beef, ham, pork or sausages. (This dish originates from Northern Ireland)

Directions

Step 1 Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft and then drain them thoroughly.
Step 2 Add the milk, half of the butter and the spring onions and leave the lid on the hot potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then mash the potatoes until smooth.
Step 3 Spoon the champ into a serving dish, make a well in the centre off the potatoes and add the rest of the butter. Serve immediately.
Step 4 NB: You can add all of the butter to the mashed champ instead of adding at the point of serving if you wish.


Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Serves 1 soda bread
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy

Milk, Wheat
Dietary

Vegetarian
Meal type

Bread, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Misc

Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion

Barbecue, Casual Party, Easter, Halloween
Region Irish

By author

Karen Burns-Booth

A traditional recipe for Irish White Soda Bread, perfect for any time of the day and so easy to make. Don’t forget to make the cross on top of the bread, so the fairies can fly out! ( The butter is optional, but if it’s added, the bread keeps a little longer without drying out too much)

Ingredients

  • 450g plain white flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 300ml butter milk

Optional

Note

A traditional recipe for Irish White Soda Bread, perfect for any time of the day and so easy to make. Don’t forget to make the cross on top of the bread, so the fairies can fly out! ( The butter is optional, but if it’s added, the bread keeps a little longer without drying out too much)

Directions

Step 1 Pre-heat oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7 and grease and/or line a baking tray.
Step 2 Sift all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter, if using, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Step 3 Add the buttermilk and mix with your hands to form a dough – do not over mix as it will make the soda bread tough.
Step 4 Turn the dough out onto a floured board and shape into a round about 4cm/1 1/2″ thick. Place the soda bread onto the prepared baking tray and cut a deep cross in the top.
Step 5 Sprinkle with extra flour and bake in pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
Step 6 Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack or wrap in a clean tea towel for a soft crust.
Step 7 Serve warm with salted butter.


Soda Bread

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