On Friday, March 17th, we’ll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Chicago will dye the Chicago River green, local parades will feature bagpipe players piping their hearts out, and Americans across the country will reach for Irish goodies to sip and munch. This year, try your hand at baking a traditional Irish dish that features a tea twist. Here are five recipes that count tea among their ingredients to make an Irish classic extra special.
1) Dublin Gur Cake
Gur cake is a sweet pastry that hails from Ireland’s capital, Dublin. The treat gets its name from the term “gurriers,” which was used to describe youngsters up to no good. If a young lad went ‘on the gur,’ it meant he was skipping class. Gur cake was traditionally made with leftover bread, making it cheap enough that the average gurrier could afford to buy it as fuel for a day of mischief. This gur cake recipe from Your Living City uses strongly brewed tea to make its filling, combining tea with stale bread, dried fruit, syrup, cinnamon, and other spices for a sweet, fruity filling. If you feel like channeling your inner gurrier this St. Patrick’s Day, follow this recipe and make way for mischief.
2) Tea-Infused Boiled Potatoes
There is no food more classically Irish than the potato. The Irish first started planting the potato in the 1600s and it became a staple in the country’s diet. This recipe from Chef Raghavan Iyer via The Splendid Table puts a spin on potatoes by boiling them in black tea, then seasoning them with ginger, Chinese five-spice powder, red cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and scallions. Iyer found that smoking food with tea leaves resulted in an overpowering smokiness, but that boiling them left just enough tea flavor in the potatoes without commandeering the entire dish.
3) Irish Barmbrack
Barmbrack is a traditional Irish sweet bread that contains raisins. This classic fruitcake recipe from Irish Culinary TV personality Donal Skehan calls for fruit to be soaked in cold tea and whiskey overnight, making the fruit plumper and more flavorful. It’s then baked into a delicious, yeasted bread. The Irish typically bake a ring or other tiny trinkets inside the fruit cake for eaters to find. Barmbrack, sometimes nicknamed brack, typically graces kitchen counters on Halloween, but this baked good is delicious on all days spooky or not.
4) Bangers & Mash With Irish Tea Gravy
This sausage and mashed potatoes recipe from Thirsty For Tea uses Irish tea bags in its gravy. Blogger Bonnie Eng promises, “The taste of tea in this gravy is less assertive than if we had made it with Guinness but stronger than chicken or beef stock.”
5) Tea-Infused Soda Bread
Irish soda bread bakes quickly and is typically made by combining baking soda with buttermilk, flour, and salt. This recipe from Snapguide infuses classic soda bread with black tea by steeping tea leaves in hot milk. The tender bread goes great with jam, cheese, or butter on St. Patrick’s Day or any other morning that calls for a rich, tasty bread.