Irish for a Day
On March 17, everyone’s Irish for a day. For twenty-four hours, Kelly’s the new Black. Green even makes its way into mugs of beer and certain lucky bodies of water. Hungry folk of Irish ilk (and many who are just Irish-ish) flock to their local pub where simple sausages become “Bangers” and regular potatoes, “Mash.”
However, if you were to pull up a bar stool at the public house in Belfast, Ireland on that day, you’d find your beer to be markedly dark—not green. You’d also find that the nearby River Lagan remains on the bluer side of Emerald. Corned Beef would be as elusive on the menu as a four-leaf clover, and the only “Kelly” at the bar might be that Celtic fella several stools down. Guinness gracious, what gives?!
In fact, many of the traditions that we’ve come to associate with the Feast of St. Patrick were developed miles away from the Emerald Isle, among the mid-nineteenth century Irish émigré, after they had settled in places like America.
A Skillet from the Crimson Aisles
We like that spunky human tendency to innovate—so we decided to concoct a new St. Patrick’s Day tradition of our own: Trader Joe’s Full Irish-ish Breakfast.* It’s a mash-up of Irish, Italian, American, and Irish-American products. Every item in the pan is currently available in the Crimson Aisles—that magical land we also like to call ‘your neighborhood Trader Joe’s.’ Read on for product descriptions, including our original recipe for Corned Beef Hash.
*Cooking note: The Irish use a single pan for cooking all the ingredients. We suggest frying the bacon, sausages, tomatoes, bread, and eggs in the same pan and grease, as the Irish do. The beans and mushrooms, however, can be reheated separately and added to the pan at the end.
Kerrygold Irish Unsalted Butter
This butter contains beta-carotene (present in the fresh grass eaten by the cows that gave the milk), which gives it a lovely golden color, and also lends a unique, irresistible flavor. Drop a healthy knob (“pad”) of Kerrygold into a medium-hot skillet and you’re ready to go!
Trader Joe’s Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon
While many of us picture Irish tenant famers of old feasting on Corned Beef, in reality, bacon was much more plentiful and affordable for these poor folk. A truly Irish bacon-slice should be soft and well browned, instead of crispy and well done, as many Americans would prescribe.
Trader Joe’s Irish Bangers
Our Bangers (available only for the season) are pork sausages made from U.S. pigs that are raised with no antibiotics or hormones. They’re seasoned with traditional spices, and include Rusk—a sort of twice-baked crouton that adds texture to the meat. These are not fully cooked, so they’ll need to be browned well on all sides until hot all the way through—about 10-12 minutes.
Trader Joe’s Tomatoes on the Vine
The fried tomato is an essential part of any Full Irish Breakfast. Our tomatoes are grown in various places throughout North America. They will bring bright acidity and a vibrant hue to the plate to contrast with the savory flavors, and muted colors.
Trader Joe’s Blarney Scone
You kiss the Blarney Stone. You eat the Blarney Scone. This Irish-style Soda Bread, contains raisins and caraway seeds. Rather than toasting it, try pan-frying it for a more authentic presentation and taste.
Trader Joe’s Organic Jumbo Eggs
Large, organic eggs. What more needs to be said? Fry these last in the pan.
Trader Joe’s Mushroom Medley
This mélange of Champignon, Oyster, Boletus, and Slippery Jack mushrooms from Pederobba, Veneto, Italy is quick-frozen in pieces, ensuring lovely, light-brown colors and firm, but not fibrous, textures upon re-heating.
Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Beans
These organic White Beans are simmered slowly in small batches with black strap molasses and spices for the kind of texture and flavor you expect of when you think of baked beans. The addition of beans to this Breakfast is a very Irish touch.
Trader Joe’s Irish Breakfast Decaffeinated Tea
Forty tea bags each contain a full-bodied blend of black teas from the Assam Valley at the base of the Himalayan Mountains. It’s definitely bold enough to compliment a breakfast of this magnitude. Add a little milk, as is the Irish custom.
Pocino Fully Cooked Corned Beef Brisket
After five minutes in the microwave, this fully cooked Corned Beef Brisket will taste like it’s been braising for hours. We use this Brisket as the base for our Corned Beef Hash. Though not properly Irish, Corned Beef is a deeply held, Irish-American tradition.
Trader Joe’s Roasted Potatoes with Roasted Peppers and Onions
Here, roasted potatoes are mixed with strips of smoky, fire-roasted peppers and sweet onions. The frozen pack is ready to combine with Corned Beef for a quick (and amazing!) hash.