Barm Brack - Similar breads, using a fruity yeast dough, are made in other parts of Britain. Scotland has its Selkirk bannock and Wales has bara brith, which means speckled bread, a reference to the fruit in the mixture. In Ireland, barm brack was traditionally eaten at Halloween.
Boxty Bread - A traditional potato bread from Ireland, where potatoes were used to make cakes, dumplings and pancakes as well. Boxty would be served with milk and salt, and children sometimes called it 'dippity'.
Irish Potato And Parsley Soup - Potatoes have been a staple part of the Irish diet for hundreds of years, and find their way into all sorts of dishes. Use a variety such as Pent and Dell or King Edward to make this thick and sustaining soup, with green flecks of parsley added for extra flavour.
Irish Stew - A simple dish of lamb, potatoes and onions, well flavoured with herbs. If any other ingredients are added, the result is not an authentic Irish stew. Use a deep casserole to hold the layers of meat and vegetables, and allow for longslow cooking so that the liquid is thickened and enriched. Use a firm potato such as the Romano or Man's Piper varieties.
Oaten Honeycomb - An unusual steamed pudding, which uses porridge oats instead of flour. Honey, both in the mixture and poured over the finished pudding, adds its own distinctive sweetness, which is very pleasant without being cloying.
Porter Cake - A rich, dark fruit-cake, which keeps very well. The original recipe used porter, a weaker variety of stout, which used to be a very popular working man's pint. However, as porter died out with the advent of bitter and is no longer produced, stout makes an admirable substitute.
Roast Michaelmas Goose With Apples And Prunes - Green geese, which had fed on pasture, made a traditional feast for Michaelmas, in late September, and were less fatty than Christmas geese. In Ireland and northern England, it was thought that if you ate goose at Michaelmas you would have good luck for the rest of the year. The roast bird was always accompanied by apples, as windfalls were plentiful. Geese are in season from September to December but are not widely stocked, so you will probably have to order in advance, especially for Christmas.
Scallop And Mushroom Pie - Scallops have a delicate flavour and pkasant texture which blend well with the haddock. The sliced corals add colour to the dish, which in Ireland is usually baked and served in the individual scallop shells. However, here an ovenproof dish is used.
Soda Bread - Round loaves of soda bread were traditionally baked on a hot griddle over the fire and had a lovely crisp crust. The bread is moist, close-textured and delicious, with a distinctive flavour which comes from the soda and buttermilk.