The Perfect Side Dish for Easter Brunch
Easter is a special time of year in Ireland, filled with traditions and customs that have been celebrated for generations.
One of the most important aspects of Easter in Ireland is the food, which plays a central role in family gatherings and festive celebrations. From succulent roast lamb to sweet hot cross buns, Easter food in Ireland is a delicious and diverse array of flavors and dishes that reflect the country’s rich culinary heritage.
Whether you’re an Irish native or simply curious about Irish cuisine, we hope you’ll find something from Tommy Moloney’s to whet your appetite and inspire your own Easter feasts.
Easter in Ireland
Over 80% of Ireland identifies as Christian, imbuing this holy day with meaning for the majority of the country. One of the most significant events countrywide during the Easter season is Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. Throughout Holy Week, there are many religious services and processions, including the Stations of the Cross and the Blessing of the Easter fire.
In some parts of Ireland, there are unique Easter traditions, such as remembrances of the Easter Rising of 1916, a significant event in Irish history standing up to British rule. Local towns will have colorful parades and processions as children head home in search of chocolates from the Easter bunny.
On Easter Sunday, many families attend church services and then gather together for a big feast, typically featuring lamb or ham as the main dish. Another favorite tradition of children of all ages is eating hot cross buns, which are sweet buns marked with a cross on top, on Good Friday.
Putting Together an Easter Brunch Menu
To help us get in the spirit of the season, we’ve asked our friend, Margaret M. Johnson, to share the dishes on her table at this time of year. The main course for her family is typically an Easter ham, with plenty of sides like leek soup and simnel cake for everyone.
Margaret has been kind enough to share the secrets behind her delicious Bacon and Cabbage Potato Cakes. “These potato cakes are a nice side dish for your Easter ham or lamb,” she says. You’ll get a real taste for the Emerald Isle with every bite. “The recipe originated at Oliver St. John Gogarty’s Pub in Dublin, where the anecdotes on the menu are as entertaining as the choices. The cakes, which are usually served drizzled with warm cranberry sauce, should be made at least an hour in advance to let the flavors meld and to firm up the cakes for frying.”
Ingredients for Potato Cakes
3 slices Tommy Moloney’s Back Bacon Rashers, chopped
1 pound Russet Potatoes, peeled, and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons warm Milk
1 tablespoon dried Mixed Herbs, such as Tarragon, Thyme, and Marjoram
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat leaf Parsley
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
Ground Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Butter
1 cup Cabbage, finely chopped
Flour, for dredging
2 eggs mixed with 1 tablespoon Water, for egg wash
Fresh Breadcrumbs, for dredging
Canola oil, for frying
Instructions for Potato Cakes
Note: Serves 4
1. In a large saucepan, cook potatoes in boiling salted water for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender; drain and mash. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in butter and milk until smooth. Stir in herbs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
2. In a small skillet over medium heat, cook bacon for 5 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a small bowl.
3. In the same skillet, melt butter. Add cabbage; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted. Stir cabbage into potatoes; stir in bacon. Shape mixture into four evenly sized cakes. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Put the flour into one shallow bowl; season with salt and pepper. Put the egg wash into another bowl and the breadcrumbs into a third bowl. Lightly dredge cakes in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip into egg wash and then cover with breadcrumbs.
5. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add cakes; cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Serve immediately with whole berry cranberry sauce, or transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a preheated 250°F oven.
A Taste of Home with Tommy Moloney’s
When you’re craving the flavors of Ireland, no one has you covered quite like Tommy Moloney’s. Our premium meats and puddings are made with recipes handed down through generations. Order Tommy Moloney’s and experience the Taste of Home today!