It doesn’t really feel like a time for celebration: the St. Patrick’s Day parades in Dublin and Boston have been canceled as coronavirus continues to spread across the globe. But maybe it’s a good opportunity to reimagine a holiday enjoyed by many principally through the medium of public drunkenness. Mindful of the advice that we should all be spending more time inside and away from large groups, we propose a more modest and homey version of the holiday. How about a damn good low carb Irish dinner to bring a smile during these anxious times?
We’ve been from one end of the internet and back researching the best keto St. Patrick’s day recipes. And the one thing we’ve learned is that … most websites seem to believe St. Patrick’s day is all about serving green food. While we’ve got nothing against kale pesto and key lime pie, as far as we’re concerned St. Patrick’s Day is a rare opportunity to enjoy some low carb Irish recipes.
And so we’ve put together one ideal menu for a keto St. Patty’s Day dinner – not a 57 recipe slideshow, just a single menu of classic low-carb Irish recipes that you can trust.
Homemade Corned Beef & Cabbage
It all has to start here, doesn’t it?
Store-bought corned beef is usually pretty low carb. Just like bacon, it’s pumped with and bathed in a sugary brine, but somehow a surprisingly small amount of carbohydrates actually makes it into the final product. So, yeah, you could just buy a bag of brined beef to boil at home, and you’d be alright.
But why not corn your own beef, and do it with zero sugar? Serious Eats put together the most comprehensive possible guide to this process: how to cure and cook your brisket to perfection. Just omit the brown sugar!
It’s a multi-day process – the beef should “corn” for about a week, and is best if cooked at least a day before dinner. Skip the potatoes, nosh on low carb veggies.
Colcannon is a great Irish embellishment of mashed potatoes, adding cabbage or kale to the mix, giving the trusty side dish a bit of extra structure, color and flavor. Everyone already knows that mashed cauliflower is the perfect keto adaptation for mashed potatoes, so this recipe is going to be a snap. Keto Diet App has a delicious recipe for Keto Colcannon using both cabbage and spring onions (and optional bacon!), in a rich, creamy, buttery mashed cauliflower dish.
Irish Creamed Kale
The Irish are not generally known for their masterful or varied use of vegetables, but this simple preparation is as appropriate as can be. Kale is a foundational ingredient in the national cuisine, nothing is truer to the national position on vegetables than a process light on technique but heavy on dairy. Butter, cream and a touch of fresh scallion are all you need for a perfect side dish to balance out the meal.
Keto Soda Bread
Soda bread is a staple of the Irish dining table, a classic and quickly made bread using baking soda (instead of yeast) as the leavening agent. Bijoux and Bits makes a keto soda bread using mostly almond flour – even studded with raisins it’s only about 4 g net carbs per serving, and it looks terrific.
Low Carb Guinness Chocolate Pudding
Our keto hero and longtime ASweetLife contributor Carolyn Ketchum gifts us with this decadent recipe. Celebrate the miracle of Guinness, the beer that tastes of brown bread and dark chocolate but is still somehow lower carb than many regular beers. Celebrate it by cooking it with chocolate and cream and egg yolks into a super-rich and flavorful end to your keto St. Patrick’s Day meal.
Ok, we couldn’t resist. McDonald’s is not traditionally associated with authentic Irish cuisine, but one can’t deny the stature of the iconic Shamrock Shake in the United States. The original is a sickly sweet concoction of metabolic misery – a large has 130g of carbs!! – but it’s a regrettable and unavoidable classic. If you’re craving the bright green and minty milkshake this time of year, here’s an option that won’t make your glucose meter scream at you: Hip2Keto has a keto shamrock shake that uses heavy cream and nary a teaspoon of sugar.