11 of my favourite Irish cookbooks
The Irish have been welcoming guests for centuries. They were not however known for their food culture but over the past 30 years that has changed and the Irish are at the forefront of the local food movements taking place around the world.
One of the earliest foods in the world was found in Ireland – butter. Yep, a gigantic haul of butter was pulled from a peat bog and it was perfectly preserved.
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This is my selection of great Irish cookbooks and they include some Irish traditional food recipes along with Irish traditions. Written by some of Ireland’s most famous chefs and cooks these books concentrate on Irish “cookery”.
While some of these Irish cooking stars focus on foraged or wild ingredients, some take a look at specific local area flavours like Donegal and Dingle and the ingredients found there.
Traditional Irish Cookbooks
A passionate advocate for Irish food Darina Allen is one of Ireland’s most famous chefs. Founder of the Ballymaloe School of cookery. This edition of her best-selling cookbook contains 300 traditional dishes using Irish local ingredients. There are also 100 new recipes and all of Darina’s recipes are enhanced with great tips, historical insights, Irish customs, folklore and legends.
Choose from Bantry Bay mussels, Dublin Coddle, Kerry apple cakes, traditional fruity barmbrack — the Hallowe’en favourite — Guinness stew, Bailey’s cheesecake and of course the famous Irish Coffee. The book also contains related anecdotes, about the recipes, Irish folklore and legends. All the recipes include metric, imperial and US measurements.
In this book are dozens of technique photos illustrating some 200 essential kitchen prep tasks and all the measurements include metric, imperial and US. Each chapter has incredible photos (which I adore in a great cookbook) and there are chapters on drinks, finger foods, preserves as well as the usual meat, chicken and so on.
Biddy White Lennon and Georgina Campbell have been involved in Ireland’s foodie scene for many years and in fact along with Darina can be credited with actually creating Irish food culture.
This gorgeous book has over 250 photos of its tantalizing recipes along with expert advice and tips. The cookbook covers a wide range of traditional Irish food recipes from potato cakes to colcannon, soda bread and of course a delectable Irish Whiskey trifle.
Includes a comprehensive guide to Irish ingredients, from wild and cultivated harvest fruits to traditional meats and game. There are 150 traditional Irish food recipes in this bible of Irish cookery.
Biddy was originally an actress who starred in The Riordans a sort of Irish soap opera. Biddy went on to become the founder member and Chairwoman of the Irish Food Writers Guild, Editor of the Irish Home Diary and a food writer with Food and Wine Magazine. Biddy has written over 12 Irish cookbooks from Irish Wild Food to The Best of the Irish Potato Recipes.
Brian McDermott grew up in Burt County Donegal and has built a reputation as a Chef by creating healthy tasty food based on traditional recipes and local produce. Whether it’s cooking freshly-caught mussels for the fishermen at Greencastle pier or sharing his skills with others at his cookery school, Brian loves to celebrate the best of his home county’s warmth and traditions.
Everybody loves a pub in Ireland whether you are a drinker or not and Irish pubs serve some of the best-homecooked food in the country. This cookbook includes more than 125 Delicious recipes. From breakfast and homemade bread to stews and pub food, this awesome pub cookbook will take you on a tasty journey filled with timeless mouth-watering recipes and unforgettable feasts.
Ireland’s favourite TV Chef Rachel Allen takes a journey along the Wild Atlantic Way and showcases over 100 of the most delicious recipes using local ingredients and produce, foraged treasures and gifts from the land and the sea along the way.
The west coast of Ireland is a rugged place of wild natural beauty, and the traditional food of these coastal towns and villages complements this perfectly. Simple meals made with the freshest ingredients, these are fuss-free recipes packed with flavour. From rustic seafood and rich stews to heart-warming sweets, this is Irish food at its finest.
Written by Caroline Gray who was the editor of Easy Food Magazine Ireland.
From biscuits to cakes, bread, tarts, crumbles and more these freshly baked treats will have your family begging for more. In any Irish house, you will be offered a cup of tea and a plate of some homebaked goodies. This little Irish baking cookbook includes metric and imperial measurements, conversion charts and some great tips for better baking.
Cahal is an Irish Chef who ventured out to Washington from Dublin and opened 7 internationally recognized 4-star restaurants. A leader in the sustainable food movement this cookbook showcases 130 of his best recipes. Cahal celebrates the food of his homeland and chronicles his journey from Washington to Dublin where he now owns 7 restaurants beloved by critics.
The cookbook features 130 recipes from Shepherd’s pie to his Mam’s Apple Pie.
Neven Maguire is Ireland’s most popular chef, and his restaurant McNean House in Cavan is booked to the hilt. In this fantastic cookbook, Neven has assembled his all-time top 100 recipes. These are Neven’s all-stars – the foolproof tried and tested definitive versions of the dishes Ireland makes every day of the week. Each section contains 5 absolute Irish classics. With this book soon you will be cooking Irish dishes like a pro.
Dingle is considered foodie central in Ireland – well truth be told it is one of the foodie places in Ireland. This lovely cookbook contains recipes from some of Dingle’s best chefs who travelled the world before setting up in Dingle. The cookbook not only includes recipes but also the stories of these chefs and their impact on modern Irish cooking.
Need some of your favourite Irish foods?
Everyone knows if you are headed to Galway City then you must eat at Ard Bia, one of Galway’s most enduring restaurants. Ard Bia concentrates on featuring the best of Irish produce served with a little exotic twist. The Atlantic Scallop dish is seasoned with sumac, and a pomegranate cake that has Irish whipped cream. More than a cookbook this is the perfect souvenir from Galway.
My favourite Irish pantry staples
These are just a few of my favourite Irish pantry staples. I cannot go without my Barry’s tea and the Ballymaloe relish goes on everything.
Tayto Cheese and Onion flavour crisps from Ireland (24x25g Packs). The only way to make. a chip buttie is with Tayto’s. Ireland favourite snack
A beautiful 100% natural sea salt from Ireland. Certified organic the salt is non-oxidized and kiln-dried and it’s kosher.
I put that s**t on everything – remember that commercial for hot sauce well this relish literally goes with everything. I’ve had it on cheese sarnies, lamb roast, cold meat platters just use your imagination. It’s gluten-free. It’s virtually fat-free and made from all-natural ingredients.
What food do you miss the most from Ireland? Do you cook it at home?
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