Welcome to Bealtaine Feasts – our traditional virtual Irish Restaurant

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Welcome to Bealtaine Feasts - our traditional virtual Irish Restaurant

Come on in from out of the cold and sit yourself down. The place is decorated with Irish memorabilia and tricolour flags.

Newspaper cuttings and old photos are littered across the walls, celebrating triumphs and heroes of the past, and inspiring each new generation to fulfil their potential and leave their mark on the world.

The fire is roaring, and folk music is playing quietly in the background, gently setting the atmosphere for a lovely family meal.

Please do sit and take a look at our traditional Irish menu. Feel free to press play on the jukebox and enjoy the soothing music of Celtic musician Arlene Faith.

Ogham, the mysterious language of the trees The Origins of the Ogham alphabet are still a mystery for many historians, but it is primarily thought to be an early form of the Irish written Language. Bealtaine Fire

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Bealtaine Feasts Starters

Irish Soda Bread

Soda bread is one of the most iconic Irish foods.

It is a great alternative to normal bread, as it is much quicker to prepare and bake. Soda Bread is made without any yeast, and it is the baking soda mixing with the lactic acid in the buttermilk that causes it to rise.

It can be served instead of scones or cakes as a sweet, if cooked with fruit and sugar.

There are various ways of making it, depending on what part of Ireland you are in. In Ulster, Soda Bread is traditionally made with white flour and is savoury. Bread made with wholemeal flour and sweetened with sugar is usually referred to a ‘Wheaten Bread’.

Throughout the south of Ireland, the wholemeal flour bread is known as ‘Brown Bread’, with Soda Bread being the white sweetened version.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Potato and Leek Soup

What better way to start an Irish meal than with a creamy potato and leek soup?

It is a traditional Irish dish which has travelled around the world and has become very popular on St Patrick’s Day for people of Irish backgrounds or otherwise.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Bealtaine Feasts Mains

Classic Irish stew

Irish stew has been a firm favourite in households around Ireland and across the world for hundreds of years.

It tastes great and goes a long way towards your ‘five a day’ fruit and veg recommendation.

It is also relatively simple to make. There are countless variations of ingredients for an Irish stew, virtually one per household!

However, the key ingredients for a classic stew are lamb, potatoes, carrots, onions and celery.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Steak and Guinness pie

If you’re looking for a hearty Irish meal that’s both nourishing and delicious then look no further than the steak and Guinness pie. Add a bit of mash and some veg and you have a mouthwatering dinner full of goodness.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Dublin Coddle

Dublin Coddle is a traditional Irish meal, often eaten by the man of the house after he returned from an evening in the pub.

It is made using any spare bits of food in the house, although most often it would consist of sausages, bacon, potatoes, onions and vegetables, all slow boiled in a pan together.

The ingredients aren’t completely submerged in the water, and a lid must be put on the pan to steam-cook those that lay above the surface.

The end result is a delicious, flavoursome, healthy meal. The perfect way to end an evening after a few Guinesses.

Dublin Coddle is also made as a meal for the whole family, particularly during the winter as it is a great way to warm up after a long day.

It originated in Dublin, and so was named after the capital. It was reportedly a favourite meal of historical Irish figures such as Jonathan Swift and Seán O’Casey.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Bealtaine Feasts Sides

Cabbage and Bacon

Cabbage and bacon is a classic Irish meal that generations of people in Ireland have tucked into for centuries.

The meal was traditionally popular in Ireland as the ingredients were easy to come by.

It is a meal that can be cooked slightly differently in every home, depending on the tastes of any given person and the ingredients they have to hand.

It would usually consist of cabbage and bacon (of course) along with potatoes and a selection of vegetables such as carrots, peas, cauliflower or several other combinations.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Boxty salmon pancakes

Boxty is a traditional Irish dish, usually served as part of a fried breakfast with bacon, sausage and eggs. It is a type of potato pancake which is made by grating potatoes and mixing them with flour and oil until it forms a dough-type mixture.

It is then shallow fried like a pancake. As with many other Irish dishes, there are several variations of the ingredients and methods of making Boxty. Some people choose to add milk, butter, onions or cheese to the mixture before cooking it. Some people also add cooked mashed potato to the mixture to help it hold together.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Bealtaine Feasts Desserts

Irish Oaty Apple Crumble

There are not many desserts more comforting on a long winter night than a good old apple crumble.

The juicy apples and crunchy crumble combine perfectly to provide a mixture a good refuelling and a delicious treat.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Barmbrack

Barmbrack is a sweet loaf filled with fruit. It comes from the Irish words bairin meaning loaf, and breac meaning speckled. So the word barmbrack literally translates as speckled loaf, because of the appearance of the fruit within the bread.

It was traditionally eaten as a sweet afternoon snack, spread with butter and served with a nice cup of tea. Barmbrack can be baked as one whole loaf and cut into slices, or made as several individual portions.

Like colcannon, barmbrack is now a traditional food eaten in Ireland at Halloween. There is a custom in which various items are cooked within the loaf, with each one signifying something for the future of the person who ends up with it on their plate.

If your piece of barmbrack contained a pea inside it, then it signified that you would not get married that year. If yours contained a stick, then you would endure a difficult period in your marriage for the following twelve months, or suffer in some sort of dispute if you were not married.

If you found a piece of cloth inside your barmbrack, then you would suffer bad luck or struggle financially, and if you found a coin, then you would enjoy a prosperous year.

Finally, a ring inside your piece of barmbrack signified that you would find love and get married.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Guinness chocolate cheesecake

When Courtney Cox announced her engagement to Irish musician Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol, her Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston celebrated by giving her a Guinness chocolate cheesecake at her bachelorette party.

It sounded great and the perfect dessert for a sweet toothed Irish person. The Guinness provides a unique take on the classic dish.

There is no need to worry that the stout may take away from the tastiness of the cheesecake – there is plenty of chocolate mixed in with it!

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Bealtaine Feasts Drinks

Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee is a favourite winter drink around the world, the perfect way to warm up and relax after a long, hard day.

The mixture of brown sugar, freshly brewed coffee, cream and Irish whiskey combine to produce a silky smooth, refreshing treat.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Guinness

The dry stout Guinness is probably the most famous of all the Irish drinks. It is enjoyed throughout the world and is even seen as symbolic of Ireland.

The fact that a ‘perfect pint’ must be poured in stages, and adverts tell us that it must be left to settle for 119.5 seconds before the final drops are poured, gives Guinness a nice aura of Irish mystique.

Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Thanks for taking the time to dine in our virtual Irish restaurant.

You can find the recipes for all the dishes on the menu, and plenty more great Irish meals by visiting Irish Recipes.