St. Patrick’s day is just two weeks away. Soon, if they're not already, restaurants and stores will be revving up their advertisement efforts. Green leprechauns, four leaf clovers, bar parties, and slight changes in menu items are on their way. To help you stay ahead of the trend, and hopefully stand above the crowd, DEQonline has a few suggestions of how to make traditional Irish recipes your own and which Vollrath products will make these recipes easy to make.

Guinness Shepherd’s Pie with a Surprise

Guinness is a traditional Irish drink. It adds a rich, though somewhat bitter, taste to traditional Shepherd’s Pie. Usually mixed with ground hamburger, mashed potatoes, carrots, onions, tomato paste, an array of spices, and, definitely cheddar cheese, it has that hardy taste that leaves customers feeling satisfied. But, we found this neat recipe with chocolate chips.

Yes, chocolate chips. And brown sugar. And Worcestershire sauce and sour cream.

It’s like all our favorite things mixed into one delicious recipe. For details, check out the Irish American Mom.

Switch Up Your Meat

Depending on the theme, feel, and taste you may be going for, lamb, beef, or ground turkey can be used in Shepherd's Pie. Using lamb meat traces its origins back to Europe and can give your customers a greater sense of eating traditional Irish food, but beef and ground turkey are more cost-effective options.

Still tasting delicious, beef and ground turkey are cheaper, allowing you to buy more or use the left-over money for other expenses. Still, having something special for the holiday- like Shepherd's Pie with Lamb- may be more appealing to customers. For recipes, check out these links: Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb, Shepherd's Pie with Beef, and Shepherd's Pie with Ground Turkey.

Bangers and Mash with a Twist

Okay, okay. We know. Shepherd’s Pie is delicious and all, but what else? How about some old fashioned Bangers and Mash. With a yummy array of textures and tastes, it has one of those “coming home to Ireland” feels that cheesy customers like us just love.

Usually served with pork sausage, mashed potatoes, peas, and gravy, it’s rich with flavor. For some extra flair, try adding an onion sauce, instead of regular brown gravy, or interchange pork for fresh veal or chicken sausage. Another simple way to give it an extra-special taste is to use a different vegetable. Instead of peas or broccoli, give your customers a real Irish-inspired dish by adding fresh cabbage.

An American Irish Tradition

Though not traditionally Irish, we just simply couldn’t resist. Irish Nachos. They’re kinda the best.

An American tradition, we take potatoes, curl them to look almost like potato fries, add cheese, bacon, spices, green onions, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, and, of course, jalapenos to make a delicious dish that leaves customers wanting more. Perfect for bars, Irish Nachos are a great way to drive up sales for St. Patrick’s Day.

They can also be advertised as a quick snack or be served along with a meal as an appetizer.

The Smart Helper

Alright, before we go to get ourselves some Irish food, DEQonline has some suggestions to make these recipes easy to make. Because, if it’s easier to make, it saves your establishment time. And by saving you time, it saves you money. And by saving you money, well…you get the picture.

Introducing....(drum roll please): Vollrath potato cutters!

You notice a theme in all these Irish-inspired recipes? We did! Potatoes, potatoes, and more potatoes! And, not just potatoes, but lots and lots of vegetables! Having these Vollrath cutters on hand can give you consistently diced vegetables every time, making them perfect for, say, chopping an onion, slicing cabbage or cutting potatoes.

You can find a list of several Vollrath cutters below. They’re an extra addition to any kitchen, especially before St. Patrick’s Day.

Also, just in case you want to do the whole bar party, check out our blogs about bar equipment.

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