Holidays · Recipes

St. Patrick’s Day!

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I have to admit, I was secretly hoping to be in labor or in the hospital by St. Patty’s Day – I also thought it would be cute if baby girl happened to have a St. Patrick’s Day birthday, I am half Irish after all :). However the baby has her own plans and I am still waiting for her arrival…..patiently?

Either way – I did have my corned beef and cabbage ingredients ready just in case, and of course, we ended up with a great Irish-American dinner at home instead.

Since my son, Sean, is only 2 – he doesn’t quite understand holidays or what they mean, but he can tell when we have a ‘special’ meal or event, and I think it adds just a little magic to life, so I like to celebrate all holidays and occasions!

For March 17th – I picked a Skinnytaste Corned Beef and Cabbage instant pot recipe this year: but did make a couple modifications. I also made an Irish Soda bread and mashed potatoes, that I’ll talk about below.

First, 2lbs doesn’t turn out to be very much meat, even for a family of three – and I definitely wanted to have leftovers for a few sandwiches the next day. So I went with a 3.5lb piece of corned beef.

Then, instead of cooking in water, I used beef broth. If I weren’t pregnant I would probably go with half beef broth and half Guinness for extra St. Patty’s flavor!

The last modification (and most important) is that the carrots and onions do not need to cook the whole 1.5hrs – they would definitely turn to mush! so – here are my modified instructions below. (The veggies turned out perfect, my meat slightly overcooked, so in the instructions below I cut the cooking time for the meat down slightly to adjust).

Skinny Corned Beef and Cabbage


  • 3.5 pounds trimmed, lean corned beef brisket
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/8 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 medium head cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 box beef broth


  • Place the corned beef brisket, parsley, bay leaves and peppercorns in the Instant pot and add 3 cups of broth.
  • Cover and cook on high pressure 1 hr 15mins. Natural release then open.
  • Add the carrots and onions, cover and cook on high pressure 7 minutes, quick release.
  • Add the cabbage to the top, cover and cook on high pressure 3 minutes, quick release.
  • Remove meat and slice into 6 pieces.

For the Irish Soda bread, I picked an Ina Garten recipes, but made some modifications of course! When it comes to Irish bread, there are two different types – those made with buttermilk and those without. They lead to two very different consistencies. I would say if you’re looking for the more traditional texture, a little dry and crumbly, this is probably not the recipe you want – this one is a little bit heavier and smoother. Both delicious, just a matter of taste and expectation.

The modification I made is that we don’t have raisins or currants in the house, they can be deadly for dogs, and our son will feed the dog anything, so its just too risky for us. So I went a very untraditional route and used dried cherries in our bread – that turned out to be a delicious move, so I’ll probably keep doing that in the future!

I also sprinkled the top with some sugar before baking to give the crust a little sweetness. Otherwise I stuck to the recipe, as follows:

Irish Soda Bread


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup dried currants (or in my case, dried cherries!)


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (or use a handy cooking mat like I prefer!)
  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
  • With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the dried fruit with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
  • Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
  • Cool on a baking rack.

Then, you can’t celebrate St. Patty’s Day without potatoes, but the traditional would be boiled potatoes, usually cooked in the delicious meat juices. Since the potatoes aren’t included in the instant pot recipe, I decided to switch it up and just make mashed. I knew it would be a bigger hit with my husband this way too!

Ready to Eat!

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