Simplify traditional Irish cuisine with high-tech cooking methods

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Traditional Irish recipes, such as colcannon, corned beef and Irish stew, serve as both comforting classics and festive fare for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. New kitchen gadgets allow home cooks to make their favorite traditional Irish meals with modern methods, saving time and effort.

Corned beef and cabbage on a plate.
From air fryers to pressure cookers, learn how to make all your favorite traditional Irish dishes tastier and faster. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Crisp up Irish foods in the air fryer

Many traditional Irish foods are fried, and using an air fryer is healthier and speeds up the cooking process. The result is Irish recipes with a crispy exterior and tender interior, making a satisfying dish.

  • Irish boxty: These traditional potato pancakes are made by frying mashed potato patties. Air fryer boxty is crispy outside and pillowy inside from the mashed potatoes.
  • Bangers: These Irish sausages cook quickly in an air fryer. The air fryer browns the sausages evenly and cooks them with less mess and grease.
  • Potato nachos: Thin, crispy potato slices form the basis of Irish potato nachos. Make them in the air fryer for a perfect crunch, then add toppings like corned beef, cheese and bacon.

Traditionally, stovetop frying makes these dishes crisp and golden. But deep frying or pan frying in oil brings health concerns.  “When food goes into the frying pan it soaks up loads of oil, which happens to be pure fat,” according to Karen Ansel, a registered dietitian nutritionist at The Healthy. She further explains, “Just one tablespoon of cooking oil contains 14 grams of fat and 120 calories.”

Air fryers circulate hot air around your food to cook it evenly. Because there is significantly less oil involved, making Irish foods like boxty, bangers and potato farls in an air fryer gives you a healthier recipe with the same delicious taste.

Air frying is faster, too. “An air fryer cooks food up to 25% faster than traditional baking in the oven,” explains Samantha Erb from EveryDay Family Cooking. “It’s saved me a lot of time and stress in the kitchen on St. Patrick’s Day.”

Use a pressure cooker to make Irish meat dishes

Many homemade Irish dishes use a tougher cut of meat as the main ingredient. When times were tough, using a cheaper cut of meat, like brisket, enabled Irish home cooks to prepare hearty meals like corned beef and stew. Today, kitchen appliances like pressure cookers or multi-function Instant Pots can be used to perfectly cook these classic Irish dishes.

The traditional way of cooking these cuts of beef is a long cooking time at a low temperature. The long cooking time causes the collagen in the meat to break down, while the low temperature keeps the meat juicy.

But braising meat for three hours or more isn’t always feasible for busy home cooks. An Instant Pot or pressure cooker can speed up the process dramatically. An Instant Pot cuts cooking time in half for corned beef while still rendering the brisket tender and juicy. 

This St. Patrick’s Day, try Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage for the same great tastes and textures of the traditional dish with modern convenience. “The Instant Pot transforms corned beef into a quick meal,” says Rebecca Blackwell of A Little and A Lot. “And the beef itself is more tender and juicy than any other cooking method I’ve tried.”

Irish stew, traditionally a slow-cooked or braised dish, can also easily be made using a pressure cooker. This modern cooking method significantly reduces the cooking time while infusing the stew with its characteristically deep and rich flavors. 

The pressure cooking process helps to meld the flavors of the meat, potatoes, carrots and onions, so each spoonful is hearty and satisfying. This makes enjoying this classic Irish dish possible even on a busy day.

Use your blender to make smooth purees and Irish soups

A high-powered blender rapidly mixes mashed potatoes, soups and porridge. Irish colcannon and champ, both mashed potato dishes with scallions, are a breeze with a blender. Put the boiled potatoes and herbs into the blender and puree until smooth for extra creamy colcannon.

Many Irish soups, like colcannon soup, should be silky in texture. You can quickly puree batches of soup with a high-powered blender for the perfect texture. You can also process oats in the blender to make smooth Irish oatmeal.

While lower-powered blenders can work for Irish potatoes and soups, the powerful motor of a good blender will often make this process faster. It will also usually mean a more uniform texture.

Modernize Irish recipes with your favorite kitchen appliances

Whether you are craving a favorite dish or want to try a new Irish recipe for St. Patrick’s Day, don’t be deterred by long cooking times or hard work. The high-tech cooking tools available today make it simple to cook Irish cuisine without breaking from tradition.

Classic Irish dishes like stew, corned beef and colcannon adapt well to your favorite kitchen gadgets. You can also get creative, combining traditional foods with new methods. Whether you want to mimic or reinvent Irish tradition, use your Instant Pot, air fryer or blender to save time this St. Patrick’s Day.

Anne Jolly is the creator of the food blog Upstate Ramblings. She loves to cook with gadgets like an air fryer, sous vide or pressure cooker.

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