If you want to get your green on at home with a few friends – of Irish heritage, or at least somebody in the room will be 1/4 Irish – we have pulled together a collection of recipes and Irish movies for those of you who don’t have the stomach to deal with 8 deep at the bar drinking and madness, but still want to celebrate your connection, or lack thereof, to the Emerald Isle. We did mention that you shouldn’t expect totally paleo recipes here, right? With the amount of beer most people will be consuming that week, it might be time to call a cheat night, anyway. Some of these St. Paddy’s Day meal ideas will have cheese, potatoes might make an appearance, and we highly recommend serving beer, cider and/or whiskey alongside. No green food coloring in the drinks, though, because it’s wrong. It’s wrooonnnngg!
We provided links to these Irish movies on Amazon (If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber some of these stream free) and mentioned if it’s also available for streaming on Netflix.
The down-to-earth crowd: Waking Ned Devine & Pulled Corned Beef
I have five words for this movie: Naked old man on motorcycle! This is exactly the type of charming comedy your down-to-earth friends will appreciate. Set in a rural Irish town, Ned Devine is found dead with a winning lottery ticket in hand. The townsfolk make it their task to split the cash among themselves, but they’ll have to sucker the authorities into thinking that Ned is alive and well.
The accompanying meal is delicious and easy, but takes a while. Your homies will like this Pulled Corned Beef from Epicurious.
The rowdy crowd: The Boondock Saints & Bangers and Mash
Banging and mashing!!! That is what the brothers MacManus do throughout this whole film. Asses get kicked, names get taken, and you get to see Willem Dafoe in drag. I think that is all you really need to know.
The recipe is from Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen but can also be found here. Also, if your inner Irish cries out for potatoes, I’d satisfy that need. Cauliflower might make the brothers think you’re evil, and once you see them in action, you will know that is a bad thing.
The determined crowd: My Left Foot & Reuben Cabbage Rolls
You can also watch this on Netflix. This is the story of Christy Brown. Born with cerebral palsy, he was unable to communicate in the early years of his life, but finally learns to write with his left foot. His determination, courage, and the support of dedicated family members and mentors allow him to come to grips with life’s everyday demands and grow into an author, poet and painter.
Cabbage holds things together in the Reuben Cabbage Rolls, but add a little extra spice so that those of you who can’t hold it together have an excuse for your tears.
The sophisticated (or so they like to think) crowd: In the Name of the Father & Guinness-Glazed Lamb Chops
Based on the real-life experiences of Gerry Conlon, this movie recounts when a group of young people were wrongly imprisoned for the bombing of a pub in London back in 1974, and fight for 15 years to prove their innocence. It’s a powerful and emotional story. I’d recommend eating first, so you can dedicate your full attention to the screen. If you need any inspiration for sides, I’d go with asparagus. It’s easy and pretty sophisticated! Wash the stalks, cut the ends off, put some olive oil, salt and pepper on and put them into the preheated oven at 425 degrees for ten minutes.
The enchanted crowd: Darby O’ Gill And The Little People & Dublin Coddle
Total Disney nonsense, but sometimes that is just what you need. It’s a wee bit of Irish folklore with plenty of banshees, leprechauns and pots of gold, and Sean Connery sits right at the center. Yes, I know, he is Scottish, but so was St Patrick, so let’s all just get over it and watch. A little Dublin Coddle will go well with the little people in the movie (what the hell does that last line mean, anyway. That was as nonsense as this movie).
The crowd that doesn’t care if Irish movies have American leading men: The Quiet Man & Paleo Colcannon
You can watch this one on Netflix too. Sean Thornton, a retired American boxer returns to his native Ireland where he wants to forget about his past and reclaim the family farm. He falls in love with Mary Kate Danaher, a beautiful fiery local. Her brother wants to keep them apart, but his consent is required for the courtship and marriage. Charming, funny and romantic, goes well with Paleo Colcannon goodness!
The too-drunk to care crowd: Lord of the Dance & Bacon and Irish Cheese Popcorn
Lord of the Dance, along with a little spirit with a magic flute, fight against the dark and evil Don Dorcha from taking over Planet Ireland. Of course there’s also some kind of love story where Saoirse, the Irish Cailín, fights for the love of the Lord of the Dance against a mean and wicked temptress. But at the end of the day, I just hope that you and your drunk friends will go at it and tap those feet and shake those Irish booties!
To keep that booty well nourished, have some Bacon and Irish Cheese Popcorn ready.
The under-30-and-needs-to-experience-this crowd: The Commitments & Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos
I couldn’t find “The Commitments” on Amazon, Netflix or Hulu – no wonder so few youngsters have seen it! If you know how to stream this, please leave a comment. Otherwise, uh, go to your local independent video rental place or buy it. If that is all too much, focus on the Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos with Beer Braised Short Ribs.
What do you like to eat in honor of St Patrick? And what’s your favorite Irish movie? Please let us know if the comments.