Try These Irish-Inspired Beef Dishes, Perfect For St. Patrick’s Day

Food & Drink

Erica Blaire Roby is a woman on many talents. Aside from being one of the country’s leading female pitmasters, she is also an attorney, a level-2 Certified Sommelier, United States Navy wife, and a mother. Uniting these diverse endeavors, food is at the heart of it all.

Her meteoric rise to fame began in 2021, when she competed in Food Network’s “BBQ Brawl,” becoming the Season 2 winner and earning the title “Master of ‘Cue.” After this massive achievement, she traveled the country in her RV to document the world of barbecue in an award-winning digital series, “The Pit Stop with Blue Smoke Blaire.”

In May 2022, she entered the world-famous Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest, where she tied for 1st place in brisket and 4th in the rib division although it was only her second time as a competitor at this prestigious event.

Even after becoming barbecue royalty, Roby remains committed to spreading love through barbecue, traveling with Operation BBQ Relief to provide meals to those in need. She is also a guest lecturer inspiring young people to pick up tongs and find joy through food and culinary passion. In 2023, Blue Smoke Blaire’s Barbecue Academy opened its doors to teach the new generation of pitmasters the art of BBQ.

As an ambassador of all things ‘cue, Roby understands that the culture of barbecue is not limited to the U.S. or its recipes. And to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, she has developed recipes that incorporate U.S. barbecue techniques with Irish flavors to create something truly mouthwatering.

She gives corned beef a top-shelf treatment with a Dijon glaze, and pairs with cabbage and potatoes cooked with a horseradish butter. She recommends that if you want to brine your own corned beef, you can use store-bought pickling spices (or make your own) and add 3 tablespoons to a pot filled with about a gallon of water. Add 2 cups kosher salt, 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pink curing salt (not the same as Himalayan salt) and ½ cup brown sugar (dark or light both work) and bring to a simmer. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.

After the mixture is combined, cool completely. Then add the brisket, cover and refrigerate 5 to 6 days, turning the meat every day. Remove meat from liquid before cooking, and discard the brine.

If you have leftover corned beef, you can make a classic corned beef hash, or a Reuben sandwich with homemade Thousand Island dressing. If you’re hosting, set aside 12 ounces of your cooked corned beef to make this corned beef and pickle dip and serve with vegetables and crackers.

“Slow roast beef and vegetables in your favorite rich, dark Irish beer to intensify the stew’s rich and meaty flavor. Irish stouts bring a malty, wheat flavor to stews, pies and other classic St. Patrick’s Day dishes,” says Roby.

“Braising is recommended when cooking with beef and beer, as this cooking method is perfect for turning large, less tender cuts – such as pot roast or brisket – into fork-tender beef. The key is to cook the beef in liquid over low heat for several hours.”

Serve this Irish Beef and Beer Stew with crusty bread to complete the meal. Use a tight-fitting lid and keep it on while stewing to prevent moisture and heat loss, which can impact cooking time.

“Thanks to Irish whiskey’s sweet flavor profile, it makes a great ingredient for beef marinades and sauces,” she says. “You can also incorporate Irish whiskey into slow cooker recipes to add another flavor dimension. I recommend adding it to a recipe with chuck roast and it will become super tender when slow cooked.”

In her Slow-Cooked Whiskey-Molasses Shredded Beef, Irish whiskey and molasses enhance the natural sweet flavors of beef. Pair this rich beef dish with a refreshing carrot-apple slaw for a barbecue classic with an Irish accent.

  • 1 beef Bottom Round Roast (about 2-1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups diced Granny Smith apple

Place beef in 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart slow cooker. Combine whiskey, 1/4 cup vinegar, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, molasses, salt and pepper; pour over roast. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 6 hours or on LOW 8 to 10 hours, or until beef is, fork-tender.

Remove roast from slow cooker; shred with 2 forks. Skim fat from sauce as needed. Return beef to slow cooker; stir to combine with sauce.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and mustard in large bowl. Add carrots and apples; mix well. Season with salt and black pepper, as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve beef with slaw, in sandwiches, tacos, nachos or sliders.

Cook’s Tip: Thinly sliced pears, celery, red cabbage, green cabbage or bell peppers, or a pre-packaged slaw mix, can be used in place of the carrots or apples.

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