Your belly could use a little love to counteract all the pints you'll be downing on Saturday, and there's no better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than with some hearty Irish fare.
"Irish food is preferred simple and natural," says Justin O'Connor, executive chef at Dublin's own Guinness Storehouse. "Be it meat, fish or dairy products, we favor fresh food, locally sourced. More and more on menus today is a celebration of local artisan producers."
Irish cuisine makes use of the beer the country is known for -- Guinness -- in all sorts of ways. It's cooked in stews, kebabs and even chocolate desserts to give a lingering stout flavor.
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"The high level of hops gives the Guinness some floral, grassy overtones which complement meat when cooking with it," O'Connor says. "Guinness is also excellent with seafood, particularly oysters -- delicate, salty flavors enhance the strong, roasted, bitter flavor of Guinness.
And if you can't make it overseas this St. Patrick's Day, it seems the celebrations are pretty comparable to ours.
"All restaurants and homes celebrate with the classic Irish dishes of bacon and cabbage, corned beef and champ [mashed potatoes], Irish lamb stew and, of course, Guinness," the chef says.
Cocktail of the week
A toast to the Irish!
Bushmills Irish Whiskey Master Distiller Colum Egan shared this toast. Feel free to use it -- often --?this Saturday:
"May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, quick to make friends, but slow to make enemies."
1. Irish Oatmeal
1 1/4 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
1 oz. DeKuyper Buttershots Liqueur
3/4 oz. Goldschlager
Directions: Shake first three ingredients and serve over ice, paired with oatmeal cookies. Try it at R Lounge in the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel.
2. The Pioneering Spirt
Drink this for St. Patrick's Day in honor of the 125th anniversary of Glenfiddich.
1 1/2 parts Glenfiddich 12 Year Old
2 parts pear juice
1/2 part agave nectar
1 part lemon juice
Directions: Shake all ingredients on ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.
Guinness Marinade Corned Beef, Champ Potato & Cabbage
3 lbs. of corned beef soaked in pint Guinness overnight
1 onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
9-10 black peppercorns
1 head of Savoy cabbage
peeled potatoes, however many you see fit
5 oz. butter
1 3/4 cup cream
3 sliced spring onion
1. Cover the Guinness and beef with cold water in a pot.
2. Add onion, cloves, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cook for two hours or until tender.
3. Cook the potatoes in salted water, drain and mash. Add 3.5 oz. of butter, half the cream and spring onion. Season potatoes to taste.
4. Boil the sliced cabbage in salted water for five minutes and drain. Add a knob of butter and season. Take 1/2 cup of the cooking stock and place it in a pot. Add the rest of the cream and simmer for two minutes, whisking in 1.5 oz butter.
5. Carve the corned beef onto a plate with a scoop of champ potato and boiled cabbage. Finish with the cream sauce.