keeping peace with Irish Coffee

I had an enjoyable afternoon tea with fellow Create TV host and Ireland’s TV chef, cookbook author Rachael Allen of Ballymaloe. Rachel and I exchanged our foodie stories and the like beginnings in our culinary careers. She shared with me her simplistic approach to food. I can't agree more. We agree that most are learning from this approach; getting back to the roots of growing and eating locally grown foods. The thing is, this in nothing new in Ireland, in fact they never lost their connection to sustainability. 

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Chefs Rachael Allen and George Hirsch, Adair Manor, Adair Co. Limerick, Ireland However, one topic of discussion is as serious as rugby or politics. I asked just about every person I meet in Ireland which brand of tea they preferred better, Lyons or Barry's. Barry's seemed to hold the lead during our filming. But then upon departure at Irish Customs I was told I was bringing home the wrong brand. They preferred Lyons. I can't be swayed, Barry's fan here.

So in keeping peace let’s drink Irish Coffee, a warming beverage on a chilly evening. Served first to arriving passengers in County Limerick, what is now Shannon International Airport. Ideal served with a slice of Chocolate Torta from George Hirsch Lifestyle. Sláinte! 


Irish Coffee

Makes one serving | from George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 ounce Jameson Irish Whiskey

1/2 ounce Baileys Irish Cream

1/2 cup hot strong coffee

Lemon wedge

Sugar to coat glass

Whipped cream

Prepare a sugar-rimmed glass by rubbing a piece of lemon or orange around the rim of a large wine glass. Dip 1/4 inch of the rim of the glass into a plate of sugar, coating the edge.

Place a teaspoon in glass. The spoon will diffuse the heat when hot coffee is poured into the glass. 

Add whiskey and Baileys. Pour coffee into glass over spoon. Remove spoon. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.


Potato dishes are comforting and crowd pleasing. Potatoes are a great side and can be easily be turned into a main. This month it is timely to celebrate the tradition of Ireland with another favorite. 

This comforting traditional Irish dish of potatoes and cabbage was more or less created from the plentiful supply of potatoes and cabbage, originating in 18th century Cork, Ireland. Colcannon is similar to the English's bubble and squeak, only the potatoes are mashed. The other key ingredients were fresh milk, freshly churned butter and onion. This is a good side dish that can be made easily with leftover potatoes and cabbage. Serve with smoked ham or corned beef.


Colcannon (potatoes with cabbage)

serves six-eight | George Hirsch Lifestyle

2 pounds red skin potatoes, cut into small pieces

1 cup milk, hot 

6 Tablespoons butter

1 cup sweet onion, chopped

1/2 cup leeks, white and pale green only, chopped fine

6 cups green cabbage, finely shredded and braised in corn beef (or chicken) broth

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash potatoes with skins on, adding the milk.

While potatoes are cooking, melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan add onion and leeks; cook until translucent. Add the cabbage and cover; cook for at least 5 minutes or until desired tenderness. *Combine cabbage and onion mixture into hot mashed potatoes. Season with fresh ground black pepper. Top each serving with a teaspoon of butter.

* OPTIONAL: add 1 cup cooked chopped corn beef or ham.

Another popular requested recipe from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV Series is my Mousseline Potatoes. Enjoy!

13 EPISODES on 4 HD-DVD Disk Set
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Corned Beef and Cabbage

Since March is unofficially 'Irish Awareness Month', I want to offer you the luck of the Irish by kicking off a St. Patrick's Day food tradition with Corn Beef and Cabbage...umm Irish-American that is, and not really part of the repast on the Emerald Aisle. 

Since the early 1900s, Americans proclaimed corned beef and cabbage to be their favorite Irish dish, even though it really never had graced dinner tables in Ireland. Since then, Americans have embraced it as the meal of choice for St. Patrick's Day, March 17th. Corned beef got its name before refrigeration, when meat was preserved using coarse grains of salt, called 'corn'. Today, beef is corned with spices strictly for flavor, not for preservation, so the meat must be refrigerated. Whether you're a wee bit Irish or not, boost your luck by celebrating St. Patrick's Day with friends and a feast. 

It is said that President Grover Cleveland once noticed the aroma of Corned Beef and Cabbage coming from the servants quarters at the White House. He asked to trade his dinner for that of the staff meal. He commented "that this was the best dinner I had had in months.."

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit, Gaelic for Saint Patrick's Day


Corned Beef and Cabbage with Boiled Vegetables

Serves six-eight 

chefgeorgehirsch.comGeorge Hirsch Lifestyle

3 pound corned beef brisket 

4 cloves garlic, peeled 

Fresh ground black pepper 

2 Tablespoons pickling spices, 

3 bay leaves 

1/4cup sugar 

1/4cup cider vinegar 

1 large onion, peeled and quartered 

6 carrots, peeled 

6 Yukon potatoes, scrubbed 

3 turnips, peeled 

1 head cabbaged, leave core on and cut into eights 

Place corned beef brisket in a very large soup pot. Fill pot with cold water to cover meat. Add sugar, cider vinegar, pickling spices, bay leaves, and garlic. 

Bring to a boil over rather high heat. Boil for 5 to 6 minutes, skimming off the any scum that rises to the surface with a large spoon. 

Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and let simmer for 1-2 hours. Test the meat for tenderness with a large fork, it should have a little resistance, be careful not to overcook corned beef or the meat will become dry and stringy. If fully tender turn off the heat and let the meat rest in the liquid. 

One hour before serving and before the meat finishes, add all the vegetables in the pot with the meat. 

Timetable for the vegetables: 

• onions, simmer 1 hour 

• carrots, potatoes and turnips simmer 30 minutes 

• cabbage simmer 20-30 minutes 

Slice only as much meat as you will immediately serve, keeping the rest in one piece for future use. Serve with a variety of mustards and horseradish.

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People, Pubs and Pints

Even as a stranger you'll be made to feel like a regular local. Where's that? Any pub in Ireland. The local pub in Ireland is the heart of any village. It's the place to catch up on local chit-chat or good craic, listen to live music and enjoy really good hearty food. See for yourself how Ireland's warm hearted culture brings me back time and time again.  

 Watch The TV Segment

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Mannings Ballylickey

Postscript: I thank you for watching my TV shows for almost twenty-five years and following my blog posts; felt this story was timely this week given St. Patricks Day next Saturday. As I shared Val Manning's life-long story of local and stainable back then I know this is the true meaning of celebrating the people of Ireland on St. Pats! Sláinte

I've been taping in Ireland for my TV series. A few days ago I had the pleasure to share a glass of Rose and taste local cheeses with the honorable Val Mannings of Ballylickey at his food Emporium, Mannings located along the River Ovane.

I was dropped in the heart of County Cork, Ireland and talked local food and sustainability with Val. Sustainability is nothing new to Val, after all, he's been doing it for decades, in fact for generations in the Mannings Family. Just ask anyone in Ireland and they will know of Val Manning. His cheeses, sausage and breads were out of this world; and I was lucky enough to have some time and listen to his fabulous stories. The food, wine and food conversation in Ireland is all part of the experience. I know my life has been made extra special from my visit - so thank you Val for sharing your knowledge with me so I can share it with my friends back home.

So if you venture off the beaten path, to experience original authentic artisanal foods; I recommend a drop by to Mannings while in Cork on N71. I'll be back.

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For more info on traveling to Ireland: Tourism Ireland

Images: Hirsch Media