Brigid's Day Foods

Brigid is closely associated with the farm, ale, butter, and cows. Be sure to serve a good
hand crafted ale in quantity and never, never, forget to bring a few stories of the saint to the table! Get ready for the first of February- Her Day! Find out what to do using our unique primary sources by following the link bel

Select your choice from the table below:

Colcannon Boxty Cakes Spiced Beef
Brigid's Bread Return to the Brigid Pages To the Irish Studies Pages

Note: We have published two books on St. Brigid. One is a short guide for children and families: The Good Saint Brigid of Kildare. This contains general information and recipes with some stories. The primary reference work is" Brigid of the Gael. It contains all of the known stories, all of the cross designs and instructions and is the most complete book on Brigid since the 7th century. You can get your copy via this web page:


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.Colcannon for 6
This recipe is here because it celebrates butter. When you had trouble extracting butter or had none you could always call Brigid and she would help.You must use real butter! I always make butter at home- take heavy whipping cream and beat it quickly till the butter separates then strain the butter from the buttermilk pressing out the milk and refrigerate. A little salt can be added to taste. This is wonderful for the amazement of kids. Have them taste the cream when it is whipped.


1 1/4 lbs. Kale or green Cabbage, 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 1/4 pounds peeled and quartered potatoes, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1 cup cleaned and chopped leeks white part only, 1 cup milk, pinch of ground mace, salt and ground pepper to taste, 1/2 cup melted butter (use real butter) 

1.simmer kale or cabbage in 2 cups water and oil for 10 minutes , drain , chop fine. 
2.boil potatoes and water, simmer till tender. 
3.simmer the leeks in milk for ten minutes till tender. 4.drain and puree the potatoes. 
5.add leeks and their milk and cooked kale. 6.mix. add mace, salt and pepper. 
7.mound on a plate and pour on the melted butter.Garnish with parsley. 

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Boxty Cakes:
Boxty cakes are special. They are rich! Do not make them too big. They do not keep well so make  them right before you eat them. Put home made butter on them when  hot. Boxty cakes have special ties to women marriage and fertility. They are even immortalized in music- the tune - boxty on the griddle! This recipe celebrates the product of the farm- the wonderful potato and of course butter as well.


1/2 pound hot cooked potatoes, 1/2 pound grated raw potatoes, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, butter for frying, salt and pepper. 


1.drain, peel and mash the hot potatoes. (keep them hot) 
2.stir in the raw potatoes, flour and baking soda. (do not over mix)
3.add salt and pepper to taste. 
4.mix well with enough buttermilk to make a stiff batter. 
5.Shape into 3 inch patties about 1/4 inch thick. 
6.fry on hot greased griddle until crispy and golden on both sides. Makes 12. 

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St. Brigid's Oaten Bread 
You will feel the influence of the saint in this wonderful bread. Rich! Again we celebrate the farm and the oats and wheat. Great with home made butter as well.  Make this loaf into a strohn or wheat sheaf.  Form the dough into three equal balls and one ball about 1/3 the size of the others. Form each large ball into a rectangular strip-do not over work. Place all three strips next to one another. Bend the tops and bottoms  of the outer strips slightly outward. Using a knife make indentations vertically in each strip. Not too deep- enough to convey the image of wheat.  Take the remaining smaller ball and make a narrow strip which is as long as the middle of the sheaf. Place that horizontally across the center as the binding of the sheaf it should stick to the sheaf. You can wrap the ends slightly over the sides. Using a knife lightly cut a herringbone texture into the binding strip.    
as in: 
In this form you can leave the bread out for the saint on the eve of Feb. 1.

1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3/4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt., 3 tablespoons butter in small pieces, 3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal flakes. 1 egg, 1/2 cup buttermilk 

1.heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. grease baking sheet.
3.combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in bowl and mix. 
4.Add butter bits and cut in with knife until mixture is crumbly. 5.add oats and toss to combine. other bowl beat egg with buttermilk. 
7.make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in the egg mixture and mix with a fork until crumbs hold together. Make dough into ball and transfer to floured surface. Knead only till it holds together. . Add flour but only  if too  sticky to work I like to simply coat the loaf with flour so it does not stick to the hands.. 
8.pat dough into 8-inch round and transfer to baking sheet. 9.score a deep cross into the bread but do not cut it through 10.bake 15-20 minutes till brown. (this bread tends to be done when browning is light to medium brown)

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Irish Spiced Beef
Brigid is closely associated with her red-eared cow and the farm and beef. While spiced beef is traditionally eaten on Christmas I really find it goes with Brigid's day quite well. It goes so well with the hand crafted ale!

20 cloves, 2 tsp ground allspice or cinnamon, 6 Shallots, 2 tsp Prague Powder (can be obtained from the Sausage Maker-26 military Rd,Buffalo,N.Y. 14207), 1Pound Kosher Salt (coarse), 1 tsp. black pepper, three tsp. ground mace, 7-8 lb. beef. 2-3 bay leaves, ground nutmeg,
Two Pints Guinness Stout.

1. Grind all dry ingredients and mix 
2. Add finely chopped shallots 
3. Rinse beef and place in plastic or glass container (avoid iron). 
4. Take 1 seventh of the spice/salt mixture and rub it all over the meat. Place meat back into container, cover and set out on the back porch or in a cool spot-if too warm out place in fridge. Each day for seven days rub the meat with one seventh of the mixture, turn over and re-cover. Leave the liquid that forms with the
5. At the end of seven days place meat and liquid into a big pot -add water to top up and cover the meat and boil until the meat is tender.(a fork should just barely be able to lift up strands of meat-dont over do it!) Change water adding clean water and boil for another 30 minutes. Then add veg-large carrots,onions, and potatoes- cook until almost done. Add two pints Guinness Stout and boil for another 10-20 minutes. 
You can eat this hot or leave to cool overnight-place meat into colander with weight on it and plate or dish under it. 

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