I love a good snack board and I love a good theme, so creating a St. Patrick’s Day themed board was a perfect fit. I came up with this while standing in the grocery store trying to find something to nibble on for a book club outdoor gathering. It’s a nice combination of traditional St. Patrick’s Day fare and Irish products, all with a little touch of green. Deli corned beef is perfect charcuterie (and easier than making your own) and some Irish bangers add a meaty sausage to the mix. I find them pretty easily during the season, sometimes packaged but check the meat counter as well. Brussel sprouts stand in for cabbage in finger food form, with some simple boiled potatoes in the mix. Irish cheddar is an obviously choice, but look for some dill Havarti with little flecks of green and a log of goat cheese rolled in fresh green herbs – if you can’t find that ready-made, roll a plain log in some herbs you finely chop yourself. All this is surrounded by some sliced cucumbers and sugar snap peas to add lots of green. I layered this all on top of some microgreens frankly because I thought they looked a little like shamrocks. A little purchased mustard made with ale (or Guinness which I also find during the season) and some homemade herby green onion dip rounds it all out.
In the photo above, I used a large white porcelain platter, but you can arrange this on a beautiful wooden board if you have one. But remember that the food is the star here, so you don’t have to buy something to serve it on. A large, rimmed baking sheet works just as well!
You could serve a loaf of Simple Soda Bread alongside the board, or add some Savory Irish Cheddar Shortbread Bars. This would be a great starter to a meal of Irish Stew or Dublin Lawyer.
This is more of a template and a photograph than a recipe, but I do give some guidelines below for what did require a little preparation. Feel free to look around the shop and add any creative touches you want.
St. Patrick’s Day Grazing Board
Deli corned beef (about ½ pound thinly sliced)
Irish Banger Sausage (about 4 sausages)
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Sugar snap Peas
Herb Coated Goat Cheese
Ale or Beer Mustard
Creamy Herb Dip
Cooking with vinegar, then sprinkling some on the potatoes while warm adds flavor and punch to plain potatoes.
1 pound small yellow potatoes
¼ cup cider vinegar
Salt to taste
Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters so they are bite size pieces. Put them in a large pot and cover with water by about 2 inches. Add 2 Tablespoons of vinegar and a generous dose of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until a knife blade slips easily into a potato, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of vinegar and salt. Cool, then serve at room temperature. You can also make these up to a day ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
1 pound Brussel sprouts
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
Cut any yellow tops from the sprouts, then pull off any dry, brown or tough outer leaves. Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise through the stem. Put them in a bowl or Ziploc bag and toss with the olive oil to coat. Lift the sprouts out of the bowl or bag and place them on the baking sheet (don’t just pour them out, you want oil coating the sprouts but not pooling on the baking sheet). Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 – 40 minutes until crispy with brown edges on the outside. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Creamy Herb Dip
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
4 green onions, white and light green parts, finely minced
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon finely chopped sage
1 Tablespoon finely chopped chives
Whisk the sour cream and mayonnaise together until smooth and combined. Add the chopped green onions and herbs and stir to combine and evenly distribute. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors meld, but up to two days is fine.
4 Irish banger sausages
1 can of beer (any kind)
Put the whole sausages in a pan just large enough to hold them and pour over the beer. Cook over medium high heat until the beer has evaporated and the bangers are just coated with sticky glaze, about 15 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pan and slice them into bite size pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Have the deli slice the corned beef thinly, like the ham you would use on a sandwich. Cut the larger slices into smaller bite-sized pieces and arrange them attractively. Do cut them down to size, its is difficult and not very attractive trying to wrangle a full size piece of corn beef with your fingers.
Cut the cheddar cheese and dill havarti into cubes or thin squares so they can be speared with a toothpick or picked up with tongs.
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