Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and if you are gluten-free, a lot of old Irish faves are surprisingly naturally gluten-free or easy to modify. If you’re really craving authentic Irish meals, here are some gluten-free St. Patrick’s Day recipes for your celebrations!
Gluten-free Corned Beef and Cabbage
The Irish staple corned beef and cabbage is rarely gluten-free in most Irish pubs due to the presence of flour when browning the brisket. But by utilizing your slow cooker, you can eliminate that step and enjoy this Irish classic completely gluten-free! The other issue to think about is the kind of meat you are buying. “Corned beef” has nothing to do with corn, it turns out, but comes from an old British reference to any grain. Now, “grain” is going to raise red flags among the gluten-free eaters, but it’s important to recall that this is an old British term, archaic even.
Some “corned beef” briskets come with a package of pickling spices, the contents of which are difficult to know. If you buy a brisket with one of these seasoning or pickling packets, refer to our video on testing powdered substances or spices before you test it with Nima. However, the recipe below calls for a plain beef brisket, and we used one of the most common pickling spices on the market, McCormick’s, which … tested* gluten-free! So, on with the cooking!
Gluten-free Corned Beef Recipe
1 3 lb. beef brisket
2-3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped into 8 pieces
½ pound of small potatoes, cut up
McCormick Pickling Spice
½ a head of cabbage, roughly chopped
- In the slow cooker, fill the bottom with the carrots, onion and potatoes.
- Lay the brisket on top of this, with the fat side up. Then cover the brisket with a generous portion of the pickling spice.
- Lastly, pour in enough water to almost cover the brisket, likely 4-6 cups.
- Cook on low heat for 4.5 hours (8-9 hours on low heat, like overnight!). About an hour before serving, stir in the cabbage, and cook for the final hour.
Shepherd’s Pie is a common Irish offering consisting of meat (typically beef but often lamb or mutton) in gravy with vegetables, like peas, carrots and onions, then topped with mashed potatoes baked into a crispy crust. This common pub fare is incredibly easy to modify into a gluten-free version and is super easy to make, depending on your tolerance for boxed dehydrated mashed potatoes. If you choose to boil and mash your own potatoes, that will add time to the process and will also help ensure the dish remains gluten-free. But if you’re looking for quick and easy, in the recipe below, we use McCormick’s brand gluten-free brown gravy mix and Idahoan brand dehydrated mashed potatoes. As you can see, both tested gluten-free* with our Nima!
Gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie recipe
1 cup gluten-free brown gravy
2 cups of mashed potatoes
1 pound ground beef or lamb (or a mix)
3 cups chopped vegetables (recommend a mix of about 2 cups finely chopped carrots to 1 cup peas, but you can mix in other veggies like green beans, broccoli and we’ve even seen corn, though that’s not very authentically Irish.)
½ cup chopped onion.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Brown ground beef in a skillet with onion and salt and pepper to taste, then drain the fat.
- In a 9-inch square baking dish, add in ground beef and onion, and stir in gravy and vegetables.
- (Or, for a slightly more authentic pub experience, stir gravy veggies and beef into a large bowl then separate into individually sized baking dishes or large oven-safe ramekins.)
- Layer mashed potatoes on top of beef mixture until fully covered, but don’t worry about evenness. The rougher it is, the more authentic the look.
- Bake in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes. Potatoes should start to brown and crisp around the edges and will start to bubble when it’s heated through.
Gluten-free Green Hard Cider
Now, if you do end up at the pub rather than cooking at home, you’ll likely want an alternative to traditional offerings like Guinness and Irish Whiskey. Obviously, the ever popular “green beer” served in copious amounts on St. Paddy’s is often simple American Lager, and loaded with gluten. For a green beer alternative, we recommend a standard capsule of green food coloring found at any grocery store, and hard cider! You’ll fit in with the crowd aesthetically, but with the apple-based brewing of cider, your gluten-free odds are greatly improved. While Nima can’t test fermented foods like gluten-free beer and alcohol, the most common pub offerings like Magners, Angry Orchard, Ace and Woodchuck ciders are all gluten-free, so drink up!
With these tips and recipes, you won’t need the luck of the Irish to stay gluten-free this St. Patrick’s Day! Slainte!
*Note: Every package and lot can be different, so we cannot guarantee these items will always be gluten-free. It’s important to always test your batch before you eat and use the same precautions you normally would.