I discovered my love of Irish pub food quite accidentally. One night on our honeymoon in Tennessee, a sudden, torrential downpour fell from the sky. We ducked into a restaurant to avoid getting soaked and voila! Our love of Irish pub food was born!
One day, hopefully soon, I’ll get to eat genuine Irish food in a genuine Irish pub, preferrably the Brazen Head!
Why the Brazen Head?
Thanks for asking! The Brazen Head, which dates back to 1198, is the oldest pub in Ireland. It’s within easy walking distance of Christ Church Cathedral, so after your crypt tour enjoy a meal here. The pub sits on its original site. No one knows how much of the original building still exists, but its charm is still there.
Can you imagine dining where James Joyce found his inspiration? He even mentions it in Ulysses:
“Corley, at the first go-off, was inclined to suspect it was something to do with Stephen being fired out of his digs for bringing a bloody tart off the street. There was a dosshouse in Marlborough street, Mrs Maloney’s, but it was only a tanner touch and full of undesirables but M’Conachie told him you got a decent enough do in the Brazen Head over in Winetavern street…”
Or where Irish leaders dined — maybe even planned revolutions? That’s what the local Irish pub is all about — think of it as Starbucks with good food! 🙂
Three More Reasons to Dine at the Brazen Head
If historical significance isn’t enough to persuade you, maybe these will.
- The Brazen Head offers a Folklore and Storytelling dinner. This special event whisks diners away to the past with stories of fairies and folklore while enjoying a traditional Irish, candlelit dinner. This magical night includes musical ballads and traditional Irish song too.
- The Brazen Head offers live music nightly. Bands play nightly and weekends feature Rafferty, The Rye River Band and The Brazen Hussies, who have been entertaining for years.
- The Brazen Head serves great food! Winner of the trip advisor “Traveler’s Choice Award” in 2012, the pub serves traditional beef and Irish stews, seafood dishes, beer battered fish and chips, and of course, a pint of Guinness!
A Brazen Head Recipe for St. Patrick’s Day
For those of us not fortunate enough to be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland this year, here’s a recipe inspired by Brazen Head’s Irish Beef and Guinness Stew. Serve it with mashed potatoes or brown bread to celebrate the “luck of the Irish!”
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 2 Lb Beef Stew Meat Cut Into 2″ Cubes
- 1 Large Yellow Onion Cut 1/4 Inch Slices
- 2 Cloves Garlic Chopped
- 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 Tsp Dried Rosemary
- 3 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Cup Beef Stock
- 1 Cup Guinness Stout
- 1 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
- 1 Lb Carrots Sliced
- Heat a 6 quart stove-top casserole and add the oil and bay leaves.
- Dredge meat in flour.
- Brown the meat on both sides on high heat.
- Add the sliced onion and cook until the onions are translucent.
- Reduce heat to low and add the garlic thyme, rosemary and remaining flour; stir until everything is combined.
- Add the beef stock and stout.
- Simmer, stirring until the stew thickens a bit.
- Add the remaining ingredients and cover.
- Place the pot in a 275 degree oven for about 2 hours, stirring a couple of times (every 45 minutes or so).
- Remove from oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in wide shallow bowls with a dollop of mashed potatoes in the middle.
- Serve with Irish Brown Bread and a Pint!
Special thanks to Steffanie Lafors of A Photographic Memory for sharing her photos with me. I hope you enjoy this look into Ireland as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all week long!