Pay a visit to any Irish household on Christmas day and it’ll be bursting to the seams with an endless list of delicious food. Rich soda bread, cake, eggnog, coffee, chocolate, cookies (or biscuits as they say in Ireland), succulent turkey, and goose-fat roasties.
Equally sinful and mouth-watering.
Today we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Irish foods and recipes for you this Christmas.
Irish Christmas food
All the way back in 18th and 19th Century Ireland, the Big Market (or the Margadh Mór as Gaeilge) kickstarted the countdown to Christmas. Primarily, the market was a gathering place for Irish people to buy fowl like turkey, geese, and hens.
In the third week of the market, punters bought clothes, tobacco, alcohol, candy, and the ingredients for the iconic Irish Christmas pudding. As time went on, the Irish Christmas traditions associated with the Big Market faded but much of the food stayed the same.
Depending on the family, breakfast is toast; cereal; or a rich spread of rashers (akin to the bacon we have in the US, but softer), beans, black and white pudding, and fried eggs.
Dinner takes place usually mid-afternoon or early in the evening on Christmas day, though tradition varies. One thing remains the same: it’s delicious.
Traditional Irish breakfast recipe
- Brandy Butter by Irish Pantry Foods
- Irish brown soda bread
- Black and white pudding
- Irish sausages
- 400g of baked beans
- Eggs/tomatoes/etc. optional!
Place a frying pan over medium heat and melt butter on the pan. Add the bacon/rashers and sausages to fry to your liking.
Turn on a second hob to medium heat and leave the beans to bake, stirring occasionally.
While the meats (and eggs, if using) fry, slice the tomatoes and pudding and add to the frying pan, turning occasionally.
Serve foods on warmed plates with soda bread and a mug of Irish Dublin Morning Tea or Barrys.
Get the Irish ingredients in our Irish breakfast hamper.
What is the Traditional Irish Christmas dinner?
Turkey with all the trimmings!
Traditional roast turkey recipe:
Cooking time: 3-4 hours; allow 15-20 minutes per ½ kg.
- 7kg turkey, oven-ready
- Seasoning e.g. salt, pepper, and spices
- 2 tb. Butter
- Streaky rashers of bacon
Place the ingredients for your stuffing (recipe here) into a food processor until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency.
It’s time to get your hands a little dirty and stuff the turkey. Loosen the skin at the neck and pack the stuffing in tightly.
Preheat the oven to 450°F and season the turkey to taste. Coat the turkey with butter and wrap the bacon slices, overlapping for a wave effect. Wrap the turkey in foil and place in the oven.
Leave for 30 minutes and turn the over down to 325°F and leave to cook, checking occasionally to baste with its juices.
When you’re removing the turkey, make sure to keep the cooking juices for the gravy.
Get the best Irish seasonal/Christmas food in the Seasonal Selection of Irish hampers.
Links for alternative options/sides:
Irish Christmas pudding:
Cooking time: 7+ hours
- 3oz flour
- 6oz sugar
- 60z butter
- 3 eggs
- ½ tsp of cinnamon and nutmeg
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 8oz of raisins, sultanas, mixed peel
- 100g of cherries
- 100g of ground almonds
- 6oz breadcrumbs
- 300ml Irish stout
Cream butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar and mix well. Add the flour, seasoning, spices, and mixed fruits and nuts and mix. Add in the breadcrumbs and alcohol and stir.
Cover the mixture and leave it to stand overnight and transfer to a greased pudding bowl. Cover the pudding with greaseproof paper and aluminium foil. Place the pudding bowl in a saucepan that’s half full with water. Cover and steam for 5-7 hours.
Recipes for alternative options/sides:
Christmas sweaters and the Fairytale of New York? Optional.
Looking for unique Irish gifts, hampers, Irish jewelry or Aran sweaters?
If you love Irish food and want to have authentic Irish food sent directly to your door, check out our amazing Irish food hampers.
Also, we have a big collection of Irish hampers from Gifts Direct, if you want to send a hamper to your loved one in Ireland.
Check out our full range of Irish Christmas gifts for a truly Irish Christmas.