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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

At home or on the town

      St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17, is the anniversary of the death of the patron saint of Ireland. Kidnapped as a teen, Saint Patrick was brought to Ireland but eventually escaped to his native Britain. He later returned to Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish. He died in the fifth century. But on March 17, at least in America, everybody is Irish. Indeed, more than 30 million Americans have predominantly Irish roots. Between 1820 and 1930, 4.5 million Irish arrived in America.
 
Stay In, Eat In
      If you’re hosting your own party, Chef Steve Hardison of the Irish Restaurant Group suggests lamb stew. Here’s his recipe:
 
Chef Steve’s Irish Stew
5 lbs. lamb stew meat, cut from the leg
1 lb. carrots 
1 lb. celery
1 lb. onions
5 whole garlic cloves, minced
3 strings whole fresh rosemary
3 quarts chicken broth
Brown Roux:
8 oz. butter
8 oz. all-purpose flour
 
In small batches, use a braising pan to sear the lamb. Do not overcrowd; put pieces aside once seared. Return to braising pan with all remaining ingredients except the roux.
Cover pan and place in a 325-degree oven for 2½ hours or until meat is tender.
While stew is braising, make roux. In a small heavy-gauge pan, melt the butter on low heat. Add flour. Stir until incorporated. Cook slowly on low heat. Do not rush; this is where flavor and color are established.
Use a rubber spatula to stir the roux until it’s dark brown, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the stew is done braising, add the roux and stir until smooth. Return to the oven for 20-30 minutes to allow the roux to thicken. Serve and enjoy.
 
Step Out, Eat Out
      Many local restaurants and pubs feature St. Patrick’s Day specials and events.
      The Irish Restaurant Group celebrates for the entire month of March. Besides authentic Irish dishes, at Galway Bay in Annapolis you’ll find live music and pub quizzes. Killarney House in Davidsonville features Irish dancers and live music. Brian Boru in Severna Park is the spot for Guinness glass engraving, Irish dancers and live music. 
      Pirates Cove in Galesville serves authentic Irish dishes and live music. 
      Other places to enjoy Irish fare include Castlebay Irish Pub and Restaurant in Annapolis, Molloy’s Irish Pub in Crofton, Fado Irish Pub in Annapolis and O’Loughlin’s Restaurant and Pub in Arnold.
 
Stay In, Drink In
       Gary Brown of Galway Bay offers beverage recommendations. For beer, he suggests “tried and tested Guinness. You can’t go wrong,” he says. “It goes hand in hand with everything.” 
     Brown reminds drinkers to pace themselves. “If you’re partying, don’t go directly to a high-strength beer, and don’t start the day with a whiskey.”
Speaking of whiskey, with so many choices available, it may be hard to choose one. Brown has some suggestions:
       Jameson Irish Whiskey: The Blender’s Dog or Caskmates Stout. “These are classics. The Blender’s Dog is a good sipper and is a great serving whiskey.”
       Powers Irish Whiskey: Gold Label and Three Swallow. “You’d find these on any table in Ireland.”
      Redbreast 12-Year-Old: “If you want something nice but not too expensive.”
      Mitchell & Son Green Spot and Yellow Spot Whiskeys: “Two amazing Irish whiskeys. Our general manager at Galway Bay is from Cork, Ireland, and very selective when it comes to Whiskey. This is his favorite.” 
 
Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! 
     Many local establishments get in on the action. Mamma Lucia by the Bay in North Beach serves margherita pizza topped with corned beef and cabbage as well as a traditional dinner entrée of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots on March 17. Live music by Eric Scott starts at 4pm.
       The Boathouse in Deale hosts a joint St. Patrick’s Day and season-opening party on March 17 11am-9pm.
      Petie Greens in Deale serves corned beef and cabbage plus Guinness. 
      Happy Harbor in Deale will serve a traditional Irish menu. 
      Find more events in 8 Days a Week.
 
 
Fun Facts 
 
  • Irish ranks among the top five ancestries in every state except Hawaii and New Mexico. 
  • Sixteen spots in the U.S. are named after Ireland’s capital, Dublin. Dublin, California is the largest, followed by Dublin, Ohio.
  • The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the U.S. marched in 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English army paraded through New York City.
  • The city of ­Chicago dyes the Chicago River green every year to celebrate. 
  • Blue was likely the first color associated with Ireland. Henry VIII claimed kingship over Ireland in the 16th century, and his flag was blue. A lighter shade of blue was the chosen color of the Order of St. Patrick, an 18th century order of knights. Green replaced blue during the Great Irish Rebellion of 1641, when many rebelled against the authority of the ­English crown.