Monday, March 17, 2014

Irish Farls

Happy St. Patricks Day! I have buckled shoes! I have a cocked hat with a shamrock! I have a long-stemmed pipe! I have a green suit! What I don’t have is a pot of gold, but you can’t have everything. 

The roots of this very simple recipe 
- Google Images (

are traditionally Irish. Think tiny, thatched-roofed cottages … open hearth fires … heavy soup pots hanging over the coals. Or, in present-day times, think charcoal-fired barbecues, which impart more flavor to this bread than barbecues fired by gas.

Irish Farls start with yesterday’s recipe for Irish Soda Bread. Trim inch-thick (2.54 cm-thick) slices into triangular wedges. Lightly spray-grease a heavy cast-iron skillet or griddle. Place griddle over the open flame of a charcoal barbecue or gas stove, preheating until moderately hot. Toast triangles 8-to-10 min. per side. Serve at once, with butter and jam.

Although I wouldn’t do it (and I’m sure you wouldn’t, either), I can see the Irish of 200 years ago dipping this toast into hot drippings. 

Cooking over an open flame or a wood-fired oven is more of an art than a science. For a marvelous essay on how cooks coped, go to: 

To mentally transport yourself to those Irish times of yore, see: 

One final, nostalgic word: I dedicate this recipe to one of my oldest and dearest Irish friendsAlison L. is in hospital battling a serious illness. To paraphrase an Irish blessing: May the road rise up to meet her … May the wind always be at her back … May God hold her in the palm of His hand.

Tomorrow: Creamy Broccoli Soup.

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