St. Paddy’s Day is one that, frankly, I always forget about until it’s here. Then my Irish kicks into overdrive at the thought of an entire culture willing anyone flashing green to get their sloppiest drunk while engorging on a variety of delicious meats.
So it was that I found myself hurtling down the highway yesterday in a minivan packed with kids, wearing a ratty, kelly green polo shirt that looks like it’s been around since about 8th grade, blasting at full tilt the Blaggards’ ballad “Drunken Sailor” (What do you do with a drunken sailor … Shave his balls with a rusty razor).
Destination: The inestimably wonderful Porter Road Butcher. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d find there, but figured it had to be good. Naturally, it was outstanding.
Rushing into the store like an IRA member being chased by a mob of Orangemen, I breathlessly announced: WE’RE MAKING BANGERS AND MASH. WHAT DO YOU HAVE THAT’S IRISH-ISH? Ooookay…well, bangers and mash are more English than Irish, but whatever. Try these breakfast Irish sausages, the bemused butcher suggested. We made them special for St. Paddy’s Day. Perfect! Give me 10! By the way, what’s in them?
Turns out it was a very green-tasting herb and aromatics mix that included thyme, basil, ginger, “and a whole bunch of other good stuff.” Well, that sounds weird, but sure, keep wrapping them up.
Sipping on Redbreast Irish Whiskey, we simply blanched the sausages, then threw them on a hot grill until they became a delicious golden brown, crackling and basting themselves in their own fat. We whipped up some potatoes and microwaved a bag of peas leftover from helping an unnamed someone recover from a recent vasectomy.
Irish eyes were smiling indeed.