The luck of the Irish: St Patrick’s Day facts and Guinness recipes
The luck of the Irish: St Patrick’s Day facts and Guinness recipes

The luck of the Irish: St Patrick’s Day facts and Guinness recipes


| 4 min read

St Patrick’s Day is on 17th March and is celebrated across the world by Irish communities. We’ve put together some facts on the day and some tasty Guinness® recipes…

Did you know?

  1. St Patrick was not Irish. He was from Wales and was born around 385AD. As a boy of 14 he was captured and taken to Ireland where he spent six years in slavery herding sheep. He returned to Ireland in his 30s as a missionary among the Celtic pagans. Miracles attributed to him include the driving of serpents out of Ireland
  2. The shamrock was originally a teaching tool. St. Patrick is said to have used the three-leaved plant to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish
  3. For many years blue was the colour most often associated with St. Patrick. Green was considered unlucky
  4. In 2010, the Sydney Opera House was lit up green to mark the 200th anniversary of St. Patrick’s Day
  5. In Chicago every year, the Plumbers Local 110 union dyes the River Kelly green. The dye lasts for about five hours
  6. Guinness® sales soar on St. Patrick’s Day. Recent figures show that 5.5 million pints of the black stuff are downed around the world every day and on St. Patrick’s Day that figure is doubled. Ireland’s famous black stout has been brewed in Dublin since 1759.

Guinness® beef stew recipe

Serves 6


  • 2 pounds lean stewing beef
  • 3tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1tsp cayenne
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 2tbsp tomato paste, dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/4 bottles Guinness®
  • 3/4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • Parsley, chopped finely to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180C
  2. Trim the meat of any fat or gristle, cut into 2-inch cubes and toss in a bowl with a tablespoon of oil
  3. Season the flour with salt, pepper and the cayenne, and toss the meat in the mixture
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a wide pan on high heat and brown the meat on all sides. Add the onions, garlic and tomato paste to the pan, cover, and cook gently for about five minutes
  5. Transfer the contents of the pan to a casserole dish. Pour some of the Guinness into the pan you browned the meat in, then bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the caramelised meat juices then pour onto the meat in the casserole with the remaining Guinness and add the carrots
  6. Cover with the lid of the casserole dish and put in the oven for around 2-3 hours until the meat is tender
  7. Taste and check the seasoning, then scatter with chopped parsley
  8. Serve with champ, colcannon or plain boiled potatoes.

Guinness® and chocolate cake

Serves 8


  • 250ml Guinness®
  • 250g butter
  • 100g dark bitter chocolate, broken up
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 150ml sour cream
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 275g plain flour
  • 1tbsp bicarbonate of soda


  • 300g cream cheese
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 125ml double cream


1.Heat the Guinness®, butter, chocolate and sugar together in a heavy based pan over a low heat, then remove from the heat once everything is melted

2.Cool slightly then mix in the eggs and sour cream

3.Then add the flour and bicarbonate of soda, and beat until it is smooth with no lumps

4.Place into two 20cm (8") round cake tins and bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 180C/gas mark 4

5.When the cake is cool, lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and beat together. Add the cream and beat until it makes a spreadable consistency

6.Spread the mixture between the cakes.

Guinness® beer can chicken

Serves 4


  • 1 can of Guinness® Draught
  • 1 large chicken
  • 20ml olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season
  3. Open the Guinness® can and pour out or drink two-thirds of it, then carefully lower the chicken cavity onto the can so it looks like it’s sitting up. Position the chicken so it’s upright on a roasting tray, then place in the oven and cook for 70 minutes, or until golden
  4. Serve with crusty bread and a salad.

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