Hearty Irish O’ Chili and Irish Candy Potatoes

Top o’ the mornin’, to ya, from The O’Critics in Me Kitchen!

"A fine soft day in the spring, it was, when the train pulled into Castletown, three hours late as usual, and himself got off. He didn't have the look of an American tourist at all about him. Not a camera on him; what was worse, not even a fishin' rod." -The Quiet Man

It’s unfortunate, but true. There’s not too much about Irish food that I find appealing. Or, I should say, Irish food that I know about.  I spent a lot of time in the last few years searching the internet for a St. Patrick’s Day meal but the two ideas that kept coming up again and again are corned beef with cabbage and Irish stew.

My husband doesn’t like corned beef, and I just can’t get excited about stew. And I wanted a St. Patrick’s Day dinner that I could get excited about.

I toyed with the idea of making an Irish fry-up, with eggs and hash browns and sausage, and other fried goodies, but my inner Jiminy Cricket just wouldn’t allow it.

So I decided to take my chili recipe and Irish it up a bit. I’m not sure the Irish are known for their chili. But I won’t tell if you won’t.

"I declare my soul, when I tell 'em this, down at the pub, they won't believe a word of it." -Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hearty Irish O’Chili

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs beef stew pieces
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bottle (1 1/2 cups) Guiness (see note)*
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, slightly drained
  • 2 15-oz cans potatoes, drained and diced


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add beef and onion and cook until beef is almost fully cooked.  It will continue to cook while the chili simmers.
  2. Add the chili powder through bay leaves. Cook and stir for one minute.
  3. Stir in beer, stock, tomatoes, and potatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat.  Simmer 1 hour.
  4. Uncover and cook an additional 30 minutes, to thicken. Discard bay leaves.

*Note about the Guiness: This recipe calls for one bottle. I’m totally okay with it if you want to use slightly more than one bottle. Just do everything the same, but insert the following dialogue, spoken loudly from your kitchen, for all to hear:

“Well, would you look at that! I had to open a second bottle of Guiness for just a few drops! What a waste! [sigh loudly] I guess I will just have to take one for the team and finish the bottle while I cook.”

Good job, that was very convincing!

"Sure we could have been famous and made albums and stuff, but that would have been predictable. This way it's poetry." -The Committments

There may have been a slight disagreement with my husband over the potatoes.  See, I opened a can of sliced potatoes, and dumped them into the pot. Don Corleone came over and said, “Oh, you have to chop those!” And I said, “But I don’t feel like it” and he said, “No, really, you should.” And I said, “Fine you do it,” and he said, “Fine, I will” and that’s the story of how the potatoes got to be diced.

Don Corleone dices potatoes

I know he was right, but I’m just so darn lazy efficient always looking for shortcuts just wanted him to do it eh, lazy works.

Finian's Rainbow

"Green is the color of the shamrocks /and the grass on Blarney hill / Oh, the darlin' green of Ireland /and the good old dollar bill." -Finnian's Rainbow

I knew this would be a tough one. As I said in my Groundhog Day post, more than half my critics don’t like chili. But the ones that count do, so too bad for the rest 😉

Irish Chili

Don Corleone: It’s good. It’s what they would serve at the wedding of Pancho Villa and Margaret O’Hara

Sarah Crewe: It’s pretty good.

Batman: It’s good. Yeah, it’s really good!

Curious George: I don’t really like it.

Elmo: Yeah. My soup. (She ate her whole bowl)

I thought it was good; a change from regular chili. It was not spicy at all. The potatoes made an interesting addition. It was almost a stew, but with enough chili flavor to be called “chili.”

"The sea is a sickness and you two will come to grieve for it!" -The Secret of Roan Inish

We also had Irish Soda Bread for dinner. I found a super easy recipe here. Notice the little hands trying to grab the bread? That would be my little Elmo.

Irish Soda Bread

For dessert:

Irish Candy Potatoes

  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • cinnamon


  1. Mix together the milk, coconut, vanilla, and salt.
  2. Add powdered sugar, slowly, until dough is easy to work with and not too sticky. Roll into balls, and roll balls in cinnamon. Place on waxed paper.

Irish Candy Potatoes

They’re so cute! They look like miniature potatoes. Unless you’re this guy, then they look gigantic:

Gigantic potatoes

I hope you all have a very fun, blessed St. Patrick’s Day!

Waking Ned

"We find the winner and make sure we are their best friend when they cash the check." -Waking Ned Devine

I’ll leave you with a little Irish humor:

Paddy O’Connor finds a Genie lamp and rubs it. Out comes the Genie and asks “Master you have released me from the lamp and I grant you three wishes, what would you like”

Paddy scratches his head, then answers “A bottle of Guinness that never gets empty. “Granted master” retorted the Genie and produced the bottle. Paddy was delighted and got drunk on this one magic Guiness bottle for weeks then he remembered that he had two other wishes. He rubbed the lamp again and the Genie appeared. “Yes master, you have two more wishes, what would you like?” “You know that magic, never ending Guinness bottle” he asks the Genie. “Well, for my final two wishes, I’d like another two of them”

Slow down, there, little guy. This bottle has an end:

Where's the beer?

May your home be filled with laughter
May your pockets be filled with gold
And may you have all the happiness
Your Irish heart can hold.



3 responses to “Hearty Irish O’ Chili and Irish Candy Potatoes

  1. Look delicious! Sorry I missed out!

    PS….have another Genius!

  2. Jess Blankenbiller

    I think I may try the chili recipe. I’ve yet to make a chili that my family liked very much… so the fact that most of your kids liked it, is a really good sign! Your blog is lookin great! very interesting : )
    Have you ever tried cooking chicken in a dish w/ just Ranch dressing dumped on top? I know it sounds so cheap and lame, but it tastes amazing. My husband hates Ranch and he LOVED this. He thought it was some kind of fancy new alfredo recipe LOL. The chicken stayed very tender and moist.

    • My husband doesn’t like ranch, either, so I usually avoid it, but maybe I’ll try that one. I think it sounds yummy! Thanks for your kind words! Good luck with the chili… let me know how it turns out!

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