Skellig, Bacon and Beer Bread

The parade for St. Patrick’s Day is gathering, and the usual suspects of food and fun about to converge upon us. Say hello to a river of green beer, mounds of corned beef, potatoes and cabbage. And soda bread…dear soda bread, the quiet one at the party, who always seems to be there to clean up after the others have gone. Rather than inviting this dear, dependable girl to your table, allow me introduce you to her adventurous older sister – Skellig, Bacon and Beer Bread. She’s the one who moved to the city and learned a thing or two. Just as easily prepared, she’s a welcome addition to any party. Make a loaf of this quick bread (no yeast needed) to accompany your St. Patrick’s Day spread, but don’t stop there. Toast thick slices of it, slathered with Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, to accompany your breakfast eggs; go extra-cheesy and make a pressed sandwich with a good bit of grated Skellig, some caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms. Slip it under an egg salad with a horseradish-y mayo and a sprinkle of scallions, or swap out the egg salad for slices of rare flank steak along with the horseradish mayo, a handful of arugula (dress it in a bit of olive oil) and paper thin slices of red onion. And with saucy, finger-lickin’ barbecued chicken? Don’t get us started! However you choose to use it, this flavorful loaf will have you saying, “Sláinte, and pass me the butter!”

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for the top
  • 5 pieces bacon, cooked and diced
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 12 oz beer – a wheat beer works nicely, or a lager
  • 4 Tbsp Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 cup shredded Kerrygold Skellig Cheese
Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, half of the chopped cooked bacon (reserve half for the top), cheese (reserve a quarter cup for the top), black pepper and baking powder

Stir in 2 Tbsp melted butter and 12 oz beer until just combined

Pour into a 1.5 qt loaf pan that has been brushed with a bit of the butter

Pour the remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter over the top

Sprinkle with remaining bacon, cheese an a grind or two of pepper

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top has turned golden brown

 

Variation:

If you’d like to spice up your St. Patrick’s party, add the following to the bowl at the beginning:

1/2 tsp chili powder (or 1/2 tsp smoked paprika)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp minced jalapenos

 

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