Halloween: two delicious vegetarian recipes typical of the Irish tradition

Already in the past, traditional Irish Halloween recipes did not include the use of meat. Let’s discover two particularly tasty ones: Champ, mashed potatoes with shallots and Barmbrack, bread with dried fruit

Did you know that traditional irish recipes get ready for eve of all saints have they been vegetarian since ancient times? When the pagan anniversary of Samhain merged with Christianity, the day before All Saints was dedicated to fasting, and therefore meat was forbidden on the table.

Among the most used foods were potatoes and fruit, ingredients with which characteristic dishes such as e.g Champmashed potatoes with milk and butter, shallots or spring onions and Barmbrack, bread enriched with dried fruit. Would you like to try these two Irish delicacies? Here are the relevant recipes.

Champ: Irish Mashed Potatoes Recipe


@IRISH TOURISM Press Office/Glane23 photo

As we said, Champ is mashed potatoes enriched with shallots or spring onions, simple to prepare and suitable for the palates of adults and children. Let’s find out how to prepare it.


  • 750 g of potatoes
  • 2 small shallots
  • 150 ml of milk
  • 3 heaping spoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • After washing the potatoes, boil them in cold water without removing the skin and without adding salt. After the water starts to boil, leave them for about thirty minutes.
  • Chop the shallots, place them in a pot of milk and cook over a low heat for about 4-5 minutes without letting them boil.
  • Drain, peel and mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
  • Add milk and shallots to mashed potatoes and season with salt and pepper, also add butter. Mix well with a whisk until the puree is creamy.

Barmbrack: a recipe for Irish bread with dried fruit



Another typical Irish Halloween food is Barmbrack, a bread enriched with dried fruit. The recipe is a bit more elaborate, but we’re sure it’s worth a try!

Ingredients for fruit mixture:

  • 350 g sultanas
  • 50ml Bushmills whisky
  • Hot tea (enough to cover grapes)
  • 1 lemon, juice and grated rind

For the dough:

  • 450 g durum wheat flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 15 g of dry yeast
  • 280 ml room temperature milk
  • 50 g of softened butter
  • 50 g of sugar
  • 1 beaten egg

For gaskets:

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of chopped spices (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise…)


  • Start by soaking the sultanas in a mixture of whiskey, hot tea and lemon juice for 30-45 minutes. Once this time is up, drain it.
  • In the meantime, prepare the dough by pouring all the ingredients into a bowl and mixing well. Knead by hand on a floured surface for about 5 minutes.
  • At this point, put the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for about 1 hour.
  • Then you have to knead again by adding sultanas.
  • Pour the mixture into a greased mold with a diameter of 20-23 cm and cover with a wet towel. Leave in a warm place for about twenty minutes, until the mixture reaches the top of the pan.
  • Now you can bake the dough for about fifty minutes in a preheated oven at 200°C.
  • All that remains is to prepare the decoration with butter cream and spices until you get a soft mixture.
  • As soon as the Barmbrack is removed from the oven, it should be sprinkled with seasoned butter and left to cool.

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SOURCE: Irish tourism

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