St. Patrick’s Day Irish Pork Stew, surprise-inside Leprechaun Hat Cake (photos, recipes)

Keep things festive after the parade with these St. Patrick's Day recipes for Irish Pork Stew with Caraway and Stout, and a Leprechaun Hat Cake complete with rainbow and pot of gold.

With one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country, you’ll want to keep the party going in Cleveland with some great, Irish-inspired foods. We were charmed by these two recipes, one for Irish Pork Stew with Caraway and Stout, and the finisher, a rainbow cake in the shape of a leprechaun’s hat. Check out the surprise in the middle.

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The traditional Irish stew usually features lamb, but Heidi Larsen, author of the blog, foodiecrush.com prefers pork, and finds it a flavorful element in this recipe of slow-cooked meat, caraway seeds and Irish stout. She uses extra pork bones to flavor and thicken the brew, so don’t go buying a fancy boneless roast, she says.

Between the bones and the flour used, the stew really does thicken itself.

“If you’d like to try this recipe with beef,” she says, “I suggest using a chuck roast trimmed into cubes with and add 2 or more beef shanks, oxtail, or marrow bones to the mix to really impart the meaty flavor.”

You’ll have no problem selling this to your meat-eating crowd.

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Finish with a dazzle with this surprise-inside Leprechaun Hat Cake. You can use boxed mixes or your own recipe, and you’ll need one 8-inch cake pan and one or more 6-inchers. This is a good time to invest, although inexpensively, in a turning cake plate and bench scraper to give a finished look. Most craft stores have them.

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