By Guest Blogger Liliane Opsomer, co-author of “The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids”
The first Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival at the soon-to-be Disney Springs aka Downtown Disney got off to a great start the weekend of March 8 with a concert of the Willis Clan at the Raglan Road Pub Stage. The festival, a brain child of Raglan Road co-owners Paul Nolan and John Cooke, right, in cooperation with Disney, was in full swing this past weekend as well, culminating on Sunday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day.
Guests enjoyed lots of Irish activities, Irish music by top bands and dancers on multiple stages, as well as a mighty selection of beers and authentic cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. Check out his website for great recipes that work and keep reading to see his recipe for Loin of bacon with an Irish Mist Glaze below!
I was mesmerized when Jada, age 2 and the youngest of The Willis Clan (a family of amazing musicians, dancers and writers from Tennessee), took the stage. Mom, dad and 12 children, ages 2 – 21, performed multiple times throughout the week at the Waterfront Festival Stage and the Raglan Road Pub Stage. Another mighty act is Girsa, which in Gaelic means “young girls.” This energetic all-girls band got the crowd going, and The Three Dollar band with their unique blend of folk music inspired by both Irish and Appalachian music was amazing. The world-famous U2 tribute band Elevation and the Raglan Road house band Creel played on both stages, and Creel nightly held the home base at Raglan Road Patio.
Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the Riverdance Cast led Irish Dance Workshops, and Dublin-born multi-instrumentalist Declan Masterson, recent touring musical director of Riverdance, was the host of Irish Music Workshops.
Stiltwalkers, face painting, souvenirs and kiosks with authentic Irish cuisine all rounded up the offerings. I look forward to the 2014 edition. If you time your visit right, you get to celebrate this great festival while enjoying a visit to the annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
On St. Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig), millions of people around the world celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. Raglan Road’s Chef Kevin Dundon shared with me a delicious recipe for succulent loin of bacon with Irish Mist Glaze. In Ireland, the traditional meal associated with St. Patrick’s Day is bacon and cabbage. Contrary to popular belief, Irish Corned beef and cabbage isn’t an authentic Irish dish, but rather a tradition started by Irish American immigrants in the late 19th century. And while the holiday is over, I am sure the dish will make a superb meal next Sunday!
Loin of bacon with an Irish Mist Glaze serving 4
900 g/2 lb loin of bacon (Canadian back bacon)
450 g/1 lb potatoes, well scrubbed
1 egg yolk
25 g/1 oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tbsp Irish Mist whiskey
4 tbsp honey
100 ml/3 1/2 fl oz cider
12 whole cloves
25 g/1 oz butter
2 tbsp olive oil
8 small Savoy cabbage leaves, trimmed down into cups
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the loin of bacon in a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour until completely tender.
To make the potato cakes, cover the potatoes with cold water in a pan and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until completely tender. Drain in a colander and leave to cool completely.
When the potatoes have cooled, peel away the skins and then grate into a bowl. Add the egg yolk and sprinkle in the flour. Season generously and mix until just combined. Divide the mixture into four, and using a 10 cm/4 in. cooking ring, shape into patties. Arrange on a flat plate and cover loosely with cling film. Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours is fine to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place the Irish Mist in a pan with the honey and cider, then heat gently until dissolved. Remove the loin of bacon from the water and leave until cool enough to handle, then trim away the rind and excess fat. Slash the remaining thin layer of fat in a criss-cross pattern and stud with cloves.
Place the clove-studded loin of bacon in a small roasting tin and brush all over with the Irish Mist glaze, pouring any remainder around the joint. Bake for 15-20 minutes until completely heated through and well glazed, basting occasionally.
Remove the bacon from the oven and leave in a warm place for at least 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Add a knob of the butter, and once foaming, add the boxtie potato cakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until warmed through and golden brown. Blanch the cabbage cups in a pan of boiling salted water until just tender but still holding their shape. Drain well and toss in the remaining knob of butter. Season to taste.
To serve, carve the bacon into slices. Place a potato cake in each warmed serving plate and sit two Savoy cabbage cups on each one. Arrange the slices of bacon on top. Drizzle around the remaining glaze left in the tin.
Raglan Road organizes culinary experiences all year round. Advance reservations are necessary for The Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with entertainment starting at noon. Brunch entrees range from $8 to $26. The Host the Roast! Sunday lunch, which must be booked 24 hours in advance for a minimum of six guests, is an authentic Irish Sunday lunch with premium signature roasts and all the trimmings. Prices are as follows:
- The Roast Rib of Beef with all the trimmings plus Yorkshire pudding: $55 per person
- The Roast Pork Loin with all the trimmings plus cracklings: $47 per person
- The Roast Stuffed Leg of Lamb with all the trimmings: $45 per person
- The Roast Lemon Thyme Chicken with all the trimmings plus chicken and wild mushroom pie: $35 per person
For reservations, call 407-938-0300. More information is available at www.raglanroad.com.
Related: Disney World Special Events for 2013
Liliane Opsomer is the co-author of “The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids,” a guidebook that provides detailed planning and touring tips for a family vacation. She is passionate about travel, Disney, and hobbits. Liliane also started recently her own blog.