Words: Shamim de Brún
Artwork: Paul Smith
Easter, like all good holidays, revolves around a ritual sacrifice. So we remember the deity of our youth’s passive murder of his most beloved son so our souls could be saved by eating his body. And eating a lot.
After two ‘Rona filed years of home cooking, we don’t have to make our own Good Friday meals or Easter Sunday feeds. Instead, we can subcontract them out to local professionals who know how to do it right. Traditional Easter foods are notoriously fickle, so if you still want a vaguely Irish Easter with none of the washing up, here are five places to eat this week that are serving serious Easter goodness.
A Carvery is the meal of the bank holiday weekend. No matter what bank holiday it is, a carvery is on the menu, and if it isn’t, it should be. F.X. Buckley is a name synonymous with quality in Dublin. So if you are hankering after a carvery, this is the place to go this weekend.
Their Sunday roast comes with all the trimmings, big slices of beef, veg, roasties, and a tremendous Yorkshire pudding, with gravy in a little separate container. It is more fit to feed you than the last supper itself.
Perfect for Easter Monday
Hot cross buns are a favourite of many. Taking over two hours to make from scratch, they’re a little too much effort to make yourself. This Easter tradition supposedly derived from ancient Anglo-Saxons who baked small wheat cakes in honour of the Springtime goddess, Eostre. After converting to Christianity, the church substituted those with sweetbreads blessed by the church. Now known as Hot Cross Buns.
These Hot Cross buns at Proper Order are the perfect Easter themed treat. They exist in that perfect place between cake and breakfast where they’re kinda both and sort of neither. Light, fluffy, subtly sweet and perfectly portable. Pair these with a caffeinated beverage, and you have a perfect Easter weekend treat that isn’t chocolate! How could you go wrong?
Perfect for Easter Saturday
Not chocolate ones, actual eggs. The fastest diffusing source of protein is also the traditional meal of the easter. The average Easter breakfast for an Irish man once consisted of six eggs. Yes, Six! Natural colourings from herbs or lichens were added to the boiling water to dye the shells, then kept to decorate the Maybush. So eating these high-end delightfully colourful eggs is the perfect way to honour your ancestors and check out Dublin’s newest boutique restaurant.
The eggs themselves, after being pickled in turmeric for four days, are a bright Easter yellow. As a dish, they are perfectly textured with creamy mayo and crunchy crisps complementing the suppleness of the egg itself. The flavours are incredibly complex, with a mild bite of acidity from the vinegar and a little bit of spice coming in the form of chives.
Perfect for Good Friday
Lamb is the most common Easter ritual sacrifice. The roasted lamb dinner that we eat on Easter Sunday actually predates Easter—it is derived from the first Passover Seder of the Jewish people. Primarily though, we eat it for easter because it’s what’s seasonal in Ireland. Spring lamb should have arrived at your local butcher’s this week. Spring lamb, also called early or summer lamb is three to five months old. It is very tender meat that’s only available at this time of the year.
Orwell Road gets their lamb from JJ Young in Co Kildare. The rump is then marinated in herbs, garlic and anchovy oil, cooked on the barbecue, with the slow-cooked belly served over a deconstructed Caesar salad of charred baby gem, topped with pickled cucumber and anchovy relish. This is a full-flavoured full-flavoured lamb Ballymakenny spuds and wild garlic mayo. A perfect way to honour the Easter dinner of our ancestors without going in for the whole leg or rack.
Perfect for Saturday Night
What list is complete without acknowledging that we all eat a rake of chocolate eggs over easter. Daring diabetes to come for us. Ireland is increasingly a place to get great chocolate, and this year is no exception. If you want to take your chocolate egg game to the next level this easter, though, you should try this easter egg hot chocolate from The Little Bean Coffee Company.
Even just the idea of a chocolate drink inside a chocolate egg should have you excited but top it off with whipped cream, and you can take my money and call me sold. Nevertheless, this is probably the best way to consume Easter eggs and is worth the drive.
Perfect for Easter Sunday