Irish Up

Domhnall Molloy, co-owner of the Summit Grill and Bar in Waldo and Lee’s Summit.
Domhnall Molloy, co-owner of the Summit Grill and Bar in Waldo and Lee’s Summit.

Domhnall Molloy, co-owner of the Summit Grill and Bar in Waldo and Lee’s Summit, shares his favorite family recipes

My Irish roots have been a big influence in my life, especially when it comes to cooking. I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, until my family moved to Kansas City when I was five. I’m from a large family of five brothers, Ciaran, Ronan, Stephen and Fintan. We all like to eat, drink, sing, laugh and be rowdy, which is why we are all involved in the Kansas City restaurant industry. We make frequent trips back to Ireland to visit our family, including aunts, uncles and more than 30 first cousins.

Irish cuisine has been a big part of my life and has influenced my roles as a chef in many ways. As co-owner of Summit Grill and Bar, I find ways to incorporate my Irish heritage into our menu with dishes such as Molloy’s Irish breakfast, corned beef brisket hash, fish and chips, and corned beef brisket Reuben.

I plan to incorporate Irish influences into the menu for the 3rd Street Social, opening this May, with dishes like the Irish brown bread and smoked salmon. Let’s not forget about the Feisty Irishman cocktail with Tullamore Dew, an Irish whiskey. Irish drinking is not a stereotype in my family. It’s just the way it is. You can find my brothers and me at my bar drinking anything on any given night.

I’m 100 percent Irish and 100 percent Kansas City. My wife, Deana, our son Aiden and I love to explore the variety of cuisines Kansas City has to offer. We especially love the unique Kansas City-style barbecue. I can’t imagine growing up anywhere else, but Ireland has always been close to my heart.

My family and I recently held a big Irish dinner for my mother Bríd’s birthday. We cooked her favorite traditional Irish dishes (shepherd’s pie for the children and roasted lamb for the adults), used our finest linens and plates and set the table with the silver that she passed down to me for this special day. My family and I love to eat, drink and socialize. I’m sharing with you these family recipes that we have enjoyed for years.

Side Dish

With his entire family active in the restaurant industry, it’s easy to see how Molloy ended up there, too. “We like to eat, we like to drink; we’re pretty social people,” Molloy says. “It just seemed like a pretty natural fit.” He first studied in the culinary program at JCCC, then completed his education at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Ore. He returned to K.C. to help his brothers open Molloy Brothers Irish Pub in Westport, then in 2001 started as a line cook at McCormick & Schmick’s. By the time he left in 2012, he was a regional chef overseeing 14 restaurants nationwide. He left to start the Summit Grill & Bar in Lee’s Summit with partner Andy Lock. In 2014, they opened the Waldo Summit Grill, and this year they’ll open 3rd Street Social in downtown Lee’s Summit.

Irish Brown Bread with Smoked Salmon


This is my aunt Attracta’s recipe, who lives in Ballymote, Ireland, where my father was born.

Irish butter (Kerrygold is preferred)

1    lemon, cut in wedges

2    tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

1    cold-smoked salmon

Brown Bread makes one 2-lb. loaf

10½    ounces extra-coarse whole-wheat flour

2    ounces steel-cut oats

1    ounce butter (softened)

1    rounded teaspoon baking soda

1    rounded teaspoon superfine sugar

7    ounces buttermilk

7    ounces whole milk

In a large bowl, mix the flour and steel-cut oats. Mix in the softened butter and then add remaining dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and whole milk and mix well.

Grease a two-pound loaf pan with butter and pour in the batter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes. Note: This is a wet mixture that is poured into the pan and doesn’t resemble most bread dough.

Slice and serve the brown bread on a platter with lemon wedges, Irish butter and cold-smoked salmon sprinkled with the chopped chives.

Shepherd’s Pie


The Shepherd’s Pie recipe is my own version of a classic Irish dish I grew up with.

1    pound ground lamb

2    pounds ground beef

1½    cups onions, small dice

1    cup carrots, small dice

1    tablespoon garlic, minced

1    cup peas (frozen or fresh English)

1    teaspoon crushed red pepper

2    teaspoons ground cumin

2    teaspoons black pepper

1    tablespoon kosher salt

1    teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1    quart beef demi-glace, make your own or Knorr has a decent substitute.

1    cup aged Irish cheddar cheese, grated

3    pounds mashed potatoes

2    tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine

In a large pot, brown lamb and beef. Remove meat from pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan, and strain the remaining fat from the meat.

Add the diced onions, carrots and garlic to the remaining fat, then return meat mixture to the pan.

Add all the herbs and spices, including salt and pepper, and demi-glace to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour mixture into an oven-safe dish and top with the mashed potatoes and grated cheese.

Broil in the oven until mashed potatoes are lightly browned. (Watch closely, this happens quickly.) Remove from oven and garnish with chopped parsley.

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Roasted Vegetables & Mint Sauce


Lamb is a great springtime dish and is commonly prepared as an Easter dish. It’s tradition in Ireland to pair mint sauce with lamb.

3    New Zealand or domestic racks of lamb, Frenched Marinade

1    lemon, zested

3    cloves garlic, minced

2    tablespoons rosemary leaves, chopped

2    tablespoons parsley, chopped

1    tablespoon thyme leaves

1    tablespoon kosher salt

1    tablespoon black pepper

3    ounces olive oil

In a large zip-lock bag, mix all marinade ingredients, add lamb racks and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Before roasting, let lamb rest at room temperature for one hour, then sear racks in a frying pan at medium heat until browned. Transfer the racks to a roasting pan and roast in oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat is 135 degrees for medium rare or 145 degrees for medium. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Mint Sauce

1    bunch fresh mint

3    tablespoons honey

3    tablespoons cider vinegar

1    teaspoon minced garlic

1    teaspoon chopped shallots

Purée all ingredients in a food processor; add a bit of water if sauce is too thick.

Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables

2    pounds baby Dutch potatoes, peeled (cut larger potatoes in half)

½    pound rutabagas, large dice

½    pound carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias

6    sprigs fresh thyme

1    tablespoon kosher salt

1    tablespoon black pepper

1    ounce olive oil

Toss together vegetables and spices with olive oil in oven-safe pan and roast at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.