Text, photos and recipe by Chef Joey
A nice boiled dinner sounds like a great plan. It’s not Irish! Traditionally, it was bacon and cabbage, as bacon was readily available. So “bacon” in England and Ireland is much leaner and more ham-like than what we have here for breakfast. It’s the same back flesh, just cut differently. The meat was readily available, as many people had farms and raised livestock. The vegetables were usually grown as well.
It was and still is a tasty meal, originally made with onions, turnips, carrots …
… and occasionally they would use smoked bacon.
What is completely different, is they would make a roux, or a white sauce made with the broth, flour, butter, milk and usually parsley.
So let’s get back to the Immigration part of my story: The mid- to late-19th century is the traceable origins of using corned beef to bacon and the addition of cabbage.
Like the original, it does include veggies, especially potatoes and carrots. It somehow also became known as the “New England Boiled Dinner.” Substitute a ham for corned beef and you’ve got yourself a Jigs dinner, a traditional Sunday feast in Newfoundland, Labrador and Canada.
So here is the real kicker: during Lent many people became vegetarians, as tradition required. Realistically because it was a growing season for seedlings and animals and was basically to make the ignorant let everything grow, and since you could get drunk on March 17th, who wants to take a spring lamb to slaughter?
Roasted cabbage side dish – the $1 veggie that goes a long way!
Salt and pepper
2 cloves chopped garlic
Take one cabbage and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
Place on cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Drizzle olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic.
Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes and serve!