🍀Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with some Corned Beef and Cabbage🍀🇺🇸🍀
By Edith🍀 Morgan
It’s March, and we are all preparing to be Irish on the 17th. Rose has already posted Chef Joey’s Irish Soda Bread recipe. But, for me, St. Patrick’s Day always brings forth the special foods that begin to appear at the grocery stores and at the restaurants.
This is the time of year when the price of cabbage goes way down, and you see, at the meat counters, display packets of corned beef in various forms. And while I have not one single Irish ancestor on either side of my family, I nevertheless remember my mother and I, after her, prepare corned beef every spring. We like the lean, bright red cuts of corned beef, prepackaged with the small packets of flavorings, spices and herbs.
It takes many hours of boiling to bring the corned beef to just the right state of doneness (is that a word?) and to create a tasty soup to use afterward. I cook my corned beef in a big pot, in lots of water, with caraway seeds and some onion. Since the corned beef is usually very salty, I rinse it off several times before cooking.
After anywhere from 3 to 5 hours of steady boiling, I take it out of the water, slice off as much of the fat as I can, let it cool down a bit to solidify – then slice it. I like mine lean and in thick slices. After the soup has cooled off enough, I skim off the fat that has begun to solidify at the top, and then I prepare the vegetables.
I don’t really know if a “New England boiled Dinner” is the same thing as the traditional corned beef and cabbage we associate with the Irish, but I have my own favorite version: I peel large white potatoes, and large carrots …
… and boil them in the soup left over from the corned beef.
Well before the global pandemic caused me to stay at home for months, I used to go to the Pickle Barrel Restaurant in our city’s Piedmont neighborhood and have Gus’s corned beef dinner – generous slabs of very lean, thick corned beef, boiled potato and carrots. Delicious.
And, of course, for days, we would eat the boiled dinner meals at home – making sandwiches and salads with left-over bits of corned beef. My neighbors across the street (they are now gone) always baked Irish Soda Bread and shared a loaf with me.
So, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all! Enjoy the foods of the season!