Saint Patrick’s day is just around the corner which means it is time to get our corned beef a cookin’! The beef is termed “corned” because back in the ‘ole days, they would brine the meat with big pieces of salt the size of corn kernels to preserve it longer. Rumor has it that the Irish don’t really eat corned beef and cabbage anymore, in fact, it is believed to originally be an English dish. The Irish did fancy bacon with cabbage and potatoes as a staple dish.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
I love this picture because it looks like it came straight out of a 90’s cookbook.
Serves 4 – 6
- 2 – 3 lbs corned beef*
- 1 head of green cabbage, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 yellow onion, quatered
- 2 – 3 carrots, rough chopped
- 1 lb red potatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 – 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 T mustard seeds
*Corned beef comes spiced and not spiced. Either way for this recipe is fine. Sometimes the meat with come with a spice packet that you add while cooking.
1. Place the beef in a large dutch oven. Cover with water and add parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves and mustard seeds.
2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 – 4 hours until the beef is tender.
3. Add potatoes, carrots, and the onion to the pot. Add the cabbage last. Bring the water back to a boil, adding more if needed. Cover and simmer another 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4. When finished, drain the pot and save the broth. This can be frozen into ice cube trays or into a freezer bag and used later for soups, grains, or sauces.
5. Slice the beef against the grain and serve on a platter surrounded by the veggies with soda bread (recipe to follow).
Have you ever tried soda bread? Oh boy, it is quite a treat. It is somewhat like a giant buttermilk biscuit with a crispy outside and soft, spongy inside laden with currants. This version of the bread was only made for special occasions. The traditional soda bread of Ireland was a brown soda bread. This bread is less sweet and made with a whole wheat flour, buttermilk, soda, and salt.
- 4 cups white flour
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Tablespoons white sugar
- 5 T cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1.75 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- zest from one orange
- 1 cup currants or raisins tossed in flour
1. Heat oven to 375 degress.
2. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, white sugar, and butter in a large bowl with an electic mixer, stand mixer or with your hands.
3. Combine the butter milk and egg together. Slowly add to the flour mixture. Mix as little as possible to combine the ingredients.
4. Fold in the currants. Pour batter onto greased or parchment lined baking sheet and gently shape into a boule or dome. Using a serrated knife, cut an X through the top. This allows the bread to expand without cracking on top.
5. Bake until bread is nicely browned and springs back when you lightly press on the top, about 40 – 50 minutes.