Saturday, March 16, 2013

Corned Beef, Cabbage and Saint Patrick's Day~

On Sunday March 17th in many countries the Irish and those who become Irish for a day will celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Shamrocks, leprechauns, Celtic Irish Music, the wearing of green and of course Guinness are associated with Ireland and Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Corned Beef and Cabbage
The Irish have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day for over 1,000 years; however the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in NYC in 1848. The St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef, potatoes, carrots and cabbage is more of an American tradition.

Cabbage and root vegetables; carrots, potatoes and onion are a staple in Ireland along with Corned bacon. Over the years the Irish have raised cattle mostly for export to England and in the past when the English owned the lands in Ireland, beef although raised by the Irish was very expensive for them to purchase, pork was much less expensive than beef therefore pork was more of a staple in the Irish diet than beef.

According to history when the Irish immigrated to New York City they could not afford pork; however beef was readily available and inexpensive in the states. The Jewish immigrants introduced beef brisket to their new Irish neighbors and corned beef was substituted for Irish bacon. 

Over the years corned beef has become a Saint Patrick’s Day tradition in the United States. It is served in Ireland, but mostly to please the tourists.

This time of year you can usually find a good price on Corned Beef with seasoning at your local market in the US. This version takes about three hours to cook so it is a good weekend recipe.

In the US tradition of Saint Patrick’s Day here is my recipe for Corned Beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots. The simmering corned beef will fill your home with a fantastic aroma and the flavors from the meal will please the palate and have you coming back for seconds. Delicious! Cheers!

ST Patrick's Day Corned Beef Meal

Ingredients:

3 to 4 lb packaged corned beef with seasoning packet
Most markets sell corned beef with the seasoning packet included
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into fourths
I use russet potatoes, however red, white or Yukon work just as well
6 carrots or 2 cups of pre-cut and peeled carrots
Peeled and cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces
1 head of cabbage
Rinsed and cut into wedges

How to prepare:
Rinse the corned beef, place in a large cooking pot, cover with water and empty seasoning package into the pot
Bring the water to a boil, turn down heat to simmer and cover
Simmer for approximately 3 hours, set timer for 2 ½ hours. The cooking instructions should be on the package
Peel the potatoes and cut into fourths
Peel and cut the carrots into 2 inch pieces
When the corned beef is fork tender remove from the pot, place on a serving plate and cover
Remove ½ cup of the liquid to cook the cabbage in
Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot, you should have plenty of liquid from cooking the corned beef, if not add some more water. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes until the fork tender
Rinse and cut the cabbage into large wedges
While the potatoes and carrots are simmering, in a large skillet add ½ cup of the liquid from the corned beef
Add the cabbage to the skillet and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes
I like my cooked cabbage to have a bit of a crunch to it You can cook the cabbage to your desired texture
Slice the corned beef, which should be really tender and add to the plate along with the cooked potatoes, carrots and cabbage

Are you cooking Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day?

Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Cheers!

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