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Monday, March 17, 2014

Corned Beef & Cabbage

It's the quintessential St. Patrick's Day dinner food in America, one as mandatory as turkey on Thanksgiving. But how did we come to eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day?

It actually might surprise some that this really isn't an Irish dish at all. 

The original Irish dinner actually used bacon in place of corned beef. And not the bacon strips that are a mandatory staple of American breakfast tables. Or even salt pork. 

In the 19th century, Irish immigrants to the United States began substituting corned beef for bacon when making the dish. Corned beef was more plentiful and cheaper than the bacon used to make the traditional Irish dish.

To make corned beef & cabbage is really simple.

You'll need:

3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet

This is a corned beef brisket.
This is not.
10 small red potatoes 
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges
Place the corned beef in a large pot or Dutch oven, add water (just enough to cover the brisket.) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 50 minutes per pound. Add cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions in the last half hour. Slice across the grain.

(Don't forget the horseradish, Guinness beer or Bailey's Irish Cream!)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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