Monday, March 15, 2010

Put on the Green Light: St. Patrick's Day Dinner

[From Last Night]
I know it’s only Sunday, March 14th, but for those of us with busy schedules or class until six on Wednesdays, St. Patty’s Day dinner has to come early. Don’t worry, I’ll still be wearing green on March 17th, but the Corned Beef and Cabbage and Champ couldn’t wait.
Let’s face it, there is not much more Irish than Corned Beef Brisket…oh wait. It didn’t actually originate in Ireland. The closest relation in Irish traditional cooking is a Bacon Joint and Cabbage [which is more like Canadian bacon or even ham]. It seems our Irish-American ancestors swapped a pig for a cow mostly due to financial reasons, but it remains a favorite edible associate of St. Patty’s Day celebrations in the U.S.
The recipe we used this weekend was excellent for a Sunday dinner. When making this Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe, allow a few hours for the beef to reach the desired tenderness [each pound takes about an hour to cook]. It is the easiest way to cook corned beef because you don’t need to constantly monitor it. Slow cooking the beef allowed us to leave it simmering away on the stove while we enjoyed some wonderful, warm sunshine. Finally! It took the spirit of good ol’ St. Patrick to shove the cold and clouds away for the day.
Then, today I used some of leftover corned beef to make a simple Cheddar and Corned Beef Sandwich along with some apple sauce and a Samoa Girl Scout Cookie. So that’s at least two meals out of that corned beef yet!
Corned Beef and Cabbage
3 lbs corned beef brisket [came with spice packet, if not would recommend mustard seeds, salt, pepper – simple seasonings]
1 head of cabbage
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1. Place brisket in Dutch oven. Cover with water. Add the spice packet [or your own blend].
2. Cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
3. Simmer about 50-60 min per pound, or until tender.
4. Add carrots and cabbage. Cook for about 15 more min, until tender.
5. Drain water.
6. Take out brisket, let rest on cutting board.
7. Cut across grain into slices.
**Recommend dipping the beef in Dijon mustard!
1 lb potatoes, peeled and chopped into pieces
1 cup scallions [green onions], sliced
1 cup milk/cream
Butter, salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil potatoes until tender.
2. In small saucepan, simmer milk and scallions until thickens a bit.
3. Mash potatoes with beaters.
4. Separate scallions; add all. Then slowly pour in milk as it’s blended.
5. Heap potatoes on plate, put dollop of butter in center to dip potatoes.
Overall, the dinner is a classic, if not entirely traditional, Irish feast. My last recommendation would be a loaf of soda bread to accompany this delicious meal. Hope this helps you with your St. Patrick’s Day plan!
P.S. – My Cheddar and Corned Beef Sandwich recipe from today was very good, and again pretty simple. Makes for a hearty and tasty lunchtime experience.
Cheddar and Corned Beef Sandwich
2 slices wheat bread
Sliced corned beef, cold
Sliced cheddar cheese
Sautéed onions, about 5-6 slices
Dijon mustard, about 2 t
1. Sautee onions in olive oil over medium heat until tender.
2. Place beef and onions on one slice of bread; cheese on the other.
3. Toast in either toaster oven or oven for about 3-5 minutes.
4. Spread mustard on cheese side.
5. Fold together, nom.

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