Friday, March 19, 2010

Erin Go Bragh! Corned Beef, Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread and Cupcakes


Without fail, my momma made corned beef and cabbage every St. Patrick's Day when I was a kid. The first year that I had a grown-up kitchen (read: not a microwave stacked on top of a mini-fridge in a dorm room), I attempted to make my very own St. Patrick's Day feast. Unfortunately, as usual, my then-boyfriend/now dear husband was my first victim, er, guest. I made the most horrific dish to date, some foul conglomeration of rock-solid potatoes and really clammy cabbage. Don't ask.

Thankfully, I re-attempted the feast this year and was finally successful. Surprisingly, I also managed to do it the same day as surviving an emergency root canal and multiple fillings. I watched a crock-pot tutorial that was corned beef-specific and got to work before the dentist did. This recipe is so easy, relatively inexpensive and a great way to celebrate the awesomeness that is being Irish.

Ingredients :

  • 1 - 12 oz. bottle of Guinness
  • 3 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3 1/2 lbs corned beef brisket (and included spice packet)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 6 shallots of peeled garlic
  • 1 small head of cabbage, cored and quartered 
  • 5 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 water
Directions:
  1. Set the crock pot to low. 
  2. Add the brisket to the pot and sprinkle included spice packet over it. Add peppercorns and bay leaves. Circle the pot with Guinness. 
  3. Cover and let simmer on low for five hours. 
  4. Pierce cabbage and onion chunks with toothpicks. (This will help keep the vegetables together when you remove them later.)
  5. Add cabbage, onion, potatoes, carrots and water to pot.
  6. Cover and simmer for an additional hour.
  7. Remove vegetables and place on platter. Let the meat and extra juice cool for about six minutes.
  8. Remove the brisket and place on cutting board. Slice into thin strips against the grain.
  9. Serve with reserved juice in gravy boat. And a cold Killian's (or Guinness).

But wait! My favorite part of the feast isn't the meat and potatoes. Or the beer. It's the soda bread! I learned about soda bread when I was managing my mom's gift store during my college days. I had a "regular" pop by the store one St. Patty's Day and ask me what my plans were. I explained my intentions for my first feast and, bless her heart, she got so excited! She told me the menu wouldn't be complete without traditional (new to me) soda bread. Would you believe she drove all the way home and back to the store to give me a copy of her handwritten recipe card? This was my third time making it and I'm convinced it just gets better. 

Ingredients:
  • 4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C cold butter or stick margarine
  • 1 C (or more, if you're so inclined) golden raisins
  • 1 3/4 C buttermilk
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
  4. Add raisins.
  5. Stir in the buttermilk until just moistened. 
  6. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead 8 times.
  7. Place onto an ungreased baking sheet and pat into a 7" round loaf.
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut a 1" cross about 1/4" deep on top of the loaf.
  9. Bake for 43 minutes or until golden.

And finally - as if all that didn't send you straight to the couch for a food coma - my Pillsbury cupcakes! (Hey, a chef's gotta catch a break where she can find one!)


1 comment:

  1. I need to get shamrock sprinkles! Love the crock pot recipe. I tried it once and it turned out horrible but I am convinced that it was just not the best cut of corned beef. Glad to hear your holiday feast was successful.

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