Friday, March 18, 2011

Traditional Irish Fare!

I am sure that everyone celebrating St Pat's Day does the customary Corned Beef and Cabbage. I know all the grocery stores were stocked up on corned beef and I have to say it was a wee bit tempting at $1.99 lb. If you have ever made your own corned beef you may never buy it like that again. Soft, tender and full of flavor! It's also super easy to make too! All it takes is a little prep work and planning.

Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage

Recipe by Chef Tom Ryan of Durgin Park Restaurant

7-8 lb fresh beef brisket (I used a flat cut brisket)
3 gallon water
1-1/2 lb kosher salt
6 whole bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
1 large head cabbage, cored and quartered
1 bunch carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
8 large boiling potatoes, peeled and halved
1 large turnip cut into 2" cubes

Beef must be corned atleast 48 hours prior to cooking. I do mine 72 hours before.

In a large nonreactive boiling pot, add salt and 1/2 of the water. Stir until salt is dissolved. When a potato will float, you know you have enough salt.

Add brisket to salt water. You can cut the brisket in half to fit into the pan. Cover and let sit at room temp for minimum of 48 hours. Make sure you have enough water to completely cover meat. If not, add more.

*Note: For every 1/2 gallon of water add approximately 1/2 lb of kosher salt

After meat is cured, remove from brine and set aside. Drain brine and rinse pot. Replace meat in pot and add remaining water.

Add bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer for 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 hours.

Prepare veggies and add to pot. Cover and simmer for an additional 45 minutes.

To serve, remove cabbage from pot and put in seperate bowl. Plate meat and remaining veggies. Let meat rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

See?! Easy peasy!

Of course, you need some kind of bread to go with this meal. I chose White Soda Bread, which is a dense, sweet bread.

White Soda Bread

4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups buttermilk *see note below

Preheat oven to 425. Grease a round cake pan or loaf pan.

Sift the flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt together into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in center and add buttermilk. With a fork, work in buttermilk. Make into a shape according to your pan. Put dough in pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Lower temp to 400 and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Bread should be lightly brown and firm to touch. Let cool before slicing.

*Note: For the buttermilk I took a 2 cup measuring cup and added 2 Tbs of white vinegar. Fill cup to 2 cup line. Stir and let rest for 5 minutes. I use this "recipe" for buttermilk when called for in recipes. Ratio is 1 Tbs for every 1 cup milk.

And if you think that is all, we even had an Irish dessert! When I first read this recipe I found it really interesting since you broil the topping onto the cake. This recipe was originally created for McCann's oatmeal for St Pat's day.

Irish Oatmeal Cake with Nut Topping

1 cup McCann's oatmeal
1-1/2 cup boiling water
8 Tbs butter, room temp
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs Irish Whiskey
2 eggs
1-1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda

Nut Topping

6 Tbs butter, room temp
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbs Irish Whiskey
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9" round or square pan.

In a bowl, combine water and oatmeal. Let stand 20 minutes.

In medium bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add whiskey and eggs. Beat til blended. Beat in oatmeal.

In small bowl combine remaining ingredients. Add to oatmeal. Stir to blend. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cream butter and sugar together for topping. Blend in cream and whiskey. Stir in remaining ingredients and set aside covered.

When cake is done, remove from oven and top with topping. Spread evenly. Place in broiler about 5 minutes or until coconut is toasted. Remove and let cool. Cut and serve!

So there ya go! A couple of Irish recipes to try, just not only for St Pat's. I know I have quite a few leftovers so next week I am planning on posting some recipes to reinvent this dinner. The poor cake did not make it though, so I will have to think up something else sweet just for you sweeties! Until then....

Happy Eating!


Designs on 47th Street said...

This all looks so good. I haven't fixed corn beef in a long time as my sister in law and her husband always have us over for St. Paddy's Day. I do love it, and I know I would love this cake!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Wow Maggie, your meal sounds so good I'm "green" with envy:@) Looks great, I never thought of trying to make my own corned beef, I like the idea! Happy Weekend!

Anonymous said...

This sounds great! I am going to tuck this away for future use and I know it will be soon!

Beth said...

Maggie, That's a great St. Patrick's Day post (and meal!) I didn't know how to corn a brisket. Now I do. One question: do you keep it refrigerated while it is in the brine, or leave it on the counter? Hope your St. Paddy's Day was as good as your recipes!
Blessings, Beth

The White Farmhouse said...

Yup, you can just leave it on the counter. This year I was just too lazy to lug that pot down to the basement. Counter space in my kitchen is like gold. I just worked around it this year.

Christine said...

I am so thrilled you came by and left a comment or I'd of never found you! I honestly want to move into your farm house with you!!! I'll clean and you cook! lol I want to make your corned beef but then again I am afraid I will never want to but buy the store bought again! You have ruined me here!Hope you have a wonderful week end!

Lori said...

Yummy Maggie ~ unfortunately Trevor is not a fan of cabbage or anything cooked together in the same pot ~ he calls it all stew! This sounds so good. I have not had soda bread in years ~ I think the last time I had it was when I was in Ireland ~ memories of an artery clogging Ulster Fry!! Hope you are having a wonderful week-end. xo

Jacqueline said...

Wow, wow, wow! You went all out - even making your own corned beef! You do make it sound easy. My mom always did corned beef and cabbage, but the bread and the cake - that takes it over the top. Hope you had a great dinner (wish I had been there!)

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Gorgeous! I never knew how to corn a beef brisket. Just a wonderful post...
Now you know I'll have to try this!
And the white soda bread... and the Irish Oatmel cake with nut topping! All look delicious.
My not so Irish eyes are smiling. And now I'm hungry too!
Lot's of love to you!

The DIY Show Off said...

Sorry I missed dinner and dessert! This looks soooo good! Sending a link to the chef (my husband). :)

Thanks for sharing your Irish traditions!

Happy Spring!