My mother was funny about St.Patrick’s Day. She’d always make a corned beef and cabbage dinner (all about the food!) yet she wouldn’t let us wear green. She’d say. “You are not Irish. You’re Polish – wear red.” Yes, she was very proud of her Polish heritage and wanted us to be too. Many of my girlfriends were Irish so boy did I look like an outsider.
This past Saturday, I made this pretty awesome dinner if I may say so myself. It was an early St Patrick’s Day celebration with our friends, Margaret and Wayne. My corned beef didn’t come with a spice packet so I did some reading on what those spices might be and threw in my own and then some.
Margaret has a bit of Irish blood in her and she made the most beautiful and deliciously light Irish soda bread.
We served it with this new super fresh simple soup that I’ll tell you about later, because I will make it again and again.
Here you go on THE BEST CORNED BEEF!
BEST CORNED BEEF – serves 8 or 4 plus corned beef hash for 4 plus a lunch!
4.25 lbs. corned beef
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. allspice seeds
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
10 juniper berries
1/4 tsp. whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 dried bay leaves.
10-12 small red skinned potatoes
10 carrots, peeled and cut into 3 – 4″ lengths.
One head of cabbage, cut into 6 or 8 wedges.
Grainy mustard for serving
Horseradish for serving
Cover the meat completely with water, throw in the spices and bring to a boil in a very large soup pot, covered. Skim any dirty foam and reduce heat so that it just simmers for about 3 hours or until fork tender.
During the last 30 minutes of cooking add the potatoes and carrots.
Remove the meat, let rest on a board and add the cabbage wedges to the pot to cook for about 15 minutes.
Slice the beef in thin slices against the grain. Arrange in the center of a warm platter. Place the potatoes, carrots and cabbage artfully around the meat. Spoon a little warm cooking liquid over everything.
Serve with the mustard and horseradish
This corned beef was so flavorful and delicious! My piece was a little over 4 pounds as I wanted leftovers, because on Sunday morning, I made homemade corned beef hash with most of the leftover meat and potatoes!! Brilliant, right? While I need another go around at this before I share, this was a good beginning. It was flavorful but I didn’t achieve the crispy crust I was looking for and I think it would have been better if I had used a griddle pan, rather than a skillet. Just as soon as I perfect this recipe, I will share. It’s just not quite ready for prime time yet.
But isn’t this just luscious!?!
Our oldest son appeared at our apartment tonight for dinner and while he was waiting for us to come home, he had some of the leftover corned beef hash and said, “Mommm, when did you make this? It’s really great – just like a diner!”
Oh the luck of the Irish – two meals in one! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to EVERYONE!!! Spread LOVE through a great corned beef meal!