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Monday, March 14, 2011


St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.
~~ Adrienne Cook.~~

On St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish!  It's such a fun holiday to break up the doldrums of a too long winter.When I was a child, my friends and I would painstakingly choose our outfits for the day, making certain to wear enough green to avoid being pinched.  Big chunky strands of yarn were in vogue, and we wore them in large, loopy bows to tie our hair.  The local five and dime store sold all sorts of novelty, such as cheap shamrock pins and little leprechaun  necklaces.  By the time we were dressed we looked more like we were wearing a costume, but it was such fun.  When my boys were young, I always packed their lunchpails with sandwiches  made with bread dyed green.  I didn't learn until much later, that they never ate those sandwiches.  But they never turned down a meal of corned beef and cabbage.  Here's the recipe:

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I  (2-3 lb.) corned beef brisket
3 Tbsp. good mustard (such as Dijon or a nice German one)
1 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
carrots, cabbage and potatoes

Soak  brisket in water overnight.  Drain water.  Place brisket in a Dutch oven  with enough water to cover by an inch or two.  Add the spice packet that comes with the brisket.  Cover and boil until tender. (about 1 hour per pound).  Take the meat from the broth and pat dry with a paper towel.  Reserve the broth.  Combine the mustard  and honey and spread over top of the brisket. Sprinkle the brown sugar over top.  Bake at 400 degrees for one half hour.  While the corned beef is in the oven, add as many carrots and potatoes as desired to the broth and boil until tender. The last 15 minutes add the cabbage.  Placing the brisket under the broiler for a few minutes to caramelize the brown sugar is nice.  Serve on a nice platter with the vegetables surrounding  the brisket.  Delicious!

If you are fortunate to have any leftovers, the next day you can make a wonderful hash.  Here's the recipe:

Corned Beef Hash

1 lb. peeled and diced potatoes (or the leftover ones)
1/2 lb. corned beef, cubed   (you can buy some from the deli unsliced if you don't have any leftover)
2 Tbsp. oil
1 C. chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. mustard
2 Tbsp. butter
a poached egg for each diner

Boil the potatoes until fork tender.  Drain. Or skip this step if you are using leftovers.  In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat.  Saute the onions and garlic. Add the butter.  Add the potatoes and salt and pepper.  (You may need extra oil at this point).  Fry the potatoes until the are soft and golden on the outside.  Reduce the heat to low.  Add the corned beef and  mustard.  Press the mixture into the skillet.  Cook until browned on one side.  Carefully turn the mixture over.  Brown the other side.  Serve with the eggs.

Corned beef hash is so wonderful, I buy an extra brisket and prepare two.  Then cube it and freeze it for later.  Corned beef briskets are usually lost leaders this time of year.  I've seen prices ranges from $1.69- $2.19 a pound.  You can't find too many cuts of meat cheaper, so it might be a good idea to buy extra.

The best way to enjoy corned beef is with The Chieftains  music playing in the background.  After dinner it's nice to watch The Quiet Man.  That's how I'll be spending my St. Patrick's Day!


  1. I love how you will spend your day! We went to a restaurant an Irish restaurant this weekend and the bag pipe player treated us to the music from "The Quiet Man." Guess who could tell him what movie it was from? And, guess who got their tea for free!??

    Can you believe we ever wore those huge hunks of yarn?? I looooonggeed for one of each colour! LOL And enough hair to hold 'em!

  2. Matty, what good fortune to love old movies. That restaurant sounds like fun. We used to go to an Irish restaurant called The Daughtry Hotel, it looked like an old tea room, the decor probably hadn't been changed since the 1940s. They had the best scones! I just remembered about the hunks of yarn today. I guess we had some silly fashions back then also!

  3. I have no recollection of the hunks of yarn you "kids" are talking about. And I don't really remember doing much for St. Patrick's day. Maybe because it is the day after my birthday and I was always wrapped up in my own celebration!

    But I do LOVE Corned Beef and Cabbage. My Dad made it for us just a couple of weeks ago. Your recipe sounds very interesting. I may have to try it since it won't be long before I'll have to learn to cook my own brisket.

  4. Sandy, the yarn fad was very brief, so I'm sure many people missed it! I never thought much of corned beef, until I started making it this way. It's so nice and tender. I pray that your father will have a full recovery, and while he might hand over the corned beef making reins to you, he'll be able to supervise!

  5. Thanks, Jane for your prayers. Both Mom and Dad are doing very well and our plans to move ahead to smaller quarters with more help available are going well, too. It has turned into a special time for the family as we make these big changes. While their new kitchen will be pretty tiny, I'm hoping Dad is still interested in doing some cooking. He has turned into quite a chef in his retirement years.

  6. Hi Jane, I too wore those yarn bows/ribbons! I loved them and like Matty, had them in many colors. My Dad also loved corn beef and cabbage and was usually the one to make it for the family. It was always so much fun to watch him eat it, he was a man who truly enjoyed his food. I haven't made it in a while because my mother-in-law needs to watch her salt intake pretty closely, but one of these days when she off visiting I am going to have try your recipe! I never thought of putting honey or brown sugar in it, I bet that is the perfect secret ingredient. Have a great day! Delisa :)

  7. You're right Delisa, corned beef can be pretty salty. I find that soaking it helps somewhat. Both you and Sandy have fathers that cook. That's wonderful. I can only remember my dad making one thing. Very peppery fried potatoes. I think he used about half a can of pepper! They sure were memorable!

  8. Do you ever bake "soda bread"? I tried some for the first time a few years ago and we really enjoy adding it to our St. Patrick's Day meal. My children prefer the potato/corned beef hash over the plain corned beef so that is often what I cook.

  9. Hi Shara! I often get motivated to make soda bread around St. Pat's Day but then always get sidetracked. My boys loved hash. I made it often to use up leftover roasts and even chicken.

  10. Love you recipes -we had our corned beef last week Bat couldn't wait any longer! I'll have to try the hash. sounds Great

  11. Hey Mom -

    This is the second time I had to look up this recipe for hash. Erin made a pork roast this week and I'm going to try making the hash with that this morning.

  12. Oh Jane you have brought back a memory I had forgotten, I wore that fat yarn in my hair too..pigtails! For some reason I can only remember them being red, maybe that's the only color I had. Thanks for the memories!

    1. I was lucky Lori. I had three older stylish sisters that always had the latest fads. Goodness! Life was fun back then!

  13. Yes lucky you, I always wanted a sister! I had good brothers but it just wasn't the same.