Monday, March 14, 2011
ERIN GO BRAGH EARLY!
~~ 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!