Corned beef and cabbage is widely thought of as a traditional Irish meal–seemingly the perfect meal with which to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day. But the truth is, the Irish have moved on, and, just as the St. Patrick’s Day holiday itself is a much bigger deal in the US than in Ireland, the Irish are not big eaters of corned beef and cabbage. Like any food that we only eat once a year, there’s usually a good reason–that it only tastes good with a big dose of tradition and sentimentality. That said, if you’re looking for a classic boiled corned beef and cabbage recipe, I’ve got a fantastic one for you. If you’re looking for some alternatives, I’ve got a few ideas for that, too.
Corned beef is heavily salted, preserved meat. And to many palettes, my husband included, it’s delicious. I am more of a classic roast kind of girl, and so I offer up this incredibly simple and tasty roast beef with a easy Madeira sauce over on Brooklyn Supper. Sure, Madeira isn’t exactly traditional, but Irish culture is increasingly global, and I think they’d want you to embrace the change.
And now for the cabbage. I love cabbage, really. And especially as we wait for other things to grow, you have to appreciate that this healthy vegetable can even make it this long into the winter. But, of all the ways it could be prepared, I’d have to say that boiled is my least favorite. As I said above, if you want boiled cabbage I’ve got a great recipe here, but if you’re after something slightly off the beaten path, how about this hearty, seasonal split pea and cabbage soup?
Look, I’m not trying to shake things up too much here, but if you want to have some fresh flavors with your St. Patrick’s celebration give these ideas a try. Now, please pass me a Guinness and let’s eat!