Corned beef and cabbage is everyone’s favorite meal from across the Atlantic. Beef brisket is brined in spices and many flavorings then cooked with carrots, onions and cabbage.
Corned Beef and Cabbage is a dish that is synonymous with St Patrick’s Day, but only in the U.S. What?
Yes! This is true. Of all the dishes the Irish are eating on this day, this dish is not one of them.
Corned beef has been around for centuries and is most popular in England, not Ireland where it is also sold in cans.
In the 17th Century, the British land owners brought the cattle into Ireland, but the Irish could not afford to eat the beef because it was considered a luxury. Pork was more their traditional meat to eat, and the dish boiled bacon and cabbage.
So how did corned beef and cabbage makes its way to the U.S.?
In the 1800’s when the Irish first started arriving on the shores of North America, they yearned for some home-style dishes, and since beef was more readily available and cheaper to buy here, this excited them that they ate like kings.
So it became the meat of choice for the newly Irish-Americans who still eat it to this day. I’m sure that boiled bacon and cabbage is not going to catch-on anytime soon in the U.S.
The name ‘corned beef’ comes from the corn shaped rock salt that is (and used to be) used to cure the meat before cooking. For ease of product availability, I did not use or specify this salt in the recipe, I used regular coarse salt which gets the job done.
Irish ex-pats do love to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It seems more than the Irish back home, because on this day you will see lots of celebrating with green beer, green food and even green rivers.
In Ireland, it used to more of a religious celebration with the donning of a shamrock badge and attending mass. It has also grown over in the homeland to become a great celebration with parades and green clothing.
When it came to choosing the brisket for this recipe I wanted the best and freshest cut I could find since it must brine/cure for 10 days.
I bought my brisket from a local meat market and watched them cut the beef fresh off the bone. This was a very cool experience and I knew it was going to be as fresh as I could get.
This may seem like a laborious undertaking for some boiled meat, but trust me, when corned beef is done right, it can’t be beat. Another advantage of making your own from scratch, is the store bought already-brined corned beef comes with the addition of sodium nitrates which gives the beef it’s distinct pink color.
As you can see from the pictures, the beef I made has a strip of brown through the center, this shows it was not prepared with this food additive.
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