This post originally ran in March, 2012.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve put together this collection of traditional Irish dishes. And if anyone points out that these are all American traditions and not Irish, I will send that leprechaun up above over to puke on your head.
So on with the recipes!
The basic Irish dinner.
For a variation on the cabbage, try this.
Not really Irish, except that it’s made with potatoes. Yeah, I went there.
I tried this as an experiment. Look below in the reader submissions for tips on making it even better than what I did.
Made without caraway seeds … because I hate caraway seeds.
The writeup calls for white flour, but Jenn did it this year with bread flour. Oh. Mah. Gawd. This stuff is sooooooo good.
A Reuben normally has sauerkraut. But if you’ve got leftover corned beef, and leftover cabbage, and fresh-baked rye bread … I think you see where I’m going with this. (I didn’t call it a Reuben in that writeup, and I used brown mustard. For a more traditional Reuben you should really use thousand island dressing.)
I made this again the following year. See this update for some tips to make it even better.
Still got leftovers the next day? Turn them into a killer breakfast.
Nope, not even vaguely Irish. But if you’ve got any soda bread left, this is another amazing breakfast. (Jenn makes extra soda bread every year to make sure we have enough left over to make this. It’s that good.)
Not a recipe, just a tip to make the corned beef and cabbage a little quicker.
I asked readers of my newsletter for their recipes. Here’s some of what I got.
Irish Colcannon, from Jan
Irish Colcannon is a staple at my St. Paddy’s party; it is basically plain mashed potatoes with simple ingredients mixed in, Irish comfort food “glammed” up:
- 3 lbs. potatoes
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 4 T Irish Butter
- 4 cups Kale or green Cabbage, shredded
- 4 scallions, diced fine with green tops
- ¼ – ½ cup warm Milk, Cream or Half & Half
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Serves 6-8 as side dish
Boil peeled potatoes covered in cold water until fork tender. While potatoes cook, in an iron skillet braise over medium low heat: fresh garlic and butter until wilting, add shredded kale or cabbage and scallions, wilt but do not brown.
Drain and mash tender potatoes: preferably by hand with a vintage hand masher or rice them into a warm bowl or casserole, stir in wilted vegetable-butter mixture, add enough warm milk to desired consistency [fluffy but not soupy]. Keep warm until served. Note: Add more butter, Milk or greens or garlic – as preferred. I serve with Brisket or beef stew cooked in Guinness stock.
Irish lyrics about Colcannon from Mary Black
Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?
Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.
Debbie’s braised corned beef tips
I read the comments above fairly thoroughly, and thought I should offer a couple of tips.
Corned beef in foil is SO GOOD. I can’t stand eating it boiled anymore. I’ve been braising mine in foil for about 30 years now, and people FLOCK to our house when they know we’re doing corned beef.
Even though the tip or point cuts (shaped like a triangle) are cheaper, buy a flat cut (shaped like a rectangle). This will ensure even cooking throughout.
Before you wrap the meat in foil, RINSE it thoroughly in COLD water. Then pat it dry with paper towels. Discard the liquid that’s inside the package: Your meat has already been corned, and that salty goo inside the package does your end result NO favors!
Place your meat FAT SIDE UP on the heavy duty aluminum foil you’ll be wrapping it in. I like using the little packet of spices on top of the meat or, preferably, a sprinkling of corning spices from Penzey’s.
Double wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil, as others have said. Put it in a roaster or other pan in the middle of your oven. Do not cover. Bake at 250 for at least five hours.
After the five hours are up, let your meat packet (still sealed up) sit for about fifteen minutes. Then unwrap carefully (it’s HOT!) and re-wrap in a couple of layers of plastic wrap. Put in the fridge until it’s cold throughout; overnight works great!
Take out your meat and slice it deli-thin with an electric slicer, using a SMOOTH blade rather than one that’s serrated.
Trust me. This is the most wonderful, non-salty, flavorful corned beef this side of Katz’s deli. Totally moist and yummy!
PYI-GYI NGA KAZUN YWET*
1 ts Dried red hot chili flakes
1 tb Fresh lemon juice
2 ts Soy sauce
1 ts Brown sugar
2 ts Corn OR peanut oil
1Â Â Â Clove garlic, chopped fine
1 lb Fresh squids, dressed, cut into ½-inch round slices
¼ lb Dandelion greens, green leaves only, halved
Watercress and Swiss chard are good substitutes for dandelion since they all have a slightly bitter but appealing taste.
1. Mix the chili flakes, lemon juice, soy sauce, and sugar together. Let stand for 15 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet and over moderate heat fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add the squid slices and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the chili/lemon mixture and continue to fry.
3. Add the dandelion greens and cook for 2 minutes more. Do not overcook since it toughens the squid.
[* NOTE: I asked people, “What do you traditionally make for St. Paddy’s Day. This is what someone sent.]
Home-cured Corned Beef from Nourished Kitchen
It’s a little late to do this one for St. paddy’s day this year, but there’s no reason you can’t have corned beef any time. Go check out how easy it is.
PS: If you’re offended by the leprechaun picture up top, know that I was thinking about using this one instead.