March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day. A day of green, beer and corned beef. Corned beef is actually not a traditional Irish dish. It’s an adaptation that Irish immigrants in the United States used in the late 19th century to the typical bacon and cabbage dish eaten in Ireland on this holiday. People have mixed feelings on corned beef. Some love it and look forward to this once-a-year dish. Others have issue with the texture, color, smell, etc.
My husband’s family introduced me to this version of corned beef years ago and I will never eat it any other way. This recipe has even converted some corned beef haters over the years. You would cook the meat in the traditional way – I place quartered potatoes in the bottom of my crockpot and top with the beef. Cover the potatoes with water and cook for 6+ hours.
When done, scrape the fat layer off the top and place on a rack on a cookie sheet. In a saucepan, combine 1/4 C of both water & brown sugar. Simmer together for a few minutes and stir in 1/4C Dijon mustard. Once combined, glaze the corned beef and place in a 350 degree oven for another 30 minutes. Reglaze the meat every 10 minutes.
Another dish I made this year for the first time was Colcannan: a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage and leeks. After a separate pot of peeled and quartered potatoes were boiled and drained, I sautéed leeks and cabbage in butter (Kerrygold, of course). Then add your milk or cream – I actually used a can of full-fat coconut milk and it was delish! Once the leek/cabbage mixture was bubbly, you return the potatoes to the pot and mash together. Season with salt and pepper, add more pads of butter on top and that side is ready to go!
While the corned beef is in the oven, remove the boiled potatoes from the crock pot and cover. Use the remaining hot liquid to cook sliced cabbage. After the 30 minutes is up, remove the cabbage from the liquid, slice the corned beef and serve with your favorite Irish beverage.