For centuries, the Irish have used cabbage and potatoes as a staple in their diet.
While quality Irish bacon was originally served with cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, many Irish immigrants in the United States could not afford bacon, so they used corned beef as a substitute. The trend caught on, and today, corned beef and cabbage is often the centerpiece of this holiday celebration and is served with a slice of traditional Irish soda bread.
Corned Beef with Cabbage
4 pounds corned beef brisket
3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
6-8 small onions
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. parsley
1 head of cabbage
1 1/2 pounds potatoes (boiled separately)
- Place brisket in a large pot. Top with carrots, onions, thyme, and parsley. Cover with cold water, and heat until the water just begins to boil. Cover the pot with the lid, lower the heat, and simmer the mixture for 2 hours.
- Using a large knife, cut the cabbage into quarters, and add the cabbage wedges to the pot.
- Cook for another 1 to 2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are soft and tender.
- Remove the vegetables to a platter or bowl, cover with foil, and keep them warm.
- Remove the brisket, place it on a cutting board, and slice it.
- Serve the corned beef slices on a platter, surrounded by the vegetables.
- Ladle a little of the cooking liquid over the meat and vegetables.
- Serve with a side of boiled potatoes.
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup raisins
2 tbs. caraway seeds
1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add raisins and caraway seeds. Add buttermilk all at once and mix.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured board. Form into a round loaf on a well-greased baking sheet.
- With a knife, carefully mark an X across the top of the loaf. Lay a piece of foil over the loaf. Bake for 5 minutes. Lower heat to 325°F and bake 30 minutes more. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes, until the loaf is slightly browned.
- Cut into wedges and serve with butter.