Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Having lived in Ireland on two separate occasions, I feel connected to the culture and will take this otherwise strange holiday as an excuse to celebrate all things Irish. That said, I’m not entirely convinced that corned beef and cabbage is, strictly speaking, an Irish tradition. Also known as New England Boiled dinner, I suspect that it was more commonly prepared by Irish immigrants in America, but it’s delicious and it’s associated with Ireland, and that’s good enough for me.
Please, for the love of your health, buy corned beef from a place you trust! You don’t need something that’s dyed pink and full of chemicals. In Ireland, the concept of free-range beef is unheard of—because they can’t imagine raising cattle any other way. This dish is like an Irish twist on pot roast. Like pot roast, the key is to cook the corned beef for a long time at a low heat. I was tempted by Suzanne Goin’s recipe, but I simplified it by sticking to the simmer-on-the-stove cooking method. I’ve also had trouble sourcing chiles in adobo that don’t contain gluten, so I just left them out. I’m sure they would have added a smoky, spicy complexity, but I wasn’t disappointed with my more traditional, fork-tender corned beef.
I purchased a 4 ½ pound cut of well-brined corned beef and let it simmer with the onions, clove, bay leaves, and thyme for just under four hours. I removed the meat from the broth to let it rest and followed the recipe to prepare the potatoes, carrots, turnips, and cabbage. Once everything was tender but not overdone, I discarded the onions, carved the meat, and displayed everything together on a platter. The parsley-mustard sauce I made in advance, while the corned beef was simmering. It’s more like a vinaigrette than a sauce, but brightened up the whole meal with fresh parsley and lemon-vinegar tanginess. Even so, I added a small amount of Dijon mustard to my beef because that’s how I like it.
Anthem’s dry hopped cider was the perfect drink to accompany this dish. This was a feast fit to celebrate my Irish friends. Sláinte!