Every year on St. Patrick’s Day, my mom makes corned beef and cabbage for dinner. It is a tradition I have grown to really appreciate, because it only comes once a year and the meal is so delicious! Plus, Ed loves it. I make quite a few vegetarian or fish dinners, which he likes, but anytime I do a big meat and potatoes meal he’s extra happy. Anyway, our dinner turned out pretty delicious so I thought I’d share some of the recipes with you! I apologize for the bad photos... still using my iphone until I find the time to research which new camera I should buy since our old one finally broke (any suggestions are welcomed...).
Corned Beef & Cabbage
I got my corned beef at Oliver’s Meat Market on 6th & Williams St. in Denver. It’s a few blocks from our house and I love the guys that work there! It is family owned and run and they are always so friendly and helpful. I picked up some red potatoes and cabbage at Vitamin Cottage and a Colorado-grown onion at In Season Local Market (if you live in Denver and haven’t been to this place, I highly recommend it – they only sell things that are grown locally and organically! And, they're going to start FREE delivery!). The guy at Oliver’s told me exactly how to cook the corned beef and vegetables. The past three years I’ve used the crock pot, but this year I upgraded to my new Le Creuset dutch oven (awesome wedding gift, by the way). I know it’s not difficult to cook corned beef and cabbage, but keep in mind that a) I’m not a chef and don’t know much about cooking at all and b) I’ve only used my dutch oven once before!
I rinsed the corned beef and put it into the dutch oven, covered it with water, and added bay leaves, peppercorns and cloves. I brought it to a boil on the stovetop, then transferred it to the oven. Oven was set at 275 degrees.
Irish Soda Bread
I used a recipe from The Healthy Irishman (follow him on Twitter here). After lots of research, I chose his soda bread recipe because it was not only the most basic, but also the most authentic. I found out that traditionally, Irish soda bread didn’t include butter, sugar, or any other “extras” that people now add. It was flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. I used these ingredients, substituting whole wheat flour for regular flour, and also added some caraway seeds and currants to give it a little flavor. I made my own buttermilk using lemon juice and raw milk. This was absolutely the easiest bread I’ve ever made. Bread can be intimidating, but this was not. I highly recommend it! Mine turned out a little dry, but Irish soda bread is usually dry, and it was still really tasty. Recipe is here. We ate this for breakfast today, toasted, and it was still really good.
I couldn’t find an Irish dessert that looked appetizing enough to make. All of the traditional Irish desserts were too labor-intensive, and the other ones I found were things like green cupcakes or shamrock cookies. Maybe if we were having a party I’d take the time to make those, but not for just Ed and me. So, instead I made a fig and banana parfait recipe I got from Alison Anton of Anton Health & Nutrition. Not exactly Irish, but healthy and delicious so it worked.
The recipe is here. I used a banana instead of the 2 plums, and I used macadamia nuts, not cashews, for the nut cream. For some reason my nut cream didn’t turn out light and fluffy and pretty like hers did… not sure what I did wrong, but it still tasted amazing and even Ed liked the healthy dessert!
So, that was our St. Paddy’s Day meal… I’m guessing corned beef went on sale today, so if you missed out on a traditional Irish meal, there’s still time to make it!