Updated St. Patrick’s Day Classics
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
A former colleague of mine and her daughter once decided to create an entire green menu — the colour, not the concept. Green ham served alongside green mashed potatoes, green beans, green butter spread on green buns, all washed down with green milk. They must have had stock in green food colouring. Unfortunately, just looking at all that green food left them feeling a tad green. Forget the food colouring, check out this menu of updated Irish classics — corned beef and cabbage. Prepare the corned beef recipe the day before you need it. The next day, set it to a simmer and re-heat it while you whip up the cole slaw. By the way, the term ‘corned’ has nothing at all to do with that juicy summer vegetable that we enjoy eating off the cob. It actually refers to the coarse grains of salt used in the curing process. One can, however, enjoy corned beef with a side of grilled cornbread.
Montreal may be able to lay claim to hosting Canada’s longest running parade (since 1759), but most cities across the country have organized some kind of party. Otherwise, drop by an Irish pub for a corned beef sandwich and a pint of Guinness. Be sure to take a look at your local newspapers to find out exact dates and times for any St. Paddy’s Day parties in your city.
Meanwhile, give this delicious menu a try.
Corned Beef with Sweet-Hot Glaze
3-1/2 lbs corned beer round or centre-cut brisket, fat trimmed
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
1. Rinse meat well with cool water. Place in a large pot with 3 litres water. Bring to a boil over high heat; drain. Repeat this step until the water no longer tastes salty, 1 or 2 more times. Add about 2 litres water to the drained meat to cover it by about 1/2 inch. Bring to a boil on high heat; cover and simmer gently until meat is very tender when pierced, about 3-1/2 hours.
2. In a pan, stir together broth, brown sugar and horseradish. Boil over high heat until glaze is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes; stir often, and set aside.
3. Drain beef; put it in a large pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes, brushing with glaze until all of it is used. Broil about 6 inches from the heat until the top browns lightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Place meat on a platter, and serve with mustard and a glass of beer.
1 head green cabbage
4 heads red cabbage
2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
3 slices bacon
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1. Rinse and drain green cabbage. Trim a tin slice from the stem end so that the cabbie sits steadily upright. Slice 1/2 inch horizontally from cabbage top. Using a grapefruit knife, cut out the centre of the cabbage, leaving a wall about 1/2 inch thick. Finely shred trimmed cabbage, discard core.
2. In a bowl, mix shredded green cabbage with shredded red cabbage.
3. Cook bacon in a large frying pan set over medium-high heat until brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Crumble and drain on towels. Add vinegar and pepper to warm drippings in pan.
4. Mix bacon and warm dressing with shredded cabbage. Gently pull cabbage shell to open bowl slightly; set on a platter. Mound salad into the cabbage bowl.
Serve with your favourite Irish beer.