By Heidi Sutton
The luck of the Irish and all things green are celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day, which is on March 17 every year. Initially a day to honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, over time the holiday has evolved into a rejoicing of Irish heritage and culture. Of course, no celebration would be complete without delicious food.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Recipe courtesy of New York City Food cookbook by Arthur Schwartz
YIELD: Serves 6 to 8
1 4- to 5-pound corned beef brisket
1 teaspoon pickling spices
1 head cabbage
2 pounds boiling potatoes
6 to 8 small carrots (optional)
Place the corned beef in a pot that holds at least 5 quarts of water. Cover completely with cold water. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer. As soon as bubbles start to break on the surface of the water, adjust the heat so the water simmers very, very gently. With a slotted spoon, skim off the residue that accumulates on the surface.
When the residue stops coming to the surface, add the pickling spices. Continue to cook, with bubbles just gently breaking on the surface, for 3 to 4 hours, until fork tender. The meat can be safely held in its water for about 2 hours; reheat gently. Cook the vegetables until fork tender in separate pots of boiling fresh water or, especially for the cabbage, use some of the water in which the corned beef was cooked.
Slice the corned beef and serve with mustard and/or horseradish on a platter, surrounded with some of the vegetables or with vegetables in a separate bowl.
Grandma Freeley’s Irish Soda Bread
Recipe courtesy of Mark T. Freeley, Esq.
YIELD: Makes 1 bread
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup raisins
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Stir in the caraway seeds, cut in the butter with a knife until the mix looks like coarse ground grain and stir in the raisins. Beat the egg into the buttermilk, pour into center of bowl, mix in the dry ingredients and turn dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead lightly into a ball and place into a round casserole. Slash the ball with an X. Brush bread with an egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water. Bake for one hour. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Let set for 10 minutes and remove from casserole onto a wire rack to cool.