Cook a Delicious Traditional St. Patricks Day Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner for a Crowd
Cook a Delicious "Traditional" St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner For a Crowd.
Every year thousands of Irish Americans and "Irish for a day" Americans gather with their family and friends to enjoy the "traditional" Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage. But believe it or not, this is not an Irish dish! Although the potatoes and cabbage are an Irish food, corned beef has only begun to be associated with St. Patrick's Day at the turn of the century.
What happened back then is that the Irish immigrants living in New York City's lower east side started to substitute their more expensive traditional dish of Irish bacon for corned beef which was less expensive. They learned about this substitute from their Jewish friends in the neighborhood. Lucky for us that the tradition continued! We can all enjoy this dish at least once a year and celebrate!
This "traditional" corned beef and baggage recipe starts from scratch and will feed about 12-15 hungry mouths. If you have any leftovers (doubtful!), slice the corned beef as thin as you can and use it to make Reuben sandwiches instead of the usual pastrami. Delicious! If this recipe is too large for your family however, just cut it in half. But be careful with the liquids and seasonings. You might want to use almost the same amount as for the big recipe. Always taste and adjust the seasonings.
To start with you'll need to take a trip to the grocery store. Pick out a nice 6 pound corned beef brisket or round, spiced or unspiced. Ask your butcher if you can't find one in the meat department. He should be able to help you. Next, do the rest of your shopping. You'll need 2 lbs. of regular onions, 2 ½ lbs. of fresh carrots, 3 lbs. of green cabbage and 2 ½ lbs. of small red potatoes. You can weigh your produce on your grocer's scale in the produce department to purchase the correct amount. Now that you're got your produce and corned beef it's onto the spice department.
You may or may not have to purchase some of these spices. It all depends on what you have in your panty at home. You'll need mustard seed, coriander seed, black peppercorns, dill seed, whole allspice, and bay leaves. Next, onto the last ingredients and condiments. You'll need to buy one bottle (6 ounces) of Irish Stout beer, (a good one to use is Guinness Stout). Next, find malt vinegar. This may be tricky and hard to find, but scour the vinegar section. A good one is Heinz Gourmet Malt vinegar in a 12 oz. jar. If you can't find this you may be able to find a "Fish and Chip Vinegar" which will work nicely. You may have to ask your grocer for help, but don't leave the store unless you've purchased this important ingredient, or instead, go find a store that does sell it. You need this ingredient! The last things you will need are all optional and up to you. Look for course grain mustard, Dijon mustard, orange marmalade and sugar. Whew! You're finally done! The fun part is coming next.
For your convenience here's a shopping list you can copy and paste to Word or Notebook and print it out to take to your grocery store:
2 pounds of onions
2 ½ pounds of carrots
A 6 pound corned beef brisket or round, spiced or unspiced
1 cup of malt vinegar
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon mustard seed
½ tablespoon dill seed
½ tablespoon whole allspice
6 ounces of Irish stout beer (or any kind of good stout beer)
½ tablespoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 pounds of green cabbage
2 ½ pounds of small red potatoes
Optional, ½ cup course grainy mustard
Optional, ½ cup Dijon mustard
Optional, ½ cup to 1 cup orange marmalade
Now, once you've gathered your groceries home and stored them in the fridge, it's time to prepare the veggies if you're planning on cooking your meal the next day:
1.) Scrub the red potatoes.
2.) Peel the carrots and chop them into 1 ½-2 inch chunks preferably on the diagonal, (you can cut the larger carrots in half first).
3.) Peel and chop the onions to be used first into large dice sizes to fill one cup. Cut the rest of the onions into 8 wedges apiece.
4.) Slice each head of cabbage into 8 wedges taking out the tough core.
Store your prepared veggies in the fridge until cooking time.
When you're ready to cook your Irish dinner you'll need to break out a heavy-duty pot large enough to hold 4 gallons of liquid for this large quantity recipe. Of course if you halve the recipe you can use a smaller pot. A good stock pot for the big recipe or a Dutch oven pot for the smaller recipe are both good choices.
Next, divide the carrots. Place enough to fill one cup and reserve the rest. Place the corned beef roast in the bottom of the pot. Add the one cup of chopped carrots and one cup of chopped onions on top of the roast. Pour the malt vinegar, stout beer, black peppercorns, whole allspice, the mustard, coriander and dill seeds and bay leaves over the veggies. Pout in enough water in the pot to cover the corned beef. Stir to combine the liquids, veggies and spices. Bring the water up to a boil, then turn down to simmer for about 3 hours. The meat should be fork-tender.
After the corned beef is cooked add the reserved carrots, onions and red potatoes to the pot. Next, place the cabbage wedges on top of them. Cover the pot and return to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 min. until the potatoes and cabbage are fork-tender.
The next step is serving time! If you have a pretty platter, use it to serve this lovely dish. Slice the corned beef against the grain into thin slices and arrange then on your platter. Next, add the veggies and cabbage next to the meat. Serve on the table, family-style. You can place your Dijon mustard and coarse grainy mustard in pretty bowls to serve alongside the platter as a delicious condiment.
If you would like to serve a sweet-glazed corned beef, here is a scrumptious option: Before the veggies and cabbage are added to the pot at the end, remove the roast to a baking pan. Mix your orange marmalade, some Dijon mustard and a moderate amount of sugar in a bowl. Make sure you preheat your oven to 350 degrees before you add the veggies to the pot. Now, brush the sweet glaze on the roast and place it in the oven to finish roasting for the last 20-30 minutes while the veggies are cooking. Serve the same way on the table family-style along with frosty mugs of green ale or beer. What a wonderful way to celebrate St. Paddy's Day!
Lots of folks who cooked this recipe gave it high praise saying it was the best corned beef and cabbage dinner they have ever eaten, and others couldn't say enough about the malt vinegar which gave it that extra incredible flavor. Try this dish for yourself and it's almost for sure that you'll start making it every year for your St. Patrick's Day celebration! Also, please give your review in the comment area so other readers can learn from your opinion!