Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This year, the Pope moved St. Patrick's Day to Saturday, March 15th this year--today--to avoid conflict with Holy Monday on March 17th. And although I think that's just plain ridiculous, it's still a good excuse to enjoy some good Irish food!

I love corned beef--it's an institution in my family. But unlike the throw-it-all-in-a-pot boiled corned beef and cabbage of my youth, I prefer to make colcannon with either corned beef or ham.

Granted, I probably should be corning my own beef brisket, but this foodblogger has her limits.

So here's the recipe I use--I hope you'll try it for something different--if not for your St. Patrick's Day meal, perhaps as a different way to use up some leftovers.

Corned Beef & Colcannon

Corned Beef
adapted from Alton Brown's recipe

2 to 2-1/2 pound corned beef brisket (I use store-bought)
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Combine ingredients in a crock pot with enough water to cover; set to low and cook overnight (6 to 8 hours). Drain and set aside.


1-1/2 sticks butter, divided (3/4 cup)
1 small head regular green cabbage or savoy cabbage, sliced
5-6 white potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, melt 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter and saute cabbage until fork-tender.

While cabbage is cooking, boil potatoes in salted water until fork-tender (or microwave until soft) and drain. Place cooked potatoes in a large bowl and mash with remaining 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter and enough milk to reach a stiff, creamy consistency. Add cooked cabbage and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve generous spoonfuls of colcannon with pieces of cooked corned beef swirled in and a good knob of butter melting over.

Colcannon lends itself to variations--it would be excellent with the addition of caramelized onions, shallots or leeks. It's also equally delicious with ham--I love it beside some good roast beef.

Obviously this is not a diet meal with all that butter, but it's good!

Recipe previously posted here.


katiez said...

I accept the fact the the pope is meant to be all powerful - but to move St. Paddy's day? There has to be some limits....
He keeps messing with the easy stuff but doesn't seem to want to touch the hard stuff! Oh well...
Great colcannon!

Mrs. W said...

Hehe... well, he's probably still just getting his feet wet. I don't know... it was strange to move the holiday. I guess you can't have all those irishmen in drunken reverie on Holy Monday, eh?

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