Kiss My Irish Meal
As winter ebbs and gives way to the warmer days of spring, partiers recover from Valentine’s Day and start planning St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Most will drink green beer from nostalgic steins. Some will wear silly green tights and visit local pubs. Others will watch parades and the deviants will look to pinch people who forgot to wear green. We, however, set out to prepare a classic Irish meal for our closest friends.
Coming up with the main course is easy. It has to be corned beef. This peasant menu includes a cheap cut of beef, root vegetables and inexpensive greens. The appetizer is more of a struggle. We are having potatoes as a side dish so we do not want potato soup. We turn towards the coastal shores of the big island and decide on fresh Irish mussels in white wine sauce and hearty bread. So, strap on a green apron, grab a Guinness and join us in our St. Patty’s day feast.
What Makes Corn Beef Corny?
Before refrigeration, our ancestors looked for ways to preserve meats. Smoking, drying or hanging fresh meat in cloth sacks from trees were common practices. Another popular method involved covering meats with salt. The Irish used salt pellets to cure beef brisket. The salt pellets were about the size of corn kernels and called salt corns. Over time, the reference to salt was dropped and the curing process was called corning. Corned beef does not contain corn, it is corned. Its pink color comes from the sodium nitrates.
3 lbs fresh mussels soaked, culled, cleaned and debearded
¼ Cup Shallots, diced
¾ Cup White Wine
½ stick butter
½ Cup Parsley, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
½ lb beef chorizo sausage, sliced
Combine shallots, garlic and chorizo over medium heat and stir frequently until sausage is firm. In separate large sauté pan bring wine and butter to boil. Add Shallot/chorizo mixture and mussels. Cover and cook until mussels open; about 5 minutes. Remove mussels and let broth cook on high heat until it reduces by half. Place mussels in serving bowl, cover with broth, parsley and serve with hearty, crusty bread.
Glazed corned beef and root vegetables
1 Corned Beef Brisket + included spice packet
1 Onion, chopped
1 Celery Rib, chopped
In large pot combine brisket, onion and celery and spice packet. Cover with water and bring to boil over high heat. When boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 3 – 4 hours. Remove brisket from pot (reserve broth), trim fat and place in baking pan.
4 russet potatoes peeled and cut into 2” pieces
6 large carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
3 cups leftover brisket broth
Boil vegetables in broth for 20 minutes, strain and place in pan with brisket.
¼ Cup butter
1 Cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons German mustard
2 Teaspoons Horseradish
Combine ingredients in saucepan and heat, stirring constantly until all ingredients are blended. Spoon sauce liberally over brisket and vegetables.
Bake corned beef and vegetables for 25 minutes. Let beef stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
1 small head of cabbage, cored and cut into 1-2 inch strips
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
6 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook bacon in large sauté pan. When crispy, remove meat and set aside. Add garlic and onion to bacon grease and sauté until translucent. Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook over medium heat until cabbage wilts and becomes tender. Chop bacon and return to pot. Serve immediately.
We called on the culinary expertise of Nadine Moon at Who Make The Cake! (www.whomadethecake.com) to create a luck o’ the Irish themed cake. The exquisite detail on the leprechauns make this cake the centerpiece of the event.