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Thursday, March 16. 2017
St. Paddy's Day is tomorrow, but we're doing the food for Sunday brunch. Just wanted to set the record straight on the historical facts. Even worse, his name wasn't Patrick.
He was an England-born slave of Irish raiders.
The Irish do not cook Corned Beef and Cabbage - except for American tourists
What is Irish? Shepherd's Pie is.
I happen to love corned beef and cabbage (plus potatoes) - as long as there is plenty of horseradish mustard and beer.
The real name of the meal is New England Boiled Dinner. I cook it all together in a giant pot. If the beef needs a knife, it's underdone. I think it should almost crumble.
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Well, I do know all that stuff but I could care less and will be having, as usual, corned beef and cabbage on St.Patrick's Day.
It would be interesting to find out how corned beef and cabbage became the "official" dinner of St. Patrick's day.
Could it be because Irish families, when they first immigrated to America, would often have stew for dinner as a way to stretch their food dollar and feed a large family?
It is wonderful being married a real honest-to-pete 100% Irish lass who can make a wicked Shepherds Pie. She spent a lot of time as a young lady visiting Ireland with her parents and learned it from her Grandmother who lived in a little coastal village (with an unprouncable Gaelic name) due West of Galway.
Nom, nom, nom....
So you can say I'm Irish by marriage - HA!!
And I love corn beef and cabbage or as you say, New England Boiled Dinner.
Bacon and cabbage (and boiled potatoes in their jackets) was the most common meal eaten in Ireland up until about a generation or two ago.
Maybe corned beef was easier to get in America- it's salty and looks close enough to bacon
Liverpool is Irish through and through and we eat plenty of corned beef and cabbage.
I grew up in the 40's and 50's within sight of Boston. The restaurants served a New England boiled dinner as a standard menu item and as a special every Thursday. As I remember rutabagas were a staple as were potatoes and cabbage. Some kind of meat usually but not always corned beef. Sometimes carrots but more often not and a thin gravy or gruel that was tasty enough to clean off the plate with your bread. To this day it is my favorite meal.
I believe that corned beef was introduced to the Irish as a ham substitute by the Jewish people that lived in the tenements with them. It was tasty as well as affordable and was similar to the Ham and cabbage that the Irish had as a staple at home. At least that's what my grandfather told me and he came here ~1910.
One other point. Way back then most people in the Boston area called rutabagas "turnips" (which I believe that they actually are in that family). So when you see "turnips" in a recipe from New England it could well be that they meant rutabagas.
Any one else catch this howler in the link:
"In the 17th and 18th centuries, the cattle raised in the country were often used for corned beef -- which then went primarily into the mouths of British civilians and the British and U.S. military"?
Really? Which branch of the US military was consuming beef in the 17th century?
Saint Patrick was a witch hunter who rounded up the old pagan women of Ireland and threw them into the sea where they "became mermaids". Snakes are a metaphor for pagans.
Indeed ... working people's food in Yankee land. The Jewish folks brought us the red corned beef (New England style is a rather ugly brownish grey looking thing). The Irish immigrants adopted the dish. It's good eats no matter the history.
BTW, anyone have a line on where to get the New England style Corned Beef out here in the mid-west?
I remember the first and perhaps the last time I had a New England Boiled Dinner. At Newport while in OCS. You ate what you got and boiled meat, boiled potatoes, boiled cabbage, boiled carrots was somewhat disconcerting, though not terrible with mustard. Topped off with tapioca pudding. I decided then and there to seek assignment somewhere other than New England.
Instead I ended up on a hydro ship out of Seattle, where many felt that salt was a spice instead of a staple. That is why McIlhenny's make tiny bottles of tabasco sauce.
The best Shepard's Pie I've ever had my wife made it. She was Japanese-German (you might say I surrendered to the power of the Axis).
My Danish mother was the person who made the Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. (delish) Once we went over to my (real) Irish aunt and dined on her CBC, my father warned me in advance not to say anything bad about the food. That woman could burn water.
It became my firm belief that ethnicity bestowed no advantage whatsoever. But someone how is a natural good cook can rise to the occasion with any dish.
Up here in Canada we get corned beef but we also get a similar product, Montreal Smoked Meat. It's beef brisket too, but somewhat different and better, I think.
When you say "boil" do you mean "steam"? Because we steam it, not boil it.
It just occurred to me, I'm working way to hard on my blog.
I annoy my wife by pointing out that if it's made with beef, it's technically Cottage Pie.
My (half) Irish grandmother always made ham & cabbage, never corned beef. It was a regular family meal growing up. When I was a little kid my best friend's mom made to-die-for rice pudding, another Irish staple.
As A Canadian resident of Ireland and a Catholic, this is something I find a bit annoying. There is Paddy's day , there is Patrick's day, There is St. Patrick's day... but there is NO St. Paddy's day.Sure corned beef and cabbage is not Irish but I greatly enjoy Bacon ( in the Irish sense.) and cabbage with spuds several times per week.
Take corned beef, wash, make a sauce of brown sugar and yellow mustard, coat the meat a slow cook in a 275 degree oven until falling apart done. Not boiled dinner, but very tasty.
HINT: Do not boil the cabbage. Add it to the hot broth at the end & gently heat to desired tenderness. Boiling releases nasty sulfides. I have 4 mature heads in my garden now. I cook it often in chicken broth with green onions, a coloring of carrots, & sugar-cured ham, with a slab of hot buttered corn bread. Yum.
All the times I have made corned beef I have boiled it with loads of spices then carrots, onions, and potatoes, for hours, until it falls apart.
The bacon in Ireland is more like Canadian bacon we get in the states, not like our bacon bacon.
As a Canadian and a Catholic with enough Irish in him to more than qualify as "Irish-Canadian", I'm not that bothered with "St Paddy's Day" (I personally never use Patrick or Paddy without Saint in front of it as regards 17 March).
What I do find very odd though is the increasing use of "St Patty's Day" which I see more and more both in Canada and the US. I associate "Patty" with Patricia, not Patrick.
As an aside, the British Army in Upper Canada during the War of 1812 was victualled on salted beef (and pork) from Ireland, supplemented with not inconsiderable quantities of fresh beef from, er, northern New York State.
War or not, business is business!
We understand the Irish bought over corned pork
loin. Since is was pork and fabulous, beef brisket was substituted. Still fabulous.