Martie’s Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe for Saint Patrick’s Day
By Martie Hevia | Blue Beach Song™ [Tweaked: March 16, 2017]
Cooking is one of those creative things that I have always loved doing. I thank my grandparents for that. They were amazing culinary artists who taught me to trust my palate and create my own recipes. Learning to cook was always about tasting and taking risks. Whenever I tried to take notes and jot down measurements, my grandparents would insist that I put pen and paper away.
Cooking was not a science to them, it was an art form, it was fun, it was the essence of family and love. You have to feel it, taste it, trust yourself, enjoy it, and share it. Most of the dishes that I learned to cook with my grandparents were based in Spanish cuisine and family recipes. But over the years I have developed my own recipes, most of which I never write down, they are most often inspired impromptu creations with whatever I find in the kitchen or the garden.
Once in a while I write down my recipes, mostly for my daughter, my little Irish lassie, who also loves to cook. So for St. Patrick’s Day I am sharing with you my Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe that I traditionally make for St. Patrick’s Day. If you try it out, I hope you enjoy it.
For now, I’ll leave the men out there with a few Gaelic words of wisdom: Ná glac pioc comhairle gan comhairle ban. (Which translates to: Never take advice without a woman’s guidance!)
Gotta love the Irish!
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
Martie’s Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe
· 4lbs. Corned Beef Brisket
· 1 lg. or 2 small Cabbage Heads – peel away outer darker bitter leaves
· 6 medium or 10 small Potatoes red or white (avoid Russets)
· 2 large Carrots – peeled and quartered
Note: Some Irish Catholics, especially back East, will not eat the carrots. For them, the carrots are there just to take the bitterness out of the cabbage and to remind one of the hated “Orangemen,” Protestants of the Orange Order. (No offense intended to Protestants or men of the Orange Order – a simple history lesson. But if you are Protestant, by all means eat the carrots — guilt free!)
· 1 large Onion – white or red – I prefer red
· 1-2 bottles of Beer – Guinness or Killian’s Red to up the Irish factor – I use one of each
· 1 tsp Salt
· 4 tsp Garlic powder
· 2 Bay Leaves
· 4 large Garlic cloves or 2 TBS minced garlic
· 5-10 whole black Peppercorn – to preference
· 4 TBSP chopped Parsley
· 3 TBSP Butter – not margarine
· 3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
· 1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar or White Cider Vinegar
· Rinse the brisket, trim some of the fat if you like, pat down with paper towel.
· Place 1 TBSP Butter & 1 TBSP EVOO on the bottom of a large pot, turn heat to medium high, when butter is melted place brisket on bottom and brown all four sides.
· Pour 1-2 bottle(s) of beer – helps flavor and tenderize the meat – I use two.
· Add corned beef spices that came with the brisket.
· Add 5-10 black Peppercorns – to taste/preference
· Add 4 large garlic cloves or 2 TBSP of minced garlic
· Add 2 tsp of garlic powder
· Add 1 tsp of salt – if needed, depends on the amount of liquid needed to cover the brisket
· Add 2 Bay leaves
· Add 1 large Onion – whole or cut in half
· Add water to cover brisket and bring to a boil for 5 minutes – skim off foamy residue that comes up, if you like.
· Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 3 hours for a 4-pound brisket. The last hour we will add the potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. In total, the beef will cook for 1 hour per pound or until it falls apart with a fork.
· After 3 hours of simmering, add smallish potatoes whole or half or quarter larger potatoes, and place on top of the brisket. (If you must use Russets, peel first. Reds or whites will be better.)
· If you want to eat the carrots (big no-no for some Irish Catholic), then place the peeled and halved or quartered carrots in with the potatoes, if not, put the carrots in with the cabbage later on.
· Add water, if needed, to cover brisket and potatoes (and possibly carrots) and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes – check potatoes for almost tenderness – they will cook another 20 minutes with the cabbage later.
· After 30-40 minutes of simmering the brisket and potatoes, add the wedges of cabbage (peel away outer bitter leaves, first) and quartered carrots on top of the brisket and potatoes.
· Add water, if needed, to cover brisket, potatoes, cabbage and carrots and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
· Take brisket and set on plate to rest for 10-15 minutes, and then cut against grain.
· Take potatoes out, place in bowl, and toss with 1-2 tsp garlic powder, 1-2 TBSP butter, and 2-4 TBSP chopped parsley, adjust for taste and number of potatoes. Taste for salt, it should not need any. (Optionally, sometimes I sauté the potatoes for color with the butter and garlic powder, sprinkling the parsley after plating.)
· Take cabbage out, place next to brisket on plate and drizzle with mixture of 1-2 tsp of vinegar and 1-2 TBSP of EVOO, adjust for taste and amount of cabbage. Taste for salt, it should not need any. (Optionally, sometimes I place the cabbage wedges on a hot pan with a little EVOO for color. After plating, drizzle a little of the EVOO and vinegar mixture.)
· Take the carrots out and garnish the plate with them, but remember that for some staunch Irish Catholics the carrots are only there as garnish and to remind one of the struggles of the Irish Catholic against the “Orangemen.” (If you are Protestant or just really love carrots, then by all means, enjoy!)
So, that’s it. I tweak it every time I make it, but that’s part of the fun, so play with it. If you don’t have the time to make it on St. Patty’s Day, do what I do and make the corned beef and cabbage the night before. Make sure to let it cool thoroughly, then refrigerate, and simmer to heat up on St. Patty’s Day. It actually tastes better the next day – all the flavors mesh together overnight.
It is 10:00 p.m. right now on March 16th – St. Patty’s Eve – and I just finished making it. The aroma wafting around the house is delicious beyond words.
It is 9:30 a.m. on St. Patty’s Day and I have embedded photos above from the Corned Beef & Cabbage I made last night. If you try out the recipe, please let me know how it turned out.
(Good luck with yours and have a Happy St. Patty’s Day! -Martie)
Martie Hevia (c) 2010 All Rights Reserved | @BlueBeachSong
Resources for a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
NPR-Music – An Irish Music Stream – 7 hours of Irish Music!
ST. PATRICK’S DAY | Did You Know…
The tri-colored Irish flag holds great meaning… the green represents the native people of Ireland, the Gaelic tradition, the color of independence, and the Irish Catholics; the orange represents the British who supported King William (III) of Orange and the northern Ireland Protestants; and the white in between the green and orange represents the peace between the two groups.
Saint Patrick, Naomh Pádraig, a bishop in Ireland in 432, helped convert royalty, aristocracy and poor people to Catholicism. Folklore says he used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. After 30 years of missionary service, Saint Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD, recognized as the patron saint of Ireland by the eighth century. [Wikipedia – Saint Patrick]
The traditional Saint Patty’s Day Corned Beef and Cabbage meal is an Irish-American tradition, which started in New York City with the Irish immigrants of the 1800’s. In Ireland they will make it for the tourists, but they prefer Irish bacon back, cabbage and greens. In fact the Irish traditionally eat mostly pork, not corned beef. The cows were used for milking and making cheeses, rarely eaten for their meat.
The first Saint Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City on March 17, 1762, made up of mostly Irish soldiers serving in the British military. In the years that followed, New York Irish Aid Societies held their own parades. In 1848, some of these aid societies united to form one Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York City, “the world ‘s oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants.” [The History Channel – St. Patrick’s Day]