We have been experimenting again. We were never a big corned beef and cabbage kind of guy – perhaps we would indulge on St. Patrick’s Day. We were at the store and they had corned beef on sale – we had a moment so we pondered the possibilities. Here is what we came up with – and what I did:
4-5 pound corned beef
1 head of cabbage
10 medium potatoes
1 pound of carrots
2 medium onions
salt or seasoned salt
a stick or two of butter
In a large pot, we have a six quart pot that we like, boil the Corned Beef for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (we like about 25 minutes per pound).
Set the corned beef aside (we set it on a cutting board and cover it with foil)
Chop the onions, carrots, and peeled potatoes. Put the carrots, onions, and potatoes in the corned beef water and continue boiling. This will take 25 to 28 minutes. We put the cabbage in for the last fifteen minutes. The cabbage boiling time is dependent on how crisp or mushy you like your cabbage – for this dish we like my cabbage a little mushy.
After boiling drain the water and empty the contents of the pot into a mixing bowl. Again, we like stainless steel – that is just a personal preference. Add a stick or two of butter and lots of salt – 2 to 3 teaspoons (you can substitute seasoned salt if you prefer.) Add pepper.
We use a hand potato masher to blend the ingredients. This takes some work, either muscle or time or both. We like to mash until we have the consistency of thick mashed potatoes.
Slice the Corned Beef into about 1/4 inch pieces. Serve with the Cabbage fixuns’.
This is a great meal (and there is plenty for leftovers.)
A little history – Corn is a word that was used about four hundred years ago to describe kernels or small hard particles of anything – like grains of course salts used to cure the beef. The salt was usually mixed in to a brine – water that is saturated with salt – commonly used to preserve vegetables, fish, or meat. The beef used is usually brisket, but may be round.
Corned beef became a popular meal on St. Patrick’s Day in America because the Irish were unable to obtain Irish Bacon – so they substituted corned beef. The Irish in New York were looking for something similar in taste to the Irish Bacon and learned about Corned Beef from their Jewish neighbors.
We thought we had come up with something original until we started looking around for the history of corned beef. Our mix is a variation of an old recipe called New England Boiled Dinner. Oh well, we guess there is not much new under the sun.