So here we are, into our third month of 2017 already. Can you believe it? Time really does fly. Every year at this time I eagerly await the arrival of packaged corned beef in the meat departments of our grocery stores. I almost hate to admit how much I like corned beef and cabbage meals, but here goes the truth: a few years ago I prepared that meal nine times. Yeah, you read it correctly, nine times. I figured that since I loved the meal so much, why limit the enjoyment of it to just once a year (although I can see the wisdom of that). Even my cat went through a period of yowling to be fed every time she knew we were about to eat corned beef, but I’m sure something like that is not good for her (or me).
Today I offer you a mixture of some traditional recipes and some that are a bit different, just to round out your choices. My favorite way to serve corned beef is with the vegetables (cabbage wedges, red or white potatoes, carrots and onion) cooked right in the meat broth. Dig out your green clothes and maybe plan to do a little decorating for March 17, which is Saint Patrick’s Day.
I just love colcannon and wanted to include this recipe in case there are other fans.
1 pound green cabbage (can also use kale)
1 pound firm-fleshed potatoes, such as white, red, gold or yellow
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
1. In a large pot, boil cabbage until tender; remove and chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside and keep warm.
2. Peel the potatoes (unless you like the skins and prefer to keep them on) until tender. Remove from heat and drain.
3. Clean leeks by cutting off the root end and the tougher, dark green tops. Split lengthwise and rinse under running water to remove any possible grains of sand or soil. Chop into bite-sized pieces and place into a small saucepan, along with the milk. Simmer leeks until they are tender.
4. When the potatoes are done and drained, mash them very well and season to taste. Stir in cooked leeks and milk mixture. Blend in the cabbage (or kale or a mixture of both) and heat until the colcannon is well mixed and heated through. Make a well in the center and add the butter before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Boiled corned beef dinner
This recipe is for those seeking a very basic, traditional recipe. It is shared by Ann Hester, who says it originated from her great-grandmother from Ireland. I will just add that I prefer to do things a little differently, such as not returning the wedged onions to the pot because they would probably be mush by then, and I cook the meat until it’s tender then remove it from the pot. That way there is more room to cook the other veggies.
1 (5 1/2 pound) corned beef brisket
2 large onions
15 small white potatoes (you can also use red or gold ones)
10 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces (I prefer to peel the carrots)
2 heads cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
1. Rinse the beef brisket under cold water, and place in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the roast by 6 inches. Peel the onions, and place them in the pot with the roast. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 30 minutes at a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium-low so that the water is at a gentle boil, cover, and cook for 3 1/2 hours.
2. Remove the lid from the brisket pot. Remove onions, and cut into wedges. Return them to the pot. Add carrots to the pot, then place the cabbage over the roast. Place the potatoes on top of the cabbage. Place the lid back on the pot, and cook for another 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. The potatoes should be immersed in the water by now, but if not, keep the lid on so they can steam.
3. Remove the vegetables from the pot, and place in a separate serving bowl. Keep the corned beef in the pot until ready to slice and serve because it dries out quickly
Corned beef and cabbage rolls
Rolls can be fried rather than baked which will create a crunchier texture.
Have oil heated at 375 degrees and fry for 3 minutes on first side then 2 minutes on other side, or until brown.
Omit brushing the top of the roll with the egg if frying.
1 pound corned beef, precooked and shredded
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced (I leave out)
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
16 egg roll wrappers
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
1. Preheat oven to 400. Preheat a saute pan over medium-high heat and add in the butter, cabbage, sweet onion and celery. Stir and saute for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes then remove the pan from heat.
3. Place 1 egg roll wrapper on a cutting board in a diamond shape. Place about 3 tablespoons of corned beef on the egg roll, then about 1 tablespoon of the cabbage and onion mixture. Top with a tablespoon of Monterey Jack cheese.
4. Take the bottom of the diamond and tightly fold over the filling. Fold each side in and seal the top by brushing with a bit of beaten egg and folding it over to make a roll shape. Repeat the process for the remaining rolls.
5. Place the rolls on a cooling rack that is placed onto a baking sheet. Brush egg over the tops of each roll to help the roll brown. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the rolls become golden brown. To serve, cut each roll on the diagonal and serve with the dressing.
One of my all-time favorite sandwiches. No measured ingredients; just put them together for however many people are waiting to eat.
Slices of your favorite bread (traditional is rye bread, dark or light)
Slices of cooked corned beef, brisket or round (round slices easier)
Thousand Island salad dressing
Slices of Swiss cheese
Sauerkraut, squeezed dry
Butter, room temperature, for pan toasting
Dill pickle spears
1. For each sandwich, spread salad dressing over 2 bread slices.
2. Layer corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut over one slice of bread, then top with another slice.
3. Spread the outsides of each sandwich with butter. Or, melt a pat of butter in the skillet, then place the sandwich over that when it is sizzling. Turn bread to toast both sides. Cheese should be starting to melt.
4. Serve each sandwich with a dill pickle spear.