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Author Topic: What do you put in your Irish corned beef?  (Read 10732 times)
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« on: March 15, 2011, 11:10:10 am »

Time to put the pot on for St. Patrick's Day! That pitiful little plastic packet of spices doesn't begin to do the job for me...help me decide what to augment it with!
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 12:22:06 pm »

Gee, not being a cook, I didn't know there was anything in corned beef and cabbage except corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes.  Undecided

And maybe salt. ...
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 12:43:31 pm »

Haha, surely you've seen those little tan round things on your corned beef and wondered what they are? They are coriander seeds or sometimes mustard seeds.

The term "corned" refers to the grains of salt used to cure the beef. If you've wondered why corned beef is so red compared to other cuts of beef that are brownish, it's because salt peter is mixed into the brine. 

Corned beef is one of those dishes that is actually not eaten in Ireland but rather is served to tourists. The Irish didn't eat beef much because it was so valuable as an export. They ate more pork and seafood.

I'm curious also about how people prepare their cabbage and potatoes. I usually steam the cabbage in a separate pan and serve it with hollandaise sauce. I add the potatoes to the corned beef and serve with olive oil, garlic, and parsley.
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 01:02:43 pm »

I think probably the peasants just boil everything together. ...
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 02:30:37 pm »

For whatever reason, I've never run across corned beef I like.  Looking at the list of ingredients, I don't see any that I dislike, so I don't know what my deal is.

I like Guinness well enough.

 Cool
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 08:52:50 pm »

Corned beef is one of those dishes that is actually not eaten in Ireland but rather is served to tourists. The Irish didn't eat beef much because it was so valuable as an export. They ate more pork and seafood.
I am glad of that as I have just booked 10 nights in Ireland in June and I never liked corned beef. Also I have an Irish first name and was born on St Patricks day but up till now have not been to Ireland. I always wear green though.
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 01:56:33 pm »

What are some better Irish dishes to substitute for corned beef then? I'd love to have more options. I was thinking about making a dish called Colcannon, but it required a lot of bacon fat.
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 03:02:55 pm »

I usually steam the cabbage in a separate pan and serve it with hollandaise sauce.

Somehow that doesn't sound very Irish. ...

I've never had hollandaise sauce, that I know of. I understand that's one of those things so full of cholesterol you should just apply it directly to the interior of your arteries, but maybe I have it confused with something else.  Huh?
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 03:18:52 pm »

Although I have Irish blood, I can't stand corned beef and cabbage, what we call "boiled dinner".   Or boiled dinnah.

Corned beef can be good, but only if it's from a New York deli. 

Cabbage is just nasty, even with hollandaise (aside to Jeff:  essentially it's egg yolks and butter, with lemon; cholesterol squared). 

Irish soda bread is like eating old styrofoam. 

When I visited Ireland many years ago, dinner was usually fish (something called "plaice", a kind of flatfish), or mutton, not my favorite either.  I'm sure I lost weight on that trip.  Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 04:15:11 pm »

A Yankee who doesn't like a "boiled dinnah"?  Shocked

 Grin

Next you'll be telling us you don't like B&M baked beans and brown bread, in which case we'll have to send Leslie after you.  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 04:24:12 pm »

Cabbage is just nasty. 

Cabbage is very good for you. It's enabled the Ukrainians to withstand centuries of domination by the Russians.

Or so some Ukrainian acquaintances tell me.

Since they're both hunks, I'm inclined to believe what they say about the virtues of cabbage.  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2011, 04:42:24 pm »

Cabbage seems to be good for digestion. I like it, but love Brussels sprouts. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2011, 06:52:34 pm »

I love Brussels sprouts. Smiley

Me, too!  Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2011, 08:45:14 pm »

A Yankee who doesn't like a "boiled dinnah"?  Shocked

 Grin

Next you'll be telling us you don't like B&M baked beans and brown bread, in which case we'll have to send Leslie after you.  Grin

I'm thankful my mother never served boiled dinnah to us.  The smell of cabbage would not be allowed in her kitchen!

However, we did have B&M baked beans and brown bread out of the can every Saturday night.  Some things are sacred!

Although I dislike cabbage, I do like brussel sprouts.  I know, they're just like baby cabbages.  It depends on how you cook 'em.  Steamed, they're awfully cabbage-like.  But, sliced thin and sautéed on very high heat, they're heavenly.  Or, even better, deep fried, as Lynne can attest, as our local joint serves 'em. 
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2011, 08:54:12 pm »

I'm thankful my mother never served boiled dinnah to us.  The smell of cabbage would not be allowed in her kitchen!

However, we did have B&M baked beans and brown bread out of the can every Saturday night.  Some things are sacred!

Although I dislike cabbage, I do like brussel sprouts.  I know, they're just like baby cabbages.  It depends on how you cook 'em.  Steamed, they're awfully cabbage-like.  But, sliced thin and sautéed on very high heat, they're heavenly.  Or, even better, deep fried, as Lynne can attest, as our local joint serves 'em. 

The sprouts at your place were pretty amazing; I'm not sure whose I like better...I broil them and toss them with pesto, myself.

And although I like the baked beans just fine, I've never had the dubious pleasure of brown bread in a can.  I think I'll keep it that way.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2011, 09:48:31 pm »

I vaguely remember having brown bread out of a can.  Our family's ethnic dishes weren't many, but once in awhile my mom made "Welsh rarebit", which consisted of cheese sauce (probably made with Velveeta) served over saltines.  You can't get much more trashy American processed than that.  Grin
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« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2011, 10:11:00 pm »

I vaguely remember having brown bread out of a can.  Our family's ethnic dishes weren't many, but once in awhile my mom made "Welsh rarebit", which consisted of cheese sauce (probably made with Velveeta) served over saltines.  You can't get much more trashy American processed than that.  Grin

Ooh, Velveeta on saltines.  Yum.

We used to call it Welsh Rabbit.  When made with cheddar cheese, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and beer, served over toast, it's actually pretty good.
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« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2011, 10:11:48 pm »

And although I like the baked beans just fine, I've never had the dubious pleasure of brown bread in a can.  I think I'll keep it that way.   Roll Eyes

Seriously, you should try it. It's really quite good, kind of more like cake than bread, or so it seems to me. It comes with raisins or without. I've never had it with raisins. The "without" is very "molasses-y."
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2011, 10:14:16 pm »

Ooh, Velveeta on saltines.  Yum.

 laugh
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2011, 11:53:01 pm »

Ooh, Velveeta on saltines.  Yum.

We thought so.  Somehow those other ingredients didn't filter down through the generations.  Grin
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2011, 09:48:55 am »

We thought so.  Somehow those other ingredients didn't filter down through the generations.  Grin

I'm sure! Hey, I come from people for whom Velveeta was the sine qua non of haute cuisine.  Grin

(Here at work my buddy from Massachusetts is absolutely shocked that Paul doesn't like "boiled dinnah."  Grin )
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2011, 09:49:58 am »

Maybe the best thing to put in corned beef and cabbage would be a whole lot of Jameson's. ...  Grin
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2011, 11:49:12 am »

(Here at work my buddy from Massachusetts is absolutely shocked that Paul doesn't like "boiled dinnah."  Grin )

Tell your buddy that boiled dinnah is wicked gross.

Maybe the best thing to put in corned beef and cabbage would be a whole lot of Jameson's. ...  Grin

Or just drown it in Guiness.
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2011, 12:17:21 pm »

If cabbage smells, you don't know how to cook it properly.   It shouldn't.   Like a lot of cuisine, it was being overcooked.  Smiley   I love cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli, and they are all extremely good for you, the same family of vegetables, I think.

Home cooking enjoyed being in vogue for quite awhile (they would jazz it up with trendier seasonings and vegetables, et voila!), and for me it still does.   I always thought corned beef and cabbage was it's own thing - the traditional "boiled dinner" was pork spareribs or a pork shoulder I think.   At least it was in our house (my grandmother was from Nova Scotia).  Corned beef and cabbage isn't a traditional Irish meal, but I believe when immigrants came to this country, beef was more plentiful, and they when they became more prosperous, they adapted the new ingredients they had here into their recipes.

I don't eat meat anymore (I may have a taste), but my Japanese-American husband makes corned beef and cabbage like nobody's business - the best (his father taught him.  We think there are Ohara's somewhere in the family line).   We just follow the package directions - add the cabbage, red bliss potatoes, carrots, onion at the appropriate times, and that's it!   Maybe add a bay leaf or throw in a few peppercorns.  We serve it with a good mustard and/or horseradish, and slices of soda bread (with caraway seeds and raisins in it).   And this year, a Belhaven Ale.   Cheers, and enjoy!


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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2011, 12:27:20 pm »

Tell your buddy that boiled dinnah is wicked gross.

Maybe the problem isn't "boiled dinnah" but the way your mother cooked it.

The traditional "boiled dinner" was pork spareribs or a pork shoulder I think.

My buddy said her mother always used pork shoulder.

Cabbage is very good for you. Captain Cook carried a supply of sauerkraut on his voyages of exploration and never lost a man to scurvy.
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2011, 12:33:56 pm »

Maybe the problem isn't "boiled dinnah" but the way your mother cooked it.

My mother never cooked it in her life!

Guess what my work cafeteria is serving today?  Boiled dinnah!  I could smell it two floors down.  

I had a salad.  At least it's green.  Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2011, 12:34:26 pm »

Smiley

Thanks for the smiles and laughs, we really need it.
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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2011, 01:07:09 pm »

Thanks for the input, everyone. In making my corned beef, I ended up cheating. I augmented the little packet of spices with Old Bay Seasoning. It has most of the same spices as in the recipes. I just love what it does for seafood, as well as the scent of my bay tree growing in my sunroom. Occasionally I take a leaf off the tree and start chewing it. Didn't there used to be a chewing gum that had bay flavoring?
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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2011, 01:54:08 pm »

My mother never cooked it in her life!

Guess what my work cafeteria is serving today?  Boiled dinnah!  I could smell it two floors down.  

I had a salad.  At least it's green.  Smiley

I did, too. But then I have a salad for lunch every day.  Undecided

Not that it's doing me any good, weight-wise. ...  Sad

Anyway, my buddy says boiled dinnah is wikkid pissah!  Grin

Thanks for the input, everyone. In making my corned beef, I ended up cheating. I augmented the little packet of spices with Old Bay Seasoning. It has most of the same spices as in the recipes. I just love what it does for seafood, as well as the scent of my bay tree growing in my sunroom. Occasionally I take a leaf off the tree and start chewing it. Didn't there used to be a chewing gum that had bay flavoring?

Bay leaves come from a tree? For reals?  Shocked
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2011, 02:03:49 pm »

Bay leaves come from a tree? For reals?  Shocked

From the bay laurel tree (Laurus nobilis):

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« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2011, 03:05:37 pm »

Yep, I always get a funny vision when someone talks about resting on his laurels!! The tree in my sunroom is not QUITE that tall...The ancients would crown their athletes with a wreath of bay leaves, so that's where the phrase about laurels comes from.

Meanwhile I was just reading about another ingredient, garlic, in today's Wall Street Journal. Apparently a variety called porcelain garlic grows well in the Scottish Highlands.

Read all about it: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703386704576186450016912660.html

Paul, I am not surprised that you don't like corned beef and cabbage, because you don't like mint and I like mint. I'm sure there are lots of things we like in common though...lobsters and seafood in general, and those wonderful dry Manhattans that I can't enjoy until Lent is over!!
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« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2011, 06:10:57 pm »

That picture of the bay laurel is gorgeous.  Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2011, 07:44:06 pm »

Tell your buddy that boiled dinnah is wicked gross.

Or just drown it in Guiness.

 laugh Cool laugh

We had dinnah tonight by accident at a bar, where - of course - everyone was having their St. Paddy's Day fun - corned beef and cabbage was even the special.  We refrained, had some beer and wings and split a pizza...but...

STEP DANCERS!!!

What was a fun surprise!  And now I know how to get thin thighs and a tight tummy.   Roll Eyes  (Like that's ever gonna happen!)
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« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2011, 01:08:16 pm »

I suppose this is cheating but I ended up putting in some Old Bay Seasoning. It has celery, mustard, bay, pepper, cloves allspice, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and traces of other things. It seemed to work well...my mother, who's very finicky, said it was the best corned beef she's had this season!!

Now, on to meat loaf...
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