Corned Beef Cabbage & Brine

corned beef and cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage time are almost here again! Have I told you that Reuben’s are my favorite sandwich? There’s a wonderful deli in Madison WI called Ella’s Deli that makes a delicious Reuben. Whenever I’m craving this sandwich, it’s off to Ella’s I go. The question addressed in this post is to brine or not to brine. I brine. This wasn’t always the case. I follow the process found here at the Cooking Channel blog and it works like a charm every time. For leftovers, I make sandwiches but will also serve the corned beef with coleslaw on Irish soda buns to pep it up some before I get tired of eating it altogether. The recipe I follow for the Irish soda buns is here at Martha Stewart’s website. I don’t eat meat, well red meat, at all. I do however make an exception on St. Patrick’s Day. This year I don’t have to pretend to be Irish, as recently I’ve discovered that I am 27%, Irish. I shall celebrate this lovely day this year in honor of my Irish ancestors.

I found this poem on an Irish Culture and Customs site here.


I just want to put something straight
About what should be on your plate,
If it’s corned beef you’re makin’
You’re sadly mistaken,
That isn’t what Irishmen ate.

If you ever go over the pond
You’ll find it’s of bacon they’re fond,
All crispy and fried,
With some cabbage beside,
And a big scoop of praties beyond.

Your average Pat was a peasant
Who could not afford beef or pheasant.
On the end of his fork
Was a bit of salt pork,
As a change from potatoes ’twas pleasant.

This custom the Yanks have invented,
Is an error they’ve never repented,
But bacon’s the stuff
That all Irishmen scoff,
With fried cabbage it is supplemented.

So please get it right this St. Paddy’s.
Don’t feed this old beef to your daddies.
It may be much flasher,
But a simple old rasher,
Is what you should eat with your tatties.

©Frances Shilliday 2004

Happy St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th!!