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Celebrate St. Patrick with this special menu

March 16, 2010
By Wendy Monro

"A day of feasting, a reprieve from fasting, pinching your friends, and drinking green beerHappy St. Patrick's Day"

Tomorrow marks the celebration of one of the best holidays. My favorite holidays are those which revolve around a meal I love to eat. St. Patrick's Day falls into this category. I don't really know much about Saint Patrick or why we wear green clothing so as to avoid being pinched or why we eat corned beef and cabbage or why we drink green beer; so, I Googled it.

Saint Patrick was a man who was born and named Maewyn Succat during the 4th century in Great Brittan. When he was a teenager, he was kidnapped and forced to live as a slave in Ireland. He eventually escaped back to Great Brittan and studied for many years to become a priest. He chose Patrick as his Christian saint name. Thereafter, he returned to Ireland to spread Christianity throughout the country. He used a shamrock to teach the Irish about the Holy Trinity, hence the green.

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Corned beef and cabbage.

In celebration of this patron saint, St. Patrick's Day is actually known as a day to feast. That's my kind of day. In Ireland, it is a one day reprieve from Lent where people (after morning church services) indulge in large feasts of Irish bacon and cabbage, drink loads of beer and dance without breaking the rules.

I am not really sure why the tradition, at least the tradition in my house, evolved into a day to eat corned beef and cabbage. Maybe corned beef and Irish bacon are similar; maybe they are the same thing? I might need to go back to Google.

My mom religiously, no pun intended, makes corned beef and cabbage every year on St. Patrick's Day. She never served it with green beer and I don't think we could handle green wine. I don't know why, but usually this is the only day of the year that I eat corned beef.

Fact Box

Corned beef with bubble and squeak and a mustard sauce

Corned Beef:

1.5 lb corned beef (with spice packet)

Place the beef in a dutch oven or stock pot. Pour in the spices. Pour in enough water to cover the beef. Bring this to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer covered for fifty minutes per pound. Take it out and let it rest while you make the rest of the meal. Leave the broth simmering to reduce it for the sauce. Once everything else is ready, slice the corned beef across the grain into thin pieces.

Bubble and Squeak:

1/2 C. olive oil, divided

8 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 stick butter

1 C. sour cream

1 C. milk

Salt and pepper to taste

1 green cabbage, sliced

1 large yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 C. broth left over from the corned beef

1 C. bread crumbs

Boil the cubes of potatoes until they are soft enough to mash. Drain the water. Add butter, sour cream and milk. Mash the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet. Saut the onions until they become clear (about ten minutes). Add the garlic. Add the cabbage. Pour in one cup of the broth. Let this cook until the cabbage becomes soft. Mix the cabbage, onions and garlic into the mashed potatoes. Form the potato mixture into small patties (about 4 inches in diameter). Pour bread crumbs into a bowl. Cover the potatoes in bread crumbs. Heat the rest of the oil in a skillet on high. When the oil is just starting to smoke, turn the heat down to medium. Fry the bubble and squeak until it becomes crispy on both sides.

Mustard sauce:

The remaining broth

2 Tbsp. whole grain or Dijon mustard

The broth should have had a chance to reduce considerably. You should still have about three cups left. Add in the mustard and whisk well. That's it. Ladle the sauce onto a plate. Place one bubble and squeak on the plate and top it with four pieces of corned beef.

Each year, I realize how much I really love it and wonder why I don't make it more often. But then, the months roll by and I don't think about corned beef again until March. So, come St. Patrick's Day, I am really excited about making corned beef and cabbage.

This year, I wanted to think of something a little different from the ordinary recipe. Claud suggested bubble and squeak. Last summer, Claud taught me how to make bubble and squeak, and I really loved it. It is mashed potatoes mixed in with sauted cabbage, onions and garlic, covered in a layer of bread crumbs and fried into little patties.

Dalen Odegard, a friend of Jack and Daphne's, was here the day Claud taught me how to make bubble and squeak and he loved it. I was surprised by Dalen's enthusiasm not just to taste them but for the enjoyment I witnessed while he ate them. I love it when kids like my food.

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He asked me to give him the recipe and I am pleased to say, eight months later, "here you go, Dalen."

Of course, for St. Patrick's Day, I place the bubble and squeak on top of a mustard sauce because I need to include corned beef. I know I made a Dijon sauce last week but it couldn't be helped not to include mustard with corned beef. The corned beef is thinly sliced and layered on top of everything. The sauce soaks into the bottom of the bubble and squeak so the crunchy crust soaks up the flavor of mustard as you cut into the tower. The creamy potatoes and the tangy mustard liquid combine with the salty beef to make your mouth water in between each bite. Please watch a video of Claud and me making this meal at www.yovia.com/blogs/simplyfood.

 
 

 

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