Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Corned Beef and Cabbage/Soda Bread

Everyone’s Irish on St. Paddy’s Day!

So, how are you planning to spend your ancestors’ national holiday?

Wearing green and pinching people?

Turning the water in your river, lake or pond green?

Makes me wonder if the fish turn green, too.

Baking green cookies?

Drinking green apple juice? (For green apple juice, just add a drop or two of blue food coloring.)

Or are you going to wear a t-shirt that says–

and enjoy your day that way?

#1 son and his wife love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. One year they came to the house and made us an Irish dinner. Soda bread and corned beef and cabbage. De-lish!

I don’t have #1’s recipe, but Ina Garten has one that looks good, so I borrowed it to share with you. The Barefoot Contessa’s Irish Soda Bread:


    • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, for dusting currants
    • 4 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 18; teaspoons kosher salt
    • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, 1/2 inch dice
    • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk, shaken
    • 1 extra large eggs, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
    • 1 cup dried currants


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
  3. With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
  4. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
  5. Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Here’s the corned beef and cabbage recipe I found online that looks good. Not that I’m a judge of corned beef and cabbage, but it looks good. 🙂

Corned Beef and Cabbage–

Makes. 6 servings (the meat shrinks quite a bit) Preparation   time. 10 minutes Cooking time. 3 to 4   hours

Ingredients 1 (3 pound) slab   of corned beef, preferably home made 2 tablespoons coarsely   ground black pepper 2 tablespoons pickling   spices, preferably home made 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ segments 2 pounds of potatoes, cleaned and cut into 2″ chunks 1 small head of cabbage, outer leaves removed, cut in quarters.

A good idea. While the meat is cooking, mix up some of my Secretariat   Horseradish Sauce and refrigerate for  at least two hours to let the flavors marry. Serve it on the side as a  sauce.

Do this 1) Open the package the meat came in and dump out all the liquid. Rinse  thoroughly. Trim off all the fat cap. If you have made your own corned beef, and you should, it is  just plain better, remove it from the brine, and rinse it well.

2)  Corned beef is essentially pickled in salt, and straight out of the pack  it is way too salty. Before we can eat this cured meat, we need to cook  it and desalinate it a bit. Place the beef in a large pot along with  enough hot water to cover it by at least 1″ and put the  lid on.

Turn the heat to medium and bring to a low simmer for 30 minutes. Do not let it boil. If you boil it, it will get tough and shrink. Beware that the meat is cold, so when it warms the water will slowly move from simmer to boil. Keep an eye on it and do not let it boil. After 30 minutes, dump out the water and cover the meat with fresh hot   water. This time add the pickling spices.

Bring to a low simmer again, this time for 1 hour. Again dump the water and pickling spices and replace it with fresh hot water. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer for 1 hour. Add the carrots. After 30 minutes add the potatoes. After 10 minutes add the cabbage. After 15 minutes the cabbage will be done and so should everything else.

3) Remove the meat and place it on a carving board. There are often two horizontal muscles separated by a thick layer of fat. Separate  them by sliding a knife through the fat. Carve and/or scrape off the  fat layer. Carve the meat by cutting across the grain about the thickness of a pencil. Any thinner and it will fall apart, any thicker and it will be chewy.

5) Lift out the cabbage, potatoes and carrots and divide them into  serving bowls. Place the meat in the bowl. Spoon some of the cooking liquid over them and serve. Happy Holiday!

Or just pop over to Mommy Hates Cooking and follow her recipes. She sounds as if she’s actually prepared them, which I haven’t. I watched while the preparation happened, but that’s it.

I did eat it, though. Yummers!  🙂

How are you going to celebrate? At least tell me you plan to pinch someone!

I'm so glad you dropped by my Small Town World! Hope you'll leave a comment. I really enjoy hearing from you!

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