My Nanny was from County Cork in Ireland and I’m proud to have her Irish heritage. For all of my life, I have worn something green to honour St. Patrick on his Feast Day. I have two Irish recipes for you this week. May, one of my customers, gave me her recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage she was making for her family. The recipe came from a small booklet printed by Canadian Living for slow cooker dinners. The second recipe is in fond remembrance of a dear lady, Margaret Wylie. She has been my customer since I opened my store over 32 years ago but has moved out to Vancouver to be with her daughter. She constantly made Irish Soda Bread and gave me her recipe. So thank you May and Margaret for sharing. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all! Be sure to wear a bit of green on the 17th.
BEER-BRAISED CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
This serves 10 to 12.
4 lb. corned beef brisket (YIG sells this)
2 tbsp. grainy mustard or plain Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. whole pickling spice (we carry this year-round at Sharyn’s Pantry)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt and pepper
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 bottle of dark beer (or use 2 cups more beef broth)
1/2 a cabbage, thinly sliced
-Rinse off the beef brisket and pat it dry. Place it in your slow cooker.
-Spread the mustard over top of it and sprinkle the whole pickling spice on top evenly to cover.
-Cut the leeks, carrots and parsnips in half lengthwise and then into 4 inch lengths.
-In a skillet, over medium-high heat, saute the leeks, carrots, parsnips and garlic with a pinch of the salt and pepper in the vegetable oil. Stirring occasionally for about 6 minutes, until the veggies are carmelized and softened. Place them on top of the brisket in the slow cooker.
-Add the beef broth and beer and remaining salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover the brisket by 1″. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 5 hours.
-Then add the sliced cabbage, cover and continue to cook on LOW for 3 hours longer. Cook until the beef is nice and tender.
-Remove the veg to a serving platter and keep warm. Place the beef brisket on a cutting board and tent loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. Allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes. Then, slice it thinly across the grain of the meat for optimum tenderness.
-Arrange the slices of meat over top of the vegetables. Strain the cooking liguid and drizzle it over top of the meat and veg. ENJOY!
IRISH SODA BREAD
This makes one loaf.
This quick bread is completed in less than an hour. Have your oven pre-heated and all ingredients assembled. Mrs. Wylie always used our Graham flour instead of all-purpose flour for the most authentic-tasting Irish soda bread. Here’s a special thank you to an old friend! I hope you are happy out west, Margaret. We miss you here in Cornwall.
2 cups Graham flour (we sell this at Sharyn’s Pantry) Note that Graham flour is an all-purpose flour with wheat bran added back into it. It was very popular back in the early 1900’s. Check out some old cookbooks and see for yourself.
2 tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup of either sultana or Thompson raisins or currants
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp.melted butter
-Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a small baking sheet with a chunk of solid vegetable shortening. Set this aside for now.
-Assemble all of the ingredients for your bread.
-Place the Graham flour, sugar, baking powder and soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to lighten it.
-Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or a fork, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add in the raisins and toss to blend.
-Pour in the buttermilk all at once. Gently combine using a fork until just moistened. Don’t overmix. Now, using your hands, gently gather up the dough and form it into a ball.
-Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead it gently for about a minute with the palms of your hands. Shape the dough into a smooth round ball. Place it on the greased baking sheet.
-With your hands, flatten out the ball of dough into a 7″ circle. It will be about 1-1/2″ thick. Using a long bladed knife, cut a cross into the dough about halfway through it’s thickness.
-Bake the bread for 30 to 40 minutes, until it is golden in colour and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom and sides using a wooden spoon.
-Place the baked bread on a wire cooling rack and brush over the top and sides with the melted butter. Before serving, you can very lightly dust the top of the bread with just a tiny bit of flour. Slice and ENJOY!