CORNED BEEF WITH CABBAGE (for four to six)
“Corned beef has a distinctive regional association with Cork City. Between the late 1680’s and 1825, the beef-corning industry was the most important asset to the city and the country. In this period, Cork exported corned beef to England and much of Europe and as far away as Newfoundland and the West Indies. During the Napoleonic wars, corned beef exportation from Cork was at all time high and the British army was principally supplied with corned beef from Cork.
Although this dish is eaten less frequently nowadays in Ireland, for Irish-emigrants it conjures up powerful nostalgic images of a rural Irish past. Originally it was a traditional Easter Sunday dinner. The beef killed before the winter would have been salted and could now be eaten after the long Lenten fast with fresh green cabbage and floury potatoes. Our local butcher corns beef in the slow, old-fashioned way which, alas, is more the exception than the norm nowadays.” Darina Allen, Irish Traditional Cooking
a piece of corned beef, preferably brisket, 4 to 5 pounds (first cut brisket is leaner, and therefore preferable, to second cut)
6 white onions, peeled, root end left intact, cut into 1 inch thick wedges
1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces, or 3 to 4 small turnips, peeled and quartered
6 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 2 inch slices
3 parsnips, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 2 inch slices
6 to 8 red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces
1 head green cabbage, cut into sixths or eighths, depending on size
1. Wash the corned beef, place it in a kettle of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours.
2. Add the onions and rutabaga or turnips and cook 1o minutes more.
3. Add the carrots, parsnips and potatoes and simmer 15 minutes.
4. Add the cabbage, cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes, until the cabbage is tender.
5. When the meat and vegetables are tender, transfer meat to a warm platter and surround with the vegetables.
6. Serve with roasted beets with stout and sautéed beet greens and horseradish mustard.
adapted from James Beard, American Cookery