In Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday in remembrance of the death of patron saint, Saint Patrick.

In my elementary school years Saint Patrick’s Day meant remembering to wear something visibly green or find the wrath of pinching fingers during recess.  It was a playground game all of us knew and if you forgot, you could not escape the constant attempts from pretty much everyone to make you their prey for their amusement only.  My daughter Mimi tells me her friends and classmates don’t do this to one another.  In fact, she had a hard time believing me that this would happen. Oh how times have changed.

Here in the United States, Saint Patrick’s Day is largely thought of as the day eat green food such as cupcakes with mint green frosting and decorated with a candy four leaf clover.  It’s also the one day of the year I eat corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew.`

With grocery stores selling brisket in its own brine and spice pack, making corned beef and cabbage at home has never been easier, which makes this Saint Patrick’s Day a great excuse to celebrate the holiday for the heck of it.  Even if it is all about the food.

Today I have an easy recipe for this popular dish.  It’s practically fail proof and the stock leftover from cooking the brisket makes for a great cabbage side dish, which you have to serve if you’re going to eat corned beef. Leftovers make great Reuben sandwiches or breakfast hash the next morning.

Even if you’re not Irish, this is one culinary tradition worth enjoying each year.  If I may say, much better than getting pinched.  Enjoy!




From the PBS Archives: Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Recipe: Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

  • Prep Time: 10 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 150 min(s)
  • Total Time: 160 min(s)
  • Servings: 6

A simple but hearty recipe for corned beef and cabbage.


    2 lbs corned beef brisket with spice packet

    1/2 tablespoon olive oil

    2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

    half a medium head of cabbage, cut into 1/4-inch shreds

    2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard

    1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

    Kosher salt and pepper (if necessory)


    Remove the corned beef from its package and thoroughly rinse with water for a good minute, making sure to rub off any brine residue from the beef.

    Place the brisket in a pot and evenly rub the top with the spice packet.

    Carefully add water to the pot until the brisket is three-quarter of the way covered.

    With a lid on, cook the brisket on a low simmer for 2.5 hours.

    To make the cabbage, saute the olive oil and garlic on medium heat for half a minute in a large saute pan.

    Add the cabbage.  Stirring occasionally, cook the cabbage for 10 minutes until wilted.  Some pieces will brown and that's okay.

    After the corned beef is nearly completely cooked, remove one cup of stock.

    Taste the stock and if it's too salty add just enough water until you're satisfied with the flavor.

    Mix in the mustard and vinegar.

    Add the stock to the cabbage and cook for additional 10 minutes until tender.

    Serve along side the corned beef.

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