St. Patrick's Day Reports?
I didn't plan a theme dinner but I couldn't resist the deals at the market. I have Sunday Suppers at Luques from the library so used that a bit to help, and a little more help came from chowhound reading.
Corned Beef - very tender and tasty. I used Goin's method (start on stovetop, braise in oven) but added some beer and a little vinegar to the water as well as the additional spices. I poached it a long time for tenderness then removed from the liquid and let roast a bit in the oven to further melt and crisp up the fat. Great tip that she uses with many braised dishes. Thanks also to whoever posted here that the cheaper fattier cut is tastier. I bought the point instead of the more expensive flat and that was such a deal. Everyone commented that it was not too fatty seeming.
Parsley-Mustard Sauce - a thick viniagrette to be drizzled on the beef. It was good and cut the richness a bit. She says leftovers are good on sandwiches, but I'm sure to find more uses.
Whipped cream blended with horseradish
World's Best Braised Cabbage - and it is with all those caramelized bits. Also has some carrots and onion. Handy because it needs the same temp as the corned beef.
So much better than boiled cabbage for small effort. From All About Braising by Molly Stevens and mentioned here many times. Thanks folks, this is a keeper.
Red Potatoes - simmered in the beef liquid.
Chocolate-Stout Cake - from Luques, though I didn't make the Guiness ice cream that is meant to go with it. Done in a bundt pan, it does not need to be frosted, but serving it with whipped cream kind of 'made it.' You could plate it with spiced applesauce or carmel sauce. I thought it was not going to be so good but it is truly growing on me. I think this (like most cakes) would improve in moistness if sealed airtight overnight, however, the spicing (it is a spice cake), is just right and the flavor carries on and on in the mouth. I'll make this again. It stuck inside the bundt pan, so next time I will heavily grease and be sure to flour, and cool it longer than the 30 minutes recco'd before unmolding.
Overall a pretty easy dinner and the extra care made it a bit better than my usual corned beef plate. I've got to remember to make this more than once a year.
Anyone else happy with their results?
I had a crowd of 16 for St. Pat's.
I started out with about 12 lbs of corned beef from the local butcher - they corn it themselves and it's fabulous. It was one large whole brisket and one smaller one. I cut the large one in 1/2 so they could fit together in my crockpot - in they went at about 4 p.m. on Friday with a bottle of Guinness and water to cover.
At bedtime, they weren't quite tender so I set my alarm for 2 hours later, when I got up, pulled them out of the crockpot, wrapped in foil and into the fridge. Put the smaller whole brisket into the crockpot (it barely fit), fresh Guinness and water, and back to bed.
I wrapped and chilled that corned beef when it was done, and reheated all latbefore serving as per Bittman's instructions in How to Cook Everything. I also made 2 Irish soda breads (mom's recipe - actually her mom's - no sugar or eggs) - 1 with caraway and raisins, the other without caraway. Potatoes were Epicurious' recipe for Champ;, which I did in advance and put in the crockpot on warm until serving time. Simply steamed some organic baby carrots and seasoned w/ a little salt and pepper. Cored and cut a couple heads of cabbage into 1-inch wedges and cooked in some of the corned beef liquid until just tender.
Scraped off the fat cap from the brisket and sliced against the grain... served with horseradish and brown mustard... dessert was Nigella's Guinness cake and Dori Greenspan's apple cake.
Everyone loved it! Just fantastic. It was not much last minute work and everything turned out great. Think we'll start an annual tradition!
Corned Beef -- I bought the Niman Ranch Corned beef, and put it in the crockpot with the contents of a bottle of guinness for about 9 hours. It was the least fatty corned beef I think I had ever had, but also very salty.
Side Dish -- I sliced up some cabbage, sauteed it in Kerrygold butter, then added it to mashed Yukon Gold potatoes (also with Kerrygold and a bit of milk and salt) for Colcannon. Very good -- I love the counterpoint of the sweet cabbage with the potatoes and the butter. Also good to counteract the saltiness of the corned beef.
Bought some soda bread from Whole Foods -- it was OK -- better the next day with butter and jam.
Dessert was a rhubarb bread pudding. It was pretty good hot but awful cold, and we both preferred plain stewed rhubarb (which is, after all, a food of the gods).
We had one of the best corned beef and cabbage dinners I have turned out for St. Patricks Day.
Typical cooking method, I had a beatiful 4 pound flat cut brisket, and I rinsed off the brining soultion, and rubbed the top fat side with the included spice packet. I also added McCormicks Pickling spice, and garlic powder, and rubbed it into the fat. I put the brisket in a pot with a whole yellow onion quartered, the tops of about 8 stalks of celery, and 4 carrots rough cut. I then put in the pot (1) bottle of Budweiser, and enough cold water to cover the corned beef. I brought it to a boil, and simmered covered for 3 hours. Whwn it was done I turned off the heat and let the beef sit in the simmereing liquid while I steamed some cabbage, and red potatoes. I served my meal with unsalted butter for the vegetables, and horseradish for the meat. For drinking it was Leienkugels Honey Weiss, and tequila after dinner. No desert, we ate, and drank too much to need any.
The meat turned out more tender, and flavorfull than I have had in the past, and made some excellent Rueben sandwiches for lunch on Sanday. The remaining chink of leftove corned beef will be made into corned beef has tomorrow night.
I am bookmarking this post for the next time I do corned beef!
My results were mediocre. I did the simmer on the stove method (per the package and Mark Bittman) and my corned beef came out extremely dry. I'm wondering if the cut was the problem -- it was Harris Ranch -- maybe it wasn't fatty enough?
salad of Dungeness crab and fresh asparagus with backyard Meyer lemon aioli
corned beef and cabbage - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/380017
Earl Grey ice cream and shortbread from Sketch
Drank wine, nothing Irish on the drink side (I offered to make Black Beauties but no takers) except we got into the Jameson's afterwards.
We had a vegetarian St. Patrick's Day, okay plus corned beef. But as the resident veg, I made:
Irish Soda Bread (with raisins and caraway; served with aged cheddar and apples) from the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/dining/141arex.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
We all really enjoyed this, and it still tastes great this morning, heated in the toaster oven.
Spinach, Red Onion and Coolea Tartlets (from Saveur):
This was really good, although I am not sure that it is particularly Irish. The cheese is Irish, sort of like a young gouda. It is pastry crusts layered with spinach, caramelized red onions (with a little balsamic and brown sugar), topped with the cheese. Next time I would double the spinach and cut back on the onions by about a third, so the layers are more even, half spinach/half onions topped with cheese. It was accompanied with a nice parsley/walnut pesto. I skipped the potatoes in the recipe since I made a different potato dish.
Potato and Cabbage Bundles (from Epicurious): http://www.epicurious.com/cooking/menus/onthemenu/recipes/109209
These were the favorite of the night. Basically a scoop of mashed potatoes (with buttermilk, aged cheddar, horseradish, butter, s&p) nestled in a cabbage leaf. Then a layer of sauteed cabbage/onion/garlic, topped with a little more potato. Baked in muffin tins. Delicious!
I can't really comment on this - other than it was braised on the stove for several hours and smelled great.
Bread Pudding with Blood Orange Caramel Sauce (from Cesar's in Berkeley):
This had great flavor from the oranges and sauce, but we were all so stuffed that one, we couldn't eat them warm out of the oven and two, I don't think we enjoyed them as much as if we had had a bit lighter dinner. They did seem a bit on the dense side of the bread pudding spectrum. I will try the leftovers zapped in the microwave today and re-evaluate.
And we also made a batch of St. Patty's homebrew (a pale ale with extra hops) - can't taste that for another 6 weeks or so but it sure was fun to brew!
No the recipe I used called for cream. It was 1/2 lb. plain mashed potato, 1/2 lb. grated raw potato, 1 small minced onion, about a cup of flour, salt and papper and cream to make a thickish batter. I decided to use my egg rings to form perfectly round cakes. Now I am thnking about Irish eggs Benedict using the boxty rounds, irish bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise with a good sprinkling of chopped chives and parsley as a brunch dish.
Interesting! We didn't have a themed dinner, but did drink some Bailey's after a portobello and tarragon tart. There's a Portobello in Dublin, but I don't think that really counts! The side dish (asparagus) was green, but that's weak, too.
I wish I'd had some of that parsley mustard vinaigrette to go with the asparagus. Boxty sounds delicious, too. Did your recipe use buttermilk, as one I found online does?
No corned beef for us. We had creamed salt cod and boxty from Monica Sheridan's The Art of Irish Cooking. The creamed salt cod was like a brandade de morue and delicious. The boxty were wonderful potato cakes. We started with a bit of John Powers on the rocks, beter we think than Jamesons, had a nice Irish ale with dinner and some simple dark chocolate after dinner.
Mine was certainly not as elaborate as yours! Because I had an electrician and the owner of this house here most of the day due to electrical problems recently (not in the kitchen) I put the flat cut of corned beef and spices in the crockpot WITHOUT adding any liquid...read about that in our local newspaper on Wednesday...worked beautifully, I might add. Cooked it about 9 hours on low. Mashed potatoes, sauteed cabbage with caramelized onions, adding some of the corned beef cooking liquid; I love the flavor of the corned beef infused with the cabbage but don't like boiled cabbage very much. For dessert, Bailey's Cheesecake from the Land O' Lakes website, came out very good.