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Corned beef and cabbage, need add-on/dessert suggestions

I am starting to plan a St. Patrick's meal for my coworkers (7 manly men). They've requested corned beef and cabbage. Cool!! An easy, foolproof, delicious meal. I'll include potatoes and probably some other root veggies, horseradish sauce, and bake a rye loaf.

I'm a Georgia cracker, they're all Cleveland natives. I would love to hear suggestions for some extras to fill out this meal - they are huge eaters - and a dessert or two. Thanks!

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  1. Last year when I had company, I made a trio of side salads in the colors of the Irish flag: broccoli, cole slaw and carrot. That was to go with Shepherds Pie though; if they're really big eaters, maybe make a small pie too. For dessert, I always do something boozy, which probably wouldn't be so good at work. I was thinking of trying the Irish Car Bomb chocolate cupcakes this year, despite the uproar here over the name.

    Just checked and there's booze in the icing too, in addition to Guinness cooked into the cake.http://www.mixingbowl.com/message/rec... Maybe the Guinness bundt cake, at least it's baked and totally delicious.http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

    4 Replies
    1. re: coll

      I know I'm planning early, it's just what I do. I knew I'd get great ideas on here, and half an hour after posting, I sure did! Thank you!

      Boozy desserts aren't a problem, for reasons I won't go into! I LOVE the Shepherds Pie idea, too - I'm starting to think that it might be the star, corned beef and cabbage the extra. I usually serve at least two hearty entrees for these guys and I am thrilled with the suggestion. The 'irish flag' salads are something I never would have thought of. It's just seven of them but goshamighty how those boys can eat. Thanks again!

      1. re: southern_expat

        That's cool, I've worked at places where I could serve anything, and even the boss enjoyed it, but now everyone I deal with is pretty much PC, except the warehouse: I sneak them a plate of bourbon balls every Christmas, but could probably get fired if they found out ;-(). Anyway the whole month of March is St Pats to me, to the annoyance of my non-Irish husband. Shepherds Pie is best with ground lamb, the guys won't know the difference but I made it for years and years with ground beef and no complaints there either. Have fun! And maybe the old-fashioned Black Russian cake might be a hit too, I know it is wherever I bring it....you definitely get a buzz.

      2. re: coll

        coll and southern_expat, absolutely DO try the Irish Car Bomb cake. Cupcakes are fussy in my book--I just made it as a cake--but whatever you prefer. AND because Hershey's Deep, Dark Chocolate Cake is a favorite of mine, the next one I make will use that as a base, then sub the cup of boiling water for Guinness...

        The only booziness is in the frosting (whatever's in the cake must bake out, no?)...and that's negligible. I totally crave this cake. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

        Don't forget to save some of your CB and stock for reuben soup. I also recommend throwing a can of Guinness into your CB as you cook it. Slideshow here:
        http://cmd.shutterfly.com/commands/pi...

        Recipes on home page. :)

        1. re: kattyeyes

          I'll definitely make this cake, we'll be getting together with our friends from Queens around then for a traditional celebration, and they have a great sense of humor! I can't bring the leftovers into work unfortunately, but I'm sure they'll take the whatever's left home "for Mom" as they always do.

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          I'm baking the rye loaf, but I think a loaf of Irish soda bread would be a fabulous addition. As for the Irish whiskey, I'll save that for myself for the evening - these guys have to go out and operate heavy machinery after the meal, and I'm on edge enough about those boys as it is! I think I'll stick to the booze in the frosting! Thanks for the great suggestions.

          1. re: southern_expat

            I recommend Irish coffee with the whisky, and the addition of a little Kahlua.

            1. re: coll

              Sub Bailey's for the Kahlua and now you're back to Irish. ;) I can't resist the creaminess, yum (though when it comes to spiked coffees, I'm the United Nations!)! After all that cooking and baking, you deserve a tasty adult beverage. Cheers!

              1. re: kattyeyes

                I usually have one for breakfast on St Patricks Day. Just to warm up. Creaminess from whipped cream on top that melts in, if company's coming sometimes I dye it green just to be crazy.

                1. re: coll

                  Ain't y'all just determined to get me plastered! Yummy ideas (I say, as I hurry to see if I have any whiskey in back of the cabinet behind the gin and scotch)

                  coll, you've either made my life in March merrier, or I'm going to be calling you to bail me out of jail! Erin go bragh!

                  1. re: southern_expat

                    Now you're in the spirit! Just make sure it's IRISH whisky ;-)

                    1. re: coll

                      You are a terrible, horrible influence. I wish I had more friends like you.

                      1. re: southern_expat

                        Thanks for the compliment! About being a bad influence, I mean ;-))

                2. re: kattyeyes

                  I'm a purist and, as you know, not a lover of sweets so Irish coffee has Irish whiskey not Bailey's.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    And Jameson, Powers or Paddy, please, NOT Bushmills.

                    1. re: coll

                      Definitely Jameson. Which reminds me that I think I'm out!

          2. I always make a red velvet cake for St. Paddy's Day, except that I use green food coloring instead of the red.

            1. Corning your own beef? If not, consider it - It's extremely easy and far better than store-bought!

              Tommy

              1 Reply
              1. re: tommyskitchen

                How about Quebec's famous maple pudding cake (pouding chomeur)--super easy to make and always a hit. Here is a good recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                I thought of this because it is sort of a peasant dessert (name means "unemployed man's pudding") with absolutely no pretensions--fits well with corned beef and cabbage. Given the large population with Irish roots in Quebec, this is probably not as much of a clash of cultures as it may sound...

              2. Your dinner sounds perfect. I'd serve big bowls of vanilla ice cream topped w/ Creme de Menthe with a cookie stuck in the middle. Followed by Irish Coffee as suggested. Love the rye loaf, soda bread is appropriate but, in my opinion, not as good.

                8 Replies
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Soda bread is a must, and I'm sorry I forgot to suggest it.

                    1. re: coll

                      Its OK. I suggested it above. Go to bed.

                        1. re: coll

                          ... for a Jameson, Powers or Paddy.

                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      The one and only time I ate soda bread was in an Irish pub in St. Paul, MN on St. Pats day. I figure it was quite authentic...

                      1. re: Gail

                        I made thousands the summer of 68 at Degnan's in Yosemite Valley. Authentic as can be.

                  2. If you make soda bread, try a traditional Irish recipe. Soda bread in Ireland is almost nothing like Irish soda bread in the US. The Northern Irish fried variety is my favorite.
                    For the dinner, plenty of root vegetables and onion are musts in the boil. Carrots, parsnips, and turnips (rutabagas) are a must. Make sure to have good malt vinegar and good mustard to accompany. If you don't mind more than one kind of meat, Irish bacon and crubeens (trotters) are traditional with an Irish boiled dinner in place of corned beef. If you don't mind more than one kind of potato, or to sub for the boiled potatoes, boxty (sort of a potato pancake), colcannon (mashed potatoes and kale), and champ (mashed potatoes and scallions) are all worth considering. Or you might consider doing one pot of corned beef and cabbage, and one pot of coddle, which is Irish bacon, bangers (pork sausage), potatoes, onions, and root vegetables, usually with some Guinness in the pot.
                    My favorite Irish dessert is goody, a sort of eggless bread pudding, or bread and butter pudding for a more modern take. A not at all Irish dessert that I like on Saint Patrick's day would be Indian pudding with Guinness ice cream and Irish Mist chocolate sauce.
                    Also, perhaps not what you're looking for, but I love a good full Irish breakfast on Saint Patrick's. And Irish Mist in the coffee with a proper float of cream is way better than Bailey's.