This post is late. Very late. It’s April and I’m only now posting my St. Patrick’s Day meal. I’ve been a lazy blogger these past two weeks and barely have a good excuse – I’ve been struck with writers block. I started this post with great intentions, but then I wrote a few sentences that I stumbled over and couldn’t figure out how to fix. So, I shut down and ignored this post for far too long. My apologies to everyone. I will strive be better this month and in the mean time, I hope you enjoy my very belated St. Patrick’s Day tribute. Sláinte (cheers) !
I felt extra festive in my freshly painted green kitchen as I was preparing corned beef and cabbage for the first time ever this past Sunday. The time spent agonizing over color swatches and painting sections of our wall a dozen shades of green was time well spent to achieve that perfect shade of sage green that makes me happy every time I step into our dining room and kitchen.
As a new homeowner, this past year has created the desire to celebrate all of our “first holidays” the right way – weather it’s having the family over, cooking the traditional meal, or putting up all the festive decorations. This St. Patrick’s Day was no exception. It wouldn’t be complete without corned beef and cabbage. Over the past few weeks, I’ve looked at close to dozen recipes for corned beef, from corned beef soup with potatoes, leeks and carrots, to the traditional stewed corned beef with all the trimmings. I decided on two recipes that seemed to combine old and new, giving a new twist to tradition.
The first one was Apricot Glazed Corned Beef. It was simple enough – throw corned beef in the pot with a few ingredients and let the beef do its thing for 3 hours while I sit on the couch watching season one of Downton Abby. Then glaze the corned beef in the oven with a mixture of mustard and apricot preserves for about 10-15 minutes. Not bad at all. I could deal with that on a lazy Sunday. Adam would think I slaved for hours cooking it! Of course I needed to put my own twist on the recipe, so I substituted one cup of water for Magners Irish hard apple cider.
I’m not a picky eater, but I’m not a big fan of cooked cabbage. Limp vegetables have never been my thing. Preferably, I like them crispy and roasted with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of herbs and spices. Fortunately, my sister-in-law recently wrote about her distaste for cabbage as well and provided all of us cabbage-haters with a solution: Roasted Cabbage. Melissa claims that cabbage is a mutated or overgrown brussels sprout – and I LOVE brussels sprouts. This recipe had my name written all over it.
Apricot glazed corned beef
(slightly adapted from Closet Cooking)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup hard cider
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 (3 pound) corned beef brisket with pickling spices
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- Mix the water, hard cider sugar, vinegar and garlic in a large pot.
- Add the corned beef along with the pickling spices and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered until the meat is tender, about 1 hour per pound.
- Mix the the apricot preserves, brown sugar and mustards in a bowl.
- Place the beef in a baking pan and cover in the apricot glaze.
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the glaze is bubbling.
- Let it rest for 10 minutes, slice and serve with the remaining apricot glaze.
(slightly adapted from Brooklyn Locavore)
- 1 medium head of cabbage
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Sprinkling of Herb de Provence on each side of cabbage
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Remove any wilted or dried leaves from your head of cabbage. Cut the cabbage in half from the base to tip, then cut each half into 1 inch thick half moons, being careful to keep all leaves together.
- Spread half moons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix lemon juice and herbed olive oil. Brush the mixture on both sides of the cabbage half moons and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 20 minutes until lightly browned and tender.