Just as the Italians don't eat Italian wedding soup on their wedding day, you'll be hard pressed to find an Irishman feasting on perfectly prepared corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day.
Easy corned beef and cabbage
The corned beef and cabbage recipe we annually embrace became an Irish-American tradition, by way of substitutions, when Irish immigrants used corned beef instead of pork in the usual Irish bacon and cabbage dish reserved for special occasions.
Corned beef, simplified, is nothing more than a brisket cut of beef soaked and seasoned in a brine – a water-based solution consisting of salt, sugar and spices – and then simmered in water with cabbage, potatoes and carrots for up to three hours.
Despite the name, there's no actual corn in corned beef. The "corn" reference comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for granule or pellet, describing the large grains of salt used in the curing process (before you were born).
Briskets can be purchased already "corned" by the manufacturer, usually for sale in vacuum sealed packages, or you can make your own. Making your own brine is easy. Can't find a brisket? Any inexpensive cut of beef will work – try a chuck roast or top round roast.
Corned beef and cabbage recipe
Serves 4 to 6
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