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Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick's day meal in the United States, most commonly it is served with Colcannon, or another type of potato. What a lovely Irish dish! Except that it isn't Irish at all, but is American in origin. First, corned beef is a salt-cured meat, so named because it uses large pieces (or corns) of salt. There's not a bit of corn to be seen. Besides being used in corned beef and cabbage, it is used in many dishes including corned beef hash, sandwiches, and Montreal smoked meat. The salt acts as a preservative for the meat, and gives it a pinkish color, even when cooked. Now, the origins may trace back to the Irish, who used bacon in traditional dishes, and may have substituted the corned beef as a less expensive alternative. Cabbage may have been a substitute for potatoes, as they were more expensive and cabbage offered a hearty alternative. When cooked with the beef, it became the spicy delicacy we serve today. Potatoes are a traditionally Irish dish, served at almost every meal, so for Americans or Irish immigrants to add this was a natural step. Corned beef and cabbage recipes call for an addition of carrots to add extra flavor and nutrition to the dish. How do you cook a good corned beef and cabbage? It really is easy, crock pots, and roasting pans are the most commonly used methods, and the addition of the cabbage is made about halfway through the cooking process, giving the cabbage time to soak up the flavors of the meat without getting unappealingly soggy. Potatoes can be added when the meat starts, or cooked separately and combined with butter and the cooked cabbage from the meat to make Colcannon. We also found some great recipes on We love buying our corned beef from a local company, Boyles Corned Beef, which can be found in grocery stores locally and nationally. They have the best advice on cooking this particular delicacy. "Low and slow is the best way to prepare cured or "corned" meat-an hour per pound is the general rule of thumb." So whether you're cooking for St. Patrick's Day, or for an every day hearty meal, remember that while this is an Irish inspired dish, it's origins are as American as apple pie. Corned beef and cabbage Boyles Kansas City Corned Beef
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