Wednesday, March 16, 2011


It is often reported that in Ireland, corned beef and cabbage are not a traditional dish served on St. Patrick Day.  However, here in the Midwest, green beer, the Chicago River dyed with green food dye, and corned beef with cabbage are all St. Patrick Day customs.

An American Irish dinner with corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and Irish bread.

I purchased my corned beef this year at 20th Century Market on Bridge St. in Grand Rapids.  They corn their own beef.  I love to shop at this market as the people are so nice and so helpful.  Their homemade Polish and German sausages are superb.  My Grandma shopped in this market when the world was still in the 19th Century.

20th Century Market on Bridge St. Grand Rapids, MI.

Homemade Polish and German sausages.

Homemade sausages and wonderful cuts of meat.

Every season there are specials to be ordered early so you are sure you get what you want.

Easter is coming.  Get your Polish sausage, Kielbasa, ordered early.

I have cooked many! corned beef, but I like to ask how others cook their briskets.  Ron, one of the brothers who own 20th Century, told me to simmer the corned beef for an hour and then drain the water.  This helps remove the salt from the meat.  I had never done that before, but I liked the idea as I am salt sensitive.  So this time I simmered the brisket, drained off the water, and poured fresh hot water over it to continue cooking.    

Frequently called a boiled dinner, the corned beef should never boil just simmer.  Boiling makes the meat tough.  Corned beef is a cured product.  It gets its name from when the salt used to cure the meat which a long time ago was shaped like corn kennels.  Amounts to use in this recipe depend on how many people you are serving.

Corned beef brisket

Ingredients:  Corned beef brisket, carrots, potatoes and cabbage.

Put corned beef into a large pan.  Cover with hot water.  Bring just to a low boil, immediately lower heat and simmer 1 hour.  Drain water if desired to lower salt content and cover with fresh hot water.  Simmer another hour.  Add carrots.  Simmer a half hour.  Again time will depend on the size of the carrots, just like the amount of carrots depends on how many you are serving.  Add potatoes and simmer another 10 minutes.  Add cabbage and simmer until done.  Corned beef can be removed when cabbage is added and covered with aluminum foil to keep warm.  Slice the brisket across the grain of the meat to insure tenderness.

Put corned beef brisket in a large pan and cover with water.  Cover the pan.  Simmer for 1 hour.

Drain off water to reduce salt content, if desired.

Cover with fresh hot water.  

Cover and simmer another hour.

Wash carrots and remove ends.  I do not peel as my Mom said all the vitamins are right under the peel.

Add to corned beef and cover.  Simmer a half hour more.

Wash potatoes.  Add to brisket.  Cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

Core, remove outside leaves and add cabbage to the corned beef.

Cover and simmer until cabbage is tender.

Brisket can be removed when cabbage is added.

Cover brisket with foil and keep warm.

Remove vegetables and place on a plate.

Ladle out some "Pot Likker" to serve over the dinner.

Slice meat across the grain.

Put vegetables and meat on a plate and serve with Irish Bread.  http://michigancottagecook.blogspot.com/2011/03/nana-connellys-irish-bread.html

Sweet spicy bread, corned beef, sweet carrots, cabbage and potatoes.  Dot vegetables with butter if desired. 

Ladle "Pot Likker" over the dinner except for the bread.

What a fantastic winter dinner.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!!!


  1. Gosh, I wish I would have read this before I started mine. I did not know about the simmer part. I will have to remember to do it next year. This is something I learned this year from my local old German butcher shop about the 2 different cuts of corn beef brisket:"We have the Corned Beef Brisket in two varieties...Flats and Points. A brisket is made up of the two cuts...the Point has more white meat (otherwise referred to as fat) and the Flat is leaner and the preferred side, hence it is priced higher". Perhaps you already knew this. Hope you enjoy your dinner this evening! May the remainder of the day be delicious!

  2. Hi Jane, it is good to hear from you. I did know about points and flats but I bought my corned beef from a butcher and had no choice of which cut as he only did the flats. I should have put your information in the post. I am so glad you wrote to add what I forgot!!!!