St. Patrick's Day.....the wearin' of the Green, a parade (a USA tradition), green beer and corned beef and cabbage. Though not an official holiday here in the USA, we are all Irish on March 17th. In Ireland, the celebration is more church based, celebrating the death of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, who is credited with explaining the Holy Trinity using the shamrock. The Irish attend church, drink and eat a traditional light meal of cabbage and bacon.
Corned beef was made popular in New York bars at lunchtime. The bars offered a ‘free lunch’ to the Irish construction workers who were building NYC in the early part of the 20th century. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. You had to buy a couple of beers or shots of whiskey to get that free lunch. And that’s how corned beef became known as an ‘Irish’ food.
One Irish man wrote “We NEVER eat corned beef and cabbage. We mock Americans and their bizarre love of that ‘meat’.”- As written by Francis Lam, a Features Editor at Gilt Taste.
Hate corned beef? There are options of course - a hearty beef stew, bangers (sausages) and mash(taters), colcannon, and Irish salmon - the Irish are actually big fish eaters! A little Irish butter sauteed scallops with a splash of Irish Whiskey, some Irish Soda Bread, cabbage, potatoes and perhaps a little orange guinness cake for dessert. Black and tans, or a guinness to round out your meal. Finish with a little Jamiesons or Bailey's, and celebrate the season.....so you are not stuck with corned beef and cabbage. But if you do like that - leftovers make a great Mac and Cheese the next day! Use the cabbage in place of the saurkraut to finish up all leftovers.
Happy St. Patty's day to you - Erin Go Braugh....allegiance to Ireland.