St. Patrick is best known for chasing the snakes out of Ireland. That’s a bit out of context as most of our folk lore. St. Patrick was actually the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Ireland in 438 A.D. and responsible for purging Ireland of pagan rituals which were symbolized with serpents. There are not now, nor have there ever been snakes in Ireland, not of the reptilian sort anyway.
A traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Boiled Dinner is a ritual in itself for any Irishman, lephrecon, or sympathetic and enthusiastic friend of Irish ways. Be sure to bake a round of Irish Soda Bread for this festive occasion and don’t forget the horseradish.
Irish Corned Beef & Cabbage
5 lbs of corned beef brisket
1 Tbsp pickling spice
1 cabbage cut into wedges
Rinse brisket in cold water. Place in Dutch oven or large sauce pan, cover with water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove meat, place in fresh water with onions, carrots, potatoes and pickling spice. Bring to boil, then simmer until tender, about 2 hours. Remove meat and vegetables. Bring water back to boil, drop cabbage in for 5-7 minutes. Remove cabbage and drain before serving. Serve with creamy horseradish and mustard.
White Irish Soda Bread
6 cups unbleached white or wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp salt
2-1/2 cups buttermilk *
Sift all dry ingredients together in large bowl. Make a well in middle of flour mixture and pour buttermilk into well. With a wooden spoon, mix just until all ingredients are moistened. Turn out onto lightly floured board and kneed 10 times into a ball. Place in ungreased pan, dust top with a little flour, score a cross on the top with a sharp knife blade or razor. Bake in oven 375° F. for 40 minutes. Serve warm.
* substitute 1-1/2 cups yogurt and 1 cup water for buttermilk.