Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When Irish eyes are smiling

I grew up in an area rich in St. Patrick's Day tradition. That tradition was going to one of the crappiest of local bars, the Wooden Nickel, at approximately 6:00 AM to get in line for green beer that would go up in price every hour starting at 7:00 AM.

Sad - or glad? - to say, I never actually participated in the Nickel tradition (I am probably the ONE EMU student that didn't), although I did spend many a St. Patty's day drinking beer on the balcony of someone's crappy apartment (sometimes my own crappy apartment).

Since moving to Connecticut, we have usually celebrated St. Patrick's Day at Hanafin's, our local Irish pub. However, Noe and I usually opt for a fairly early celebration, ending up home by 8:00 or so. This year, Noe stayed home - he didn't feel like dealing with the crowd - and I met up with Scott and Caitlin for my yearly Guinness followed up by a Jameson at Dev's. Then I went home for our own Irish feast.

Outside Hanafin's with Kristina, Max, Caitlin, Scott, and Kevin Lester

Me, Miss Murphy, and the Guinness

For the first time ever, I attempted corned beef and cabbage. I did it in the crockpot, knowing that I wouldn't be able to totally resist the pull of Hanafin's after work on St. Patrick's Day. I chopped all the veggies on Tuesday night and baked a loaf of soda bread in anticipation of sopping up all those delicious meat juices.

 Soda bread - yummm

The meal itself was not fancy: I threw the corned beef brisket and some potatoes, celery, carrots, and onions in the crockpot, sprinkled with the pickling spice that came with the meat, put in enough water to just cover everything, and let it cook for nine hours.

 Chopped celery and carrots


When I got home, I removed the meat and veggies and cooked some cabbage wedges in the cooking liquid for about 25 minutes. I also boiled down about 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid until it was reduced by half and mixed with equal amounts sour cream and prepared horseradish to make a sauce.

 Meat and veggies resting while I finish the cabbage and sauce

Dinner was simple, hearty, and good. Corned beef isn't my favorite thing in the world, but once a year it tastes pretty awesome. The leftover meat and the soda bread (delicious - dense and chewy with a nice hard crust) will make amazing sandwiches (topped off with a smidgen of horseradish sauce). I'll probably just eat a bowl of veggies for lunch tomorrow.

 The feast...mmmmmmm!

How did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

1 comment:

Niki C. said...

That looks delicious!