Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Faith and Begorrrrrra

Happy St. Pats to them what celebrates it. For last year's rant on the day, look here.

While Chicago and Savannah will be dying dieing dyeing coloring their rivers green and millions of people who may or may not have any actual Irish heritage will be parading, pub crawling, drinking whisky, green beer, and foofy green drinks of all sorts, here at Casa de Crazy we'll be supping upon corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and Irish soda bread, because we always do (despite being only a wee Irish and a whole lot Pagan). As I am deprived of my beloved Bob the Wonder Computer until further notice, I can't post photos, but I thought I'd do the recipes, anyway. Maybe I'll get some pics up before next year. Umm...don't hold your breath.
Corned Beef Dinner

The Players:

One corned beef (yes, I buy mine pre-packaged at the store, because I have no idea how to corn a beef without using actual corn, and I'm pretty sure that's not the traditional way to go about it.)

Small potatoes of your favored variety, in numbers sufficient for dinner and a few left over

One Green cabbage

Carrots (completely optional), as many as you'd like and a few besides, cut into one-to-two-inch pieces


In a large pot, place the corned beef and the contents of the seasoning packet that comes with it. Dump the liquid from the beef package (does that sound dirty to you?) into the pot, too. Place enough cold water in the pot to cover the beef with four inches or so. Yes, its a lot of water, and I know some folks will tell you differently, but this is my blog and my recipe. So there.

Cook over medium heat for three to four hours, minimum. It will start out smelling a little funky but progress to grand in short order.

A half hour or so before serving, plop in whole potatoes and carrot chunks.

Fifteen to twenty minutes before serving, remove outer leaves of cabbage, then quarter that bad boy. I cut the heart/spine/solid bit in the middle, too, but you don't have to. Carefully place the quarters on top of everything else, put the lid back on, and step away from the pot for fifteen minutes! Over cooked cabbage is a travesty, and it is stinky, too. You want cabbage that's soft bu not mushy, still vibrant in color, and in large pieces - fork tender but not falling apart. The only thing falling apart in this mess (besides the cook, who habitually loses her shit because she can) should be the beef, all tender, relaxed, and happy after its spa day.

You can serve straight from the pot, but I actually like to dish out the veggies into serving bowls and slice/chunk the meat onto a platter. All you need to complete this is a sizable portion of butter, some salt and pepper, and (especially if you're my Mum) some grainy mustard. Add a lovely slice of the soda bread (recipe below), and you're full for a month.
Irish Brown Soda Bread

The Players:

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 1/2 cups buttermilk


Heat the oven to 400°.

Combine everything but the buttermilk in a large bowl and stir the ingredients with your hands. Kids love this part!

Make a well in the mixture and pour in 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk.

Continue mixing with your hands, adding the remaining cup of buttermilk as you combine the ingredients. The resulting dough will be wet and very sticky.

Dust your hands with flour, shape the dough into a ball, and place it on a floured cookie sheet (I use Reynold's Release foil, which does fine). With a knife, score a deep X in the top of the ball, widening it with the sides of the blade as you cut.

Bake the bread until it's golden brown, about 50 minutes. Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Makes a crusty, dense loaf about 7 inches in diameter. No kidding, you could seriously damage someone's noggin if you bounced this bread off it!
Coming soon, what to do with the marvelous leftovers (including the liquid in the pot, oh, yeah!)


Susan said...

Yum. I'm going to the grocery store THIS MINUTE.

Susan said...

I'm well on my way to a delicious dinner but I had to tell you that this meat package was like any other I've ever encountered: boneless with juices. Thank you for the mental picture that will be with me every St Paddy's now from now until eternity. I lurve you.

Kyddryn said...

Happy to oblige, sugar...happy to oblige.