St. Patty's Day Blowout

Posted by Brette in Food | Holidays

Top o’ the morning to you! Hold onto your hats gang, this is going to be a looooonnnggg post.  We always celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – it’s a family tradition – with corned beef and cabbage and my cheese soda bread. This year, I decided to do it Martha’s way.

Corned Beef

Corned Beef

First, Homemade Corned Beef with Vegetables, which is in March Martha Stewart living and also shown on the tv show. As I posted two weeks ago, I corned the beef myself. It was actually quite easy to do (other than not being able to find pink curing salt -I substituted a meat curing salt instead). The meat has to cure for two full weeks. I cooked this in much the same way I always do – in a big pot with some carrot, celery, and onion.

When I make this, I always add cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. Martha calls for tunips also, so I added those.  I followed her instructions about steaming the turnips and carrots, although in the past I have always just cooked all the veggies in the pot with the meat and they are good that way too.  The results?



Excellent! I was worried my corned beef would not be pink since I did not have pink curing salt, but as you can see, it did mostly turn pink. It tasted very good. If I had any criticism it would be that it seemed a little too salty. The vegetables were great and the turnips were a nice addition. Martha says to serve this with broth and mustard. In my family, we serve it with horseradish and ketchup, and some sour cream for the potatoes.  I will definitely corn my own beef again next year!

Martha has a recipe for Irish Soda Bread in the magazine and she also made it on tv, talking about how she made up this recipe herself (I was excited to try something that really was straight from her hands).  I also made my own cheese soda bread so we could have a taste-off.

Martha's Soda Bread

Martha's Soda Bread

Martha’s bread was easy to make, once I ran to the store for wheat bran! She uses milk that she sours with vinegar instead of buttermilk. Her recipe has no eggs in it, whereas mine does. She adds caraway seeds and raisins. The bread came together nicely. When I baked it, it flattened significantly though. Cutting it into slices was an adventure. It pretty much fell apart and wasn’t very nice

Soda Bread Sliced

Soda Bread Sliced

looking. It did, however, taste FANTASTIC. Really, really amazing. I am not a raisin fan, so I picked those out. The wheat bran really makes this bread wonderful – crunchy and sweet and hearty.  I will definitely make this again (although maybe I’ll make a loaf for me without raisins in it!).

Cheese soda bread

Cheese soda bread

Now for my own Cheese Soda Bread. Here’s the recipe:

4 c flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking soda

6 tbsp butter

2 heaping cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 eggs

1 1/2 c buttermilk.

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients and stir in the cheese. Beat the eggs and reserve 1 tbsp. Mix eggs with buttermilk and stir into dry ingredients. Turn it out onto a floured surface and form it into a round. Place on greased baking sheet and brush outside with reserved egg. Bake for 75 minutes and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

I have been making this for years and years and got the recipe from my mom (Big MarthaAndMe). It is  just as simple to make as Martha’s. It uses buttermilk and eggs and of course the cheese is a big change from Martha’s. I love this bread so much, but it is very different from Martha’s – almost like they are not both in the same family of breads. I think I will have to make both every year from now on!

My reuben

My reuben

Now, on to the leftovers. One of the reasons I love St. Patrick’s Day dinner is because there are always leftovers! The next day I always make a reuben sandwich. I use pumperknickel rye bread. I put ketchup on one slice and mustard on the other. I use sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut and cook it in a pan like grilled cheese. Oh! It is so good.

My other big leftover dish is corned beef hash. First, I cook some onion and set it aside. I use the potatoes from the corned beef because they are already cooked. I dice them and then cook them in a pan with olive oil, slowly, until they are brown and crisp. Then I add the onion and diced corned beef and salt and pepper to taste. I serve it with ketchup. It’s to die for.

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4 Responses

  • Brette,
    I’d never thought of adding cheese to soda bread.I’m going to have to try that. A few years ago I came up with a variation: plain yogurt and a bit of water instead of the buttermilk and the butter, no eggs or fruit, but usually some flaxseed meal which gives a nice subtle taste and subs for the richness of the butter too. sounds odd maybe but it works and tastes great and quite like the soda bread I’ve had in Ireland. Now to try adding cheese…
    Don’t eat corned beef here, but sounds as though you had fun with it.

  • I can see how yogurt and water would work in place of buttermilk. I’ve made brownies using yogurt. Flaxseed meal sounds good too. I’ll have to try that.

  • I made my own corned beef as well this year, and it was SO much better than the store-bought kind. I love that we’re willing to do this ourselves.

  • I like being able to control what goes into my food as much as possible. Next year I’m going to order an organic brisket since I prefer organic beef but could not find any in time to get it brining.