Living in Boston means that St Patrick’s Day is a true holiday. There’s the parade in Southie, the green beer everywhere and the long standing tradition of corned beef and cabbage. I’ve heard, though I am not sure it is true, that there are more celebrating the day here than in Ireland itself.
In my younger, before children days, I’d go my favorite Irish bar, conveniently located a block from where I lived at the time. The Hippo and I spent many an afternoon there, talking with Mike, the older Irish bartender, who would tell us we were too pretty to put up with crappy guys or that we were too cute to stay single for long. St. Patrick’s day there was like any other day but more crowded and more green.
Now that I have two kids, three jobs, two pets and assorted other responsibilities, my bar days are pretty much over. I am ok with this, as I never really took to green beer anyway. I’ll be spending the day of the parade at the ballet (talk about a 180!). Tonight, however, I celebrated through food, making corned beef and my own version of colcannon. I share it with you in case you, too, have moved past your green beer days.
Corned Beef and Colcannon, 1/4 Irish style
1 first cut brisket (I use the Wellshire Farms one) with the seasoning packet
Enough water to cover
1/2 cup brown (or dijon but brown is better) mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
Throw the corned beef along with the seasoning into a slow cooker. Cover with hot water so that the meat is submerged by about an inch. Cook on high for 8 hours. Take it out and put it on a sheet or broiler pan. Let it start to cool a bit and heat your oven to 350. In a small saucepan, combine the mustard, water and sugar. Cook over medium high heat for about five minutes, so that it starts to reduce a bit.
Brush some over the top of your meat and put the meat in the oven. Cook for about half an hour, basting every five to ten minutes. Take the meat out and let it rest for about five to ten minutes before slicing.
Colcannon (sort of)
4 potatoes, peeled and sliced into even pieces
1 stick of butter (yes, I said a stick)
2-3 tablespoons sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1/2 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
several handfuls of fresh spinach, washed and dried
Place potatoes into a saucepan and cover with water. Add a generous amount of salt. Boil over high heat until potatoes are soft. Drain and add the potatoes back to the pot. Mash them.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, taking care not to let the garlic burn. Add the spinach and mix until it wilts. Dump the whole thing in with the potatoes and mix well with a large spoon. You may need to add a bit of milk or more butter or sour cream/greek yogurt to get the texture you like.
We also made brownies, at the toddler’s request. They were great- fudgy and sweet and just the right amount of crunch on the top. We used this recipe.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Don’t forget to wear green and be safe!!