Corned Beef and Cabbage
Rinse beef in cold water and place in deep pot and add cold water to cover beef by about 2 inches. Add pickling spices. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Skim off gray foam, this is important, the cooking broth will be clear and more flavorful. Cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer the meat 4 to 5 hours, until tender. Remove meat from the broth to an ovenproof platter, tent with foil and place in a warm oven.
Bring broth to a boil and add all the vegetables except the cabbage. Cook the onions, carrots, turnip and parsnips until just tender. Add the cabbage to the pot and cook approximately 15 minutes until tender.
Mashed Potatoes with Parsley
Serving mashed potatoes with a boiled dinner provides a textural change from an entire boiled meal, which is appealing. The green parsley provides an herbal note and beautiful color to the plate.
I like to serve this meal on one large platter, mounding the mashed potatoes in the center and surrounding the potatoes with the vegetables and sliced meat.
A little history. . .
In Ireland. before the late 19th century corned beef was considered to be a luxury. Cattle were used for their milk, not meat. Pork was more often the meat of the common man and bacon was often “corned” and boiled with vegetables. The word corned refers to salt used to preserve the meat. Meat, pork rather than expensive beef, was dry cured using large “corn” sized pieces of salt. Salt, also expensive, added cost to the luxury of boiled beef. If seen at all, Easter was the time of year when this meal would traditionally be served.
Irish immigration to the US brought the technique of corning meat, but it was applied to more readily available beef using inexpensive salt, while modern corned beef is not corned at all but rather brined with a salt solution.
In truth this delicious meal could best be described as Irish American, as few in Ireland will be serving it up.