Corned beef and cabbage’s popularity took shape during Irish immigration to the United States. Pork was the preferred meat in Ireland since it was cheap. When the Irish immigrated to the U.S., they often faced discrimination and lived in slums alongside Jewish and Italian groups. It was at Jewish delis and lunch carts that the Irish experienced corned beef and noticed its similarity to Irish bacon. Cooking the corned beef with cabbage was another choice based on cost efficiency. Even better, the entire meal could be cooked in one pot, making it cheap and easy to prepare. Corned beef is best cooked over low heat, either on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.
This is how we prepare our Saint Patrick’s Day meal:
- 4 Pounds Beef Brisket
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 3 Pounds Small Red Potatoes
- 8 Carrots peeled
- 1 Medium Cabbage cut into wedges
- Place brisket, brown sugar, and bay leaves in a large Dutch oven or stockpot; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
- Add potatoes and carrots; return to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer, just until beef and vegetables are tender, 30-40 minutes. (If the pot is full, remove potatoes and carrots before adding cabbage; reheat before serving.)
- Add cabbage to pot; return to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the cabbage is tender for about 15 minutes. Remove vegetables and corned beef; keep warm.
- For horseradish sauce, strain and reserve 1-1/2 cups cooking juices; skim fat from reserved juices. Discard remaining juices. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in 1 cup reserved juices. Stir in sugar, vinegar and horseradish; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thickened. If desired, thin with additional juices and season to taste with additional sugar, vinegar or horseradish.
- Cut beef across the grain into slices. Serve with vegetables and sauce.