It should come as no surprise that many of the foods we associate with holidays and cultures have absolutely nothing to do with those holidays and cultures. In fact, many times those foods don’t even originate out of the native culture.
For instance, when you think of Chinese food, what comes to mind? You may think beef & broccoli. It appears on virtually every Chinese food menu you’ll find across America. Yet, beef & broccoli isn’t actually native Chinese food. It’s an Americanized Chinese food.
No different when it comes to corned beef & cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. A little bit of research and you’ll discover that it is unlikely that you will find corned beef & cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. It’s once again an Americanized Irish food. It will be available here in America with pubs, restaurants, delis and supermarkets making sure corned beef & cabbage will be on-hand and in plentiful quantities. We won’t get into the origins of corned beef & cabbage and how it became associated with St. Patrick’s Day in America. You can easily do a web search and get all that information.
However, we will talk a little bit about corned beef & cabbage, the food. No, we don’t mean the deli sliced version of corned beef. We mean the real, thick cut, freshly prepared brisket-style corned beef. Yes, delis do prepare a version of corned beef & cabbage but what we are really talking about is that delicious, juicy homemade version. It’s the corned beef that boils in a large pot filled with water and spices which creates an incredible aroma that fills the kitchen. Add heads of cabbage sliced in quarters into that pot and cook them until they become fork tender and are infused with all the delicious flavors that have been incorporated into your now corned beef “stock”. Drop in some potatoes and carrots into your pot for an added delight. Yes, that’s the corned beef & cabbage we’re talking about. It’s mouth watering and absolutely delicious. The flavor infused stock turns traditional vegetables into something refreshing.
So maybe corned beef & cabbage isn’t a true Irish food for St. Patrick’s Day but at the end of the day, we can’t complain that when prepared well, it makes for quite a delicious and satisfying meal. On this St. Patrick’s Day enjoy your corned beef & cabbage!