As a proud Anglo-Euro Mutt, I have a good bit of Scots-Irish heritage on all sides of my family. I always enjoy a little corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day (although in Chicago when eldest son was very young we ate at a Polish buffet to avoid the seasonal madness that descends upon the Windy City, I have no regrets).
That’s why when my day job office decided to have a St. Paddy’s themed potluck today (a full day before the official wearing of the green) I leapt at the chance to make the traditional dish of the Irish in America. It turned out pretty well if I say so myself.
It’s a little mussed up because my esteemed colleagues have been eating it, but you get the idea. Good hearty peasant food.
This combination of corned beef brisket and cabbage is a purely American Irish phenomenon. When the Irish fled the Potato Famine in the 19th century, the one of cheapest meats available was the corned beef sold at kosher delis along the eastern seaboard.
This story is, in essence, the American Melting Pot in a nutshell. Two very different cultures adapting to a new country and coming together in a free market to create something spontaneous and new.
I’m gonna celebrate tomorrow on the blog by sharing a bunch of Irish music.
Also, I have a guest blog probably coming up in the next couple of days on Sarah Hoyt’s excellent site. I’ll reblog it here whenever it goes up.
Oh, if you’re curious about which recipe I used, it’s this one essentially.