It’s St. Patrick’s Day today. Having grown up with a Scottish Irish grandfather, I am a huge fan of traditional corned beef and cabbage! My grandmother made a delicious version of it, and my wife has her own special Japanese-American version of it. As it turns out, corned beef and cabbage is similar to various stews served in Japan, so Japanese-Americans are very fond of it.
My grandmother traditionally served the corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, onions, carrots, and sometimes other root vegetables like turnips, parsnips, etc. on a plate with just a little bit of juice and butter. She served mustard on the side for the corned beef. My wife, on the otherhand, serves the whole mixture in a large bowl with spicy brown mustard on the side. It took me a while to get used to this stew/soup version of corned beef and cabbage, but now I am a huge fan of it. If you haven’t tried it before, you really should. She typically will also make a pot of mixed brown and white Japanese rice, and put a scoop of rice in the bottom of each bowl before spooning the soup/stew over it. Personally, I leave the rice out (that’s just straying too far from tradition!). But my kids love it with the rice in.
In fact, as I’ve learned, Corned Beef and Cabbage seems to be more of an American invention, though from Irish roots, than a true part of Irish culture. Read an interesting description here.
If you don’t already have a great family recipe, or are looking to try something new, give one of these recipes a shot.
For an added bonus, here is a great Irish Soda bread recipe I found on Elise.com. This makes a great side dish to corned beef and cabbage if you haven’t had it yet.
I’ll add a link to our family Japanese-American corned beef and cabbage recipe soon. In the meantime, enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day!