We can't believe Off The Line has now been running for a bit over a month now!! We are excited it's March and not only because it's my birthday month but St. Patrick's Day is the very first holiday since we launched Off The Line!
So with that, we had to take ode to an Irish-American classic and show our take on the famous Corned Beef and Cabbage.
The origin of corned beef is actually a very interesting and somewhat ironic one. While many believe corn to be somehow involved in the process of making the dish, corn actually has nothing to do with it. Corned beef received its name from the Germanic word “kurnam” which means “small seed", referring to the large crystals of salt that were often used in the curing process when making corned beef. The beef was rubbed with salt and hung to cure as a way of preserving parts of the cow for later in the year. While the dish started as a preservation method derived from necessity, it has now become an Irish staple known worldwide.
The history of corned beef being known as an “Irish staple” is a bit ironic because beef was not consumed as often in Ireland as pork was. On a traditional Irish table, one was much more likely to find a slab of smoked bacon than corned beef. In fact, in the Gaelic religion, the cow was revered and viewed as a symbol of wealth.
However, in America, the opposite was typically the case. Pork was harder to get than beef and in large cities such as New York City, kosher butchering and preservation techniques were more common. While potatoes were also certainly the preferred crop in Ireland, in the US, cabbage was viewed as a cheaper alternative and was often spiced or flavored through being cooked in the same pot as the corned beef - making it a much more flavorful option than a typical head of cabbage
The list for the pickling spices needed is quite extensive. it includes:
If you'd like to make your own pickling spice or already have most of these spices then go for it! Us, on the other hand, when we make corned beef and cabbage, we go for the standard “pickling spice” blend that is quite common in grocery stores and markets.
Under the ingredients for the brine, you will see “pink curing salt #1” which is not to be confused with pink Himalayan salt. Pink curing salt #1 is used in many cured meat recipes such as bacon, ham and pastrami. It's what is responsible for that pink hue that those meats have and helps prevent meats high in fat from going rancid.
When brining the beef brisket, you'll want to refrigerate it for 5 days.
On a time crunch? We've all been there! You can purchase a pre-brined corned beef brisket but... hear us out. We highly recommend you brine it yourself so that you really get to experience the joy of making this dish start to finish. After all, that hard work pays off!
Corned Beef and Cabbage is a THE dish to eat on St. Patrick's Day. You've probably seen lots of recipes out there for this dish and for good reason! For us, we love classics and giving them our own Off The Line take on them. Pair it with a nice Irish Ale and you're good to go!
Cheers and eat well!
An Irish-American classic dish for your St. Patrick's Day meal or really, to be eaten at anytime!
Pickling Spice (or your favorite store-bought)
By bringing together our passions of cooking and photography, we created Off The Line, a destination for recipes and private events. Thanks for joining us as we take restaurant caliber recipes "off the line" and bring them into your home kitchen.
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