The Hungover Gourmet


The Wearin' O The Green

Better Homes and Gardens probably said it best when they said, "Even though it's not a national holiday, St. Patrick's Day provides a happy excuse for friends to gather."

Or, then there was that one St. Patty's Day when I said something like, "Blargh? Ack bwah blaggada!" At the time I thought it was a particularly pithy bon mot, but friends later informed me that I was screaming at a fire hydrant. Ah well.

One of my fondest St. Patty's Day evenings was spent with friends and comrades at (sniff) Spider Kelly's, a bar we loved all those many moons ago. We walked in on St. Patrick's Day evening and were welcomed with the inviting, comforting aromas that can only be produced by a crockpot of corned beef and cabbage. How it cut through the bar's telltale stench of 25 cent Meister Brau drafts, unfiltered smokes and "other substances" is beyond me.

Having spent the previous night on the air at our college radio station – under the influence of a present from a guy named "Cool Breeze" – it was one of those rare instances where I wasn't screaming at a fire hydrant on St. Patty's Day. Friends and I kicked back, ate heaping plates of corned beef and cabbage, and tossed down a few Meister Braus as the evening wore on.

Here's a classic recipe for an Irish-style Corned Beef Dinner from the pages of 1969's Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cookbook.

Corned-beef Dinner, Irish Style

  • 3 to 4 pounds, corned-beef brisket
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 small to medium potatoes, pared
  • 6 small carrots, pared
  • 1 medium head cabbage, cut in 6 wedges

Place corned beef in Dutch oven and barely cover with hot water; add onion, garlic, cloves, and bay leaves. Cover and simmer (do not boil) 1 hour per pound of meat, or till fork tender. Remove meat from liquid; add potatoes and carrots. Cover; bring to boiling and cook 10 miuntes. Then add cabbage wedges; continue cooking 20 minutes longer or till vegetables are done.

To carve corned beef, cut at slight angle across the grain, making thin slices.

Spice glaze: If you like, glaze the corned beef while vegetables cook. Spread fat side of meat lightly with prepared mustard. Then sprinkle with mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cloves. Place in shallow pan. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) 15 to 20 minutes or until nicely glazed.

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