Top-o-the Morning – Recipes
As with so many a tradition, there are warm thoughts of these dishes. I grew to enjoy Soda Bread, a cross between a scone and a biscuit is how I would describe it. I enjoy the bread, buttered and grilled, slightly toasted and warm. A hint of raisin break the crumb and the dry texture invites those juices of the boiled dinners. Here is a recipe for Irish soda bread.
The next dish here is Corned Beef and cabbage. Originally this started as a way of preserving the meat briskets. They would put them in large tubs, like wine barrels, and there they would soak in the brine for extended periods of time. This was and is a common method of preserving foods. The meat would have a great level of salt in it which would require cooking the meat in liquid to extract the excess amount of salt. Once cooked this liquid would be great for seasoning vegetables. This is exactly what a corned beef and cabbage meal is. You will cook the brisket in the stock pot, once it is close to being cooked you will remove the meat, cook your wedged cabbage and other vegetables until tender. They will have absorbed much of the meat seasoned, salty stock, but not to much salt. This is delicious!!!
Ham and split pea soup will be the next dish we discuss. Ah, the rich smoked ham or shoulder seasoned split pea soup, thicker is my preference. However not thickened with traditional methods, the thickness of this soup comes from the cooking down of the split peas themselves. The longer you cook the pea occupied broth, the thicker the soup gets. This is a preference, so you choose your thickness. However, potatoes, carrots, ham or shoulder in a pea thickened solution is a treat, if you can get past the pale army green color.
One of my all-time favorite soups, Beef Barley. Beef broth, tomato, a hint of rosemary are all only complimented by the celery, carrot, and onion. If you are a mushroom fan they do go well in this as well or if you wanted a vegetarian soup you can substitute the beef broth with Vegetable and add more mushrooms, yum. The barley adds such rich complexity, creamy filling and very nutritious.
Ah, the classic Shepherds pie. Traditionally made with lamb this casserole dish is one that has it all. Rich meat flavor, savory gravy, vegetables and topped with whipped potato. The original potato bowl dish, that KFC turned into a menu item for some time with the switch of beef or lamb to popcorn chicken and corn with gravy. Both are delicious, but here we focus on the Irish original.
The New England Boiled Dinner, which also can be corned beef and cabbage. Here we focus on Irish heritage, where like much of our American heritage has humble beginnings. The Irish were predominantly poor, therefore they were less likely to eat Corned Beef and more Likely to eat Smoked Pork Shoulder. Well, rich smoked pork flavor, cooked in the same fashion as Corned Beef and Cabbage, that addition of a smoke essence, yum!!
Oyster stew, a soup of pure simplicity. The richness of Oysters in a subtle bacon flavor cream broth, simple, delicious. Oysters grow in bays and harbor deep water and closer to shore on farms. The tenderness of an egg with the slight salinity of the sea, subtle in nature yet rich in flavor.
Corned Beef Hash, oh the thoughts of 2 eggs sunny side up laying on a bed of crispy homemade corned beef hash. The yolks pierced to en-robe the bits of corned beef, potato, onion mixture. The flavors aren’t for everyone, however, for those that enjoy them it is hard to compare it to other dishes. The beauty of this is once St. Patricks day hits, you utilize your extra uneaten corned beef and make this Completely different dish. Pretty wholesome too!!