Ah the time of year that I remember those things of St. Patrick's day that I treasure so much. In this case it would be the the crispy texture of a wedge of Irish Soda Bread basted with butter and grilled in a skillet or on a grill. The warm interior biscuit/scone texture with savory flavor enhanced by currants or raisins and caraway seeds. Yes, St. Patrick's day and Irish Soda Bread.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
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
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.
Beef Barley Soup
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.
New England Boiled Dinner
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!!