Corned Beef and Cabbage

by Anne Bennett on March 15, 2010

St. Patrick’s Day was my Irish father’s favorite holiday. On that day he became a frat boy, capable of the most inane behavior: he once painted a live pig green, took him into a pub on St. Patrick’s Day, put the squealing animal up onto the bar and said, “Bartender, my friend here would like a beer.” (I later heard this story from a neighbor who said this was the first time he ever met my dad.)

That was one of his tamer antics on this, the most Irish of American holidays. (The same neighbor said that he learned to stay inside late on the night of March 17, because my dad would go out into our front yard, shoot his shotgun into the air and yell, “Erin Go Bragh!” (Gaelic for “Ireland Forever”, or “duck and cover” in our neighborhood!)

The best part about St. Patrick’s Day, at least from my perspective, is corned beef and cabbage, a dish not usually on the list of healthy foods. Here is a lightened up recipe that I’ve adapted from Cooking Light. Corned beef is usually high in fat, so I cook a small one and surround it with lots of vegetables. This year, I got my corned beef at Costco ; it was only about 2 3/4 lbs. and was very lean.

Serve this with lots of vegetables and whole wheat Irish soda bread. All that's missing is the Guinness!

Serve this with lots of vegetables and whole wheat Irish soda bread. Strong mustard and horseradish sauce are essential. All that's missing is the Guinness!

1 (2 1/2 to 4-lb.) corned beef brisket
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 medium-sized head green cabbage, cored and cut into 1″ strips
2 lb. baby Yukon Gold potatoes
brussels sprouts (optional but so good)
baby carrots (also optional but colorful)
Chopped fresh parsley
2 t. butter
2 t. grated lemon rind
2 t. fresh lemon juice
pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 (5-oz.) jar prepared horseradish, drained and squeezed dry
3 T. Dijon mustard

Put brisket in a large Dutch oven; Cover with water and add onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 3 hours. Remove brisket to a cooling rack that’s been placed on a baking sheet and sprayed with nonstick spray.

Strain the cooking liquid through a strainer and return to the pot. Discard the solids. Add cabbage, bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring another pot of water to a boil and add potatoes; simmer for about 20 minutes. Add optional brussels sprouts and baby carrots during the last 7 to 10 minutes. Drain and add the parsley, butter, lemon rind, lemon juice and pepper.

Preheat broiler.

Combine breadcrumbs and horseradish. Spread mustard over one side of the brisket. Press the breadcrumb mixture onto the mustard. Broil brisket until lightly browned. Watch carefully–this will only take a couple of minutes.

Slice meat across the grain and serve with vegetables, Dijon mustard, horseradish sauce, whole wheat soda bread and Irish beer!

Serves: 8 (each serving: 3 oz. beef, about 1 cup potatoes and 1 1/2 cups of cabbage, carrots and brussels sprouts)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda March 15, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Love the anecdote and am pleased to have the lightened version of a favorite! Thanks, Anne!

brandi November 4, 2010 at 10:57 am

How many calories are in this meal? Looks yummy!

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