It’s that time of the year again when everything is supposed to be preparing to come up green after winter’s thaw. The next green your likely to see is a leprechaun or 4 leaf clover for St Patrick’s Day. What a great opportunity to embrace the comfort food of the Irish. Quick history lesson first.
Keep this in mind when you are in the kitchen this year making your Irish favorites. St. Patrick’s day originally began as a religious feast honoring the patron saint of Ireland before it became the international celebration of Irish culture that we know it as today. Irish immigration to America began in the very late 16th century, with the first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade being held in New York City (not Dublin!) in 1762. There’s no denying the marriage between culture and cuisine, and when immigration boomed over the next 100 years many authentic Irish dishes were introduced to America. Some favorites include classics like Irish Stew and Soda Bread. While these food traditions were preserved, others over time were transformed and re-interpreted. Some of you may be shocked to learn that Corned Beef & Cabbage is one of these dishes, and is in fact not an authentic dish from the Emerald Island.
For Irish immigrants of the time the preferred meat back at home was pork, not beef, because of the low cost of pork in Ireland. Such was not the case in the United States, and for many newly transplanted families, exorbitantly expensive. Beef, an American diet staple, on the other hand was not and quickly found its way into dishes within these Irish-American homes. Now that’s all well and good, but you might be asking yourself, where’s the corned beef?
New York City was home to thousands of the Irish working class and it was there in Jewish delis and lunch carts that they had a bite of the tender cured meat. Reminiscent of the ubiquitous Irish bacon it hit home for many and was quickly an affordable favorite. There was no shortage of potatoes in NYC at the time, but cash strapped families’ utilized low cost cabbage to create the hearty dish we have come to love.
They say that the holiday brings out the Irish in everyone, and I can’t think a better way of celebrating Irish culture than in the Kitchen. A few things to keep in mind when preparing your favorite Irish (or Irish-American) dish this year….
Have you ever cured your own beef? We do it all the time and it tastes nothing like the mass produced products out of a bag most people associate with corned beef. . If you want authentic corned beef come see us at The Meat House and we will show you how to do it yourself. Plan ahead because you need a week! If you’re not a planner we have you covered and you can order some from us. This year we are also featuring Irish Stew so come see us to make the most out of your St Patties.
Tell us the following phase and its meaning and you get free soda bread
Meallan muilte Dé go mall ach meallan siad go mion.