All posts filed under: Saint Patrick’s Day

Under Pressure ~ Corned Beef & Cabbage

Since Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up, I’d be remiss if I didn’t do the obligatory Corned Beef and Cabbage thing.,, though I’ve already explained why  it really doesn’t belong anywhere near things even remotely Irish. Be that as it may… we  (as in the all-encompassing American “we”) think it’s the pinnacle of Irish cuisine… so there, we’re doing it. Coming up with new and interesting ways to do the corned beef dance is kinda hard. So, this time I’ve decided to put the Microwave Pressure Cooker screws to  that long slow braise, and see if we couldn’t shorten that 3-hour cook time to something more manageable. To do that… we need to talk about beef.  Corned Beef Primarily here in the States, corned beef comes in two distinct cuts of cow. … which is the Eye of Round – or the center, dense, tough, fat-less muscle in the Top Round and  … or full flat –  even though the flat has more fat, it is also tough. This has the added  bonus of being stringy from …

The Corned Beef Conundrum

You feel obligated because it’s St. Patrick’s, but does it really belong on the plate? Sadly… no. Although technically corned beef is an Irish thing, you’re not going to find it anywhere close to something that was eaten or served in any true Irish establishment. If they are going to eat beef, it’s going to be fresh. Corned beef was an export item. But, to get your head around that, you have to look at the background of the beef. In addition to the rolling hills chucked full of lamb and sheep, Ireland produces a lot of quality beef. (Currently, they control 16% of the export EU beef market.) The fertile grasslands and the constant temperatures allowing the cattle to graze on fresh grass throughout the year, produced some of the highest quality beef in the world. That, made it in demand, and demand meant money. So, beef was exported to other parts of Europe. England and France being the largest customers, consumed somewhere around 90% of the Irish beef market. So, reasonably speaking, that …