Monday, March 12, 2012

Hunk of Beef Monday: The Ultimate Irish Dish

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Yesterday, on my way back to the city after a relaxing country weekend on the farm I made my usual stop at the Pick 'n Save. The grocery stores are definitely prepared for the Irish to celebrate their heritage I was greeted in the meat section by this:
The grocery stores are stocked and ready for the Irishmen to prepare their feast, $2.69/pound
Along the way was also an even larger display of Guinness beer! To celebrate my Irish heritage (& love for beef) I thought I'd share the meaning behind this odd dish. Come to find out, there's more to it then just eating at a local townie bar with green beer out of a red solo cup!
Darina Allen shares the details on her cooking blog. "To "corn" something is simply to preserve it in a salty brine (the term corn refers to the coarse grains of salt used for curing). In the days before refrigeration, corning was essential for storing meat, especially from large animals like cows. Historically, beef that was slaughtered and corned before the winter was served with the first fresh spring cabbage to break the Lenten fast on Easter."
Any cut of beef can be used in this dish, however brisket is the most common. The brisket is one of the nine primal cuts of a beef and can be found on the lower chest of a beef. Due to the significant amount of connective tissue in this area, it tastes best when cooked at a lower temperature for a longer period of time to enhance tenderness. Darina also shares complete cooking tips for preparing the ever-so-famous dish.
The brisket is located in the lower left of the carcass.

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day. So you may chose to not take part in the Ultimate Dish, there's still festivals, bands, parades and of course green beer to enjoy!
I can't wait to tell you about my ultimate Irish plans, stay tuned!

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