by Bridget O’Donnell

The Ides of March generously bring traditional and modern Irish fare to many kitchens and gastropubs in the area. Although not originally part of Irish cuisine, Irish American corned beef and cabbage has since become one of the most indicative dishes of St. Patrick’s Day.

For years I’ve simmered corned beef brisket in a large sauce or stock pot on the stovetop until the meat is tender enough to fall apart with a fork. Aside from a small seasoning packet included with the brisket, I add bay leaves, onion, a handful of carrots, and sometimes ½-1 can of Guinness, then let it cook for about three to four hours. Overlooking the utilitarian one-pot cooking method, I boil cabbage, potatoes and additional carrots separately to preserve individual flavor profiles.

This year, while listening to everyone talk about their plans for St. Patrick’s Day dinner, I realized that corned beef can be prepared in a variety of vessels. Although I may be a little stubborn to experiment when my method has repeatedly been successful, create your own tradition. You’ll find recipes in our printed collection and online for brisket prepared:

  • in the crockpot, aka: slow cooker,
  • in a pressure cooker, aka: instant pot,
  • in a Dutch oven (started on the stovetop then, transferred and finished in the oven) and,
  • Barbequed/BBQ’d or grilled.

Save some time and share the task of preparing dinner this holiday by supporting your local restaurants, bakeries, breweries and distilleries. Enjoy a nice meal, drink responsibly, and feel free to dance a jig or reel.

Sláinte (pronounced Slawn-che) and best of luck!

Title of Cookbook:
My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve

Author of Cookbook:
Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn

What prompted you to check out this cookbook?
Curiosity; I was interested to know how an Irish chef might prepare corned beef brisket.

What did you like about this cookbook?
The cookbook explains the origination of authentic Irish fare and includes charming depictions of Ireland. The ingredients used in the cookbook are accessible, the pictures are beautiful, and the cooking methods are explained clearly.

What didn’t you like about this cookbook?
Nothing really, the corned beef recipe requires a little more planning than I expected, 17 days to be exact. Coincidence? …And, I’m probably not going to make/case my own sausages.

Favorite recipe (that you tried from the cookbook):
I really didn’t have a favorite, but I’m planning to try a few recipes from this cookbook.

Did you alter the recipe or make any substitutions? If so, what were they?
The main difference was that my corned beef was store-bought and included a seasoning packet.

Would you recommend this cookbook?

**Note: the brisket shrinks considerably as it cooks, which may be a blessing if you’re not a big meat eater. If that’s the case, consider using leftovers to make a Rueben. On the contrary, while a little can go a long way, this may be a little surprising if you’ve invited guests over for dinner. Most grocery stores drastically defray the cost of the $20-$30 cut of meat during March, but you may be able to circumvent making a second brisket or entrée if serving a number of sides. Don’t forget the rye or Irish soda bread. Brown bread would also be nice if you can find it (outside of NYC).

Have a photo of your completed dish, your creation mid-recipe, or happy eaters you’d like to share?

Ingredients for corned beef, prior to cooking.
Cooked and sliced corned beef, carrots, cabbage, and soda bread.


The history of New York Irish corned beef and cabbage / Chef Michael Gilligan @IrishCentral (Jun 03, 2021)

Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food: More Than 100 Recipes for Easy Comfort Food / Kevin Dundon.

My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve / Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn ; photography by Scott Suchman.

The new Irish table: recipes from Ireland’s top chefs / Darina Allen, Martin Bealin, [and 8 others]; photography by Carsten Krieger, Chris Hill, and others; edited by Leslie Conron Carola.

Quick Subject links to the Library catalog:

Cooking, Irish.

Try it in the new catalog, Vega.