Saint Patrick’s Day!

These days, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by eating potato soup, but back in the day before we were mostly vegetarian, we ate corned beef and had corned beef hash for leftovers.

Corned beef originated in Medieval Europe, although preserving meat with salt dates from ancient times. In 11th Century Cork, Ireland, beef was preserved with grains or “corns” of salt, and became a major exporter of “corned beef” well into the 1800s.Irish corned beef spread to the New World and went to two world wars with British soldiers.

Meanwhile, Jewish cooks were also curing beef with salt and spices. In the USA, delicatessens like Russ and Daughters were set up by Jewish immigrants to serve the needs of other immigrants who, for one reason or another, couldn’t cook Kosher food for themselves.

Descendants of Irish immigrants, who brought Cork’s corned beef and Ireland’s colcannon (boiled cabbage and onions) to their new country, established corned beef and cabbage as “traditional” St. Patrick’s Day fare, although St. Patrick’s Day has always been celebrated more grandly in America than in Ireland.

Corned beef and corned beef hash are available in tins, and are good enough that way, but corned beef hash is better when it’s made fresh from your own roasted or boiled brisket.

Whether I have it simmered slowly with cabbage and root vegetables, sliced thin between two slices of rye bread, or chopped and fried with potatoes and onions, corned beef is still always a treat when I can get it.

I’m posting at Fatal Foodies today about my Pi Day dinner pie. Tomorrow, I’ll post on this blog about my Pi Day dessert pie. Today’s post here was about food because.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Two people of different ethnic backgrounds discover they have something basic in common.




I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Saint Patrick’s Day!

  1. Jane

    March 17, 2015 at 9:43am

    Once again, You’ve got me all hungried up!
    And I just had breakfast!

    Er. Thanks.

    As I said before, I’ve been adding sweet potatoes to my pot roast, plus the regular whites. Yum, what a great gravy they eventually settle down to. The chunks are good, too.

    Oh, yeah. Last time, I added capers. You see, I bought a GREAT BIG bottle of them at the flea market, yarons ago. They’re packed in brine, so they’re all good and healthy still (in the fridge).
    Anyway, capers are a titillating taste treasure.
    (Apply with caution)

    Lift a brew with me for St Paddy!
    Bubba will be arriving later with TWO jugs of draft.
    Can’t wait!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      March 17, 2015 at 3:41pm

      Alas, I have no beer! I’ll just wait and have an Old Rasputin at the SIW pre-meeting meeting on Thursday.

      Capers are lovely! I’m out of ’em at the mo, but now that you remind me of them, I’ll pick some up tomorrow.

      I like sweet potatoes in my roasted veg. Hmmm…. I think a stew of sweet potatoes, kale, onions, and black-eyed peas sounds good. Grocery, here I come!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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