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A Taste of the Irish

A few traditional Saint Patrick's Day recipes.

As our days begin to warm in the District, the green of Saint Patrick’s Day can’t help but remind me that spring is near. While we may not dye the Potomac green (as Chicago does to its river), we can hope that the Obamas will dye the fountain waters on the North Lawn green again this year! Though the was this past Sunday, Thursday still presents an opportunity to celebrate Irish heritage with your friends and family.

Besides it being a great opportunity to drink pints of Guinness and wear my kilt (which I do indeed own and wear), Saint Patrick’s Day is an opportunity to indulge is some excellent and hearty food inspired by some of my favorite people: the Irish. 

All stereotypes involving potatoes aside, the Irish have some great meals. A favorite of mine is corned beef and cabbage. A favorite and family tradition of Georgetown Patch’s editor, Shaun Courtney, is Irish soda bread. 

Be sure to visit Safeway on Wisconsin Avenue to get a great deal on corned beef.  This week, corned beef flats are $2.99 per pound and corned beef points are $1.99 (points and flats are cuts of meat, but points tend to have a higher fat content than flats, which are leaner). 

Below you will find my recipe and twist on a traditional corned beef and cabbage (which will require a day in a slow cooker) and Shaun Courtney’s family recipe for Irish soda bread. 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and as always, live deeply and happy eating my friends. 

Corned Beef and Cabbage

4-5 lbs of corned beef

1 head of cabbage, shredded or sliced

3-4 carrots, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup of parsley, diced

Beer of your choice

Salt and pepper

In a slow cooker, place your corned beef and vegetables, seasoning well with salt and pepper. 

To cover the ingredients (depending on the size of your slow cooker), pour two parts beer and one part water. The ingredients will take on the flavor of whatever beer you choose. A stout can be a bit too heavy, but still tastes delicious. An ale is always a good choice. 

Place ingredients into slow cooker to be able to cook on low for approximately 8 hours. Ideally, place the ingredients in the slow cooker and the meal should be ready to serve by the time you get home from work. 

Remove the corned beef from the slow cooker and slice just before serving. 

Separately, peel enough baby potatoes for each person to have 4-5 potatoes per person. Boil the potatoes until fork tender and then drain and toss with unsalted butter, a dash of sea salt and fresh black pepper. 

Serve the meat and vegetables with the potatoes and soda bread. 

Shaun’s Soda Bread

3 ½ cups of flour

5 level tsp of baking powder

1 tsp of salt

3 Tbsp of sugar

3 eggs

1 ½ cups of milk

1 cup raisins

Grease and flour loaf pan.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In mixing bowl, beat eggs and milk. Add remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until tests done. This is great with supper or served toasted with creamy butter for breakfast!

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