The Rise of Corned Beef as a St. Patrick’s Day Tradition
When you think of St. Patrick's day there are a few things that come to mind. People donning green attire, participating in parades, drinking a little more than you maybe should, and of course partaking in some traditional Irish cuisine. While many associate this festive day with dishes like Irish soda bread, and blood pudding, it’s the corned beef and cabbage that really seems to resonate with people.
In Ireland, the traditional dish for St. Patrick's Day was more likely to be bacon and cabbage. Irish immigrants brought this tradition with them to the United States in the 19th century. In the United States, Irish immigrants found that certain ingredients were easier to find and were more affordable than in their homeland. One of those ingredients was beef, which was more accessible than the traditional bacon they used originally in Ireland. As a result, they adapted their recipes to include corned beef as a substitute for bacon.
Corned beef (a salt-cured and seasoned beef brisket) became a staple in Irish-American homes. Its preparation involved brining the meat with large-grain rock salt or "corns" of salt, giving the dish its name. The slow-cooked corned beef paired with cabbage became a popular and affordable meal for Irish-American families. The dish became a symbol of Irish-American identity and a way to celebrate their heritage on St. Patrick's Day. The fact that the piece is typically quite large helped give way to leftovers that were often shared with other families that wouldn’t have usually tried the dish. Creating newer fans of the meal that would pass on the tradition for future generations.
Today, no matter what your original heritage, everybody is a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than to indulge in a meal that’s stood the test of time.
When looking for the perfect corned beef you want to keep an eye out for a few things. It’s preferable to pick a piece on the larger side due to the cooking time and the amount of shrinkage that takes place. We have alleviated any of those concerns by hand selecting pieces that are at least 13.5 lbs. Next up you want to make sure that the corned beef has plenty of the delicious brine (a.k.a seasoned liquid) in the bag so the meat can absorb all the flavor. Main Street’s proprietary brine has the perfect amount of spices and seasonings that will please everyone at the table. Lastly, you want to make sure that the piece has a large fat covering to protect the brisket during the long cook. We have made sure to choose only the nicest pieces to enter our private label.
Inspired? Need a recipe to try out? Look no further,
- The Gang at Farmingdale Meat Market