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veryone is a wee bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, many can scarcely wait for the perfect rea- son to dive into a hot plate of corned beef. After all, it’s a traditional Irish meal, right? Wrong. In early Ireland, producing corned beef was common, but it wasn’t a dish the Irish, them- selves, could enjoy.


British landlords owned 80 percent of the land in Ireland. They used the property to raise beef cattle, as well as various crops. Seventy-fi ve percent of Ireland’s population was poor, tenant


Boiled Bacon and Cabbage 1 pork picnic shoulder roast 3/4 cup coarse kosher salt 3/4 cup sugar 1 cup boiling water 1 gallon cold water


1 tablespoon ground pepper 1 bay leaf


1 head cabbage


Dissolve salt and sugar in boiling water. Add to the cold


water, pepper and bay leaf in container or plastic bag large enough to hold the brine and picnic shoulder. Submerse pork in brine, cover and refrigerate for two days. Ensure pork stays completely submersed. If it rises, weigh it down by placing a plate on top. When ready to start cooking, remove pork from brine. Rinse and pat dry. Place pork in large pot with a few whole peppercorns and bay leaves. Cover meat with cold wa- ter, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Periodically remove any foam that forms on top. Cut cabbage into quarters; add to pot and cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes, just until cabbage is cooked, but still fi rm. Lift cabbage out and set aside to drain. Remove pork and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve pork with cabbage, boiled potatoes and mustard sauce.


Mustard Sauce 4 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons fl our 4 teaspoons dry mustard 4 teaspoons sugar 2 teaspoons salt


1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 4 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 cup water


Mix butter and fl our in saucepan on medium-low heat to make a paste. Stir in mustard, sugar, and salt. Once combined, add vinegar until well blended. Add mayonnaise and water; stir until mixture becomes creamy. Serve immediately.


farmers who grew the crops and raised the cattle, but were not allowed to keep any for themselves. Instead, they were allowed to live on and farm small parcels of the worst land to feed their families. Struggling to survive, the Irish became dependent on the potato, which would grow in relatively small plots and tolerate poor soil.


When potato blight struck in the1840s, the Irish were left with little to eat. More than one million died of star- vation while being forced to raise the landlords’ beef and crops or face


Boxty


1 medium potato, peeled and grated 1 1/2 cups milk 1 cup all-purpose fl our


2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (teaspoons if using dry) 3/4 cup mashed potato 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper


Place grated potato in colander to drain; sqeeze to remove excess liquid. Pat dry. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and let rest for 20 minutes. Heat large, non-stick skillet or greased griddle to medi- um-high. Pour 3/4 cup batter for each boxty, spreading thin. Cook until top appears dry, fl ip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Boxty is versatile. Serve as a side dish with tart apple sauce, sour cream, or sharp cheddar cheese. It can also be a main dish when fi lled, like an omelette, with meat, vegetables and sauce.


Barmbrack


2 1/2 cups chopped dried, mixed fruit 1 1/2 cups hot brewed tea 2 1/2 cups fl our


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 egg


1 1/2 cups sugar 1/4 lemon marmalade 1 teaspoon grated orange zest


Soak dried fruit in hot tea for 2 hours; drain and gently squeeze out excess tea. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9-inch Bundt pan. Stir together cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda; set aside. Beat the egg, sugar, mamalade, zest, and soaked fruit until well combined. Gently fold in fl our until combined. Pour into pan. Bake 1 hour or until top springs back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool fully in pan before removing.


In Ireland, Barmbrack is served for holidays. On Halloween, it is baked to include charms, which foretell the next year. Pieces are carefully selected, hoping to receive a prediction of good fortune. A ring means the recipient will find true love; thimble means will not marry; rag means a year of poverty or bad luck; and a coin means great riches.


eviction, leaving no chance to feed a family. The primary foods of the Irish were dairy and grain products, but given the shortage of land and re- sources, the more fortunate among the Irish survived on pork, cabbage, and potatoes.


So, readers, that is why this month’s recipe page does not include a spot for corned beef. What you will fi nd, however, are some great recipes for authentic Irish dishes.


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