Kiss Me I’m Irish

It’s tomorrow people! My fourth favorite holiday (behind Christmas, Thanksgiving, and my birthday…yes that counts). So since I knew I wouldn’t have time to cook an 8 lb. brisket on a work night, I settled on this past Sunday to make a big Irish feast just like my mom does.  Every year on St. Patrick’s day my mom makes corned beef and cabbage. I can remember coming home from school to the house smelling of herbs and spices and a big piece of corned beef simmering away.  Right around 4pm on Sunday, I turned to Matt and proclaimed, “it smells like my mommy’s kitchen in here!” I then proceeded to get all teary eyed because my family lives 800 miles away and I miss them…a lot.

So back to the feast, after crawling out of bed after a very rousing pub crawl the night before, I made Matt and our house guest Christine some bacon, eggs, and green shamrock pancakes. I also did letter pancakes for each of our names, ’cause that’s how my dad used to do it…aw man now I’m getting all homesick again. After breakfast we ventured to the fancy Food Emporium up on 60th. A meal like this is worth walking the extra 8 blocks for. I loaded up my cart with a brined corned beef, potatoes, onions, and of course cabbage. But when I got to the bread section I was met with an anticipated disaster. They were out of Irish Soda Bread. Given that I’m used to Food Emporium disappointing me, I came prepared with a back up plan. Irish Soda Bread is painfully simple to make. No mixer, no kneading, no rising required. Just combine a few ingredients, mound it into an oval, and bake. So I decided to make it from scratch (and yes I was secretly hoping they wouldn’t have the bread so I’d have an excuse to make it from scratch.)

So we toted our loot home and I immediately got to work seasoning and slow cooking the corned beef. The apartment smelled ahhmazing. It was like a cruel tease to smell something so good and have to wait hours and hours to eat it. While the meat cooked, I made some classic mashed potatoes, the Irish soda bread, and a new take on boiled cabbage. I remember when I was little I was never particularly enthused about eating cabbage. It’s just sort of bland, limp, and watery. So I was elated to come across a new recipe that would kick the plain old cabbage up a notch. You start by boiling the cabbage for about half the time as you normally would. Meanwhile you saute very thinly sliced onions on low heat until they release their juices, become soft, and start to sweeten slightly. Basically carmelizing them, but stopping before they become brown. Then you add in the chopped cabbage and let it finish cooking with the onions. It’s a fantastic dish. The cabbage stays slightly toothsome and the sweet depth of the flavor that comes from the onions compliments the cabbage perfectly. .

To go along side the corned beef and cabbage, I made a thick, creamy horseradish sauce. Now I’m going to be upfront with you, this sauce is sinfully good. It’s heavy cream whipped until stiff, mixed with some horseradish, lemon juice, and parsley. So essentially you’re pouring heavy cream over a fatty cut of meat, butter sauteed cabbage, and mashed potatoes. Sorry, don’t hate me when it’s awesome. So here it is peeps, a feast I think St. Patrick would be very proud of. I was planning on continuing the Irish theme of the last week and making Shepherd’s Pie for tomorrow. But…I think I’ve been persuaded to take part in a different type of Irish celebrating that evening, if you know what I mean…I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s day and find a way to eat, drink, and be merry!

Corned Beef


2 4lb Corned Beef Briskets

Whole peppercorns

Bay leaves


Follow the cooking instructions on the package, adding in peppercorns and two bay leaves.

Cabbage and Onions

Mashed Potatoes


5 lb bag of red potatoes, half peeled


Milk or cream

Salt and pepper


Boil the potatoes until fork tender, drain, mash, add butter and cream. Season to taste.

Irish Soda Bread


1 2/3 cup flour

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup currants

2 tsp. caraway seeds

1 large egg

2/3 cup of buttermilk

4 tbsp. melted butter


Whisk together dry in ingredients, stir in raisins, currants, and caraway seeds. In a separate bowl whisk together egg, milk and butter. Add to the flour mixture. Combine until dry ingredients are moistened. Mound into a large oval. Bake for 25 to 30 on a baking sheet at 375, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Horseradish Cream Sauce


1/2 cup heavy cream

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp horseradish

Salt and Pepper


Beat the cream until stiff, stir in lemon juice and horseradish. Season to taste.


2 thoughts on “Kiss Me I’m Irish

  1. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! We miss you, too. I am going to try your new cabbage recipe, I agree that plain boiled cabbage has always been the weak link in the chain. Your pictures are great. Erin Go Braugh! (Ireland Forever!)

  2. dear liz, you carry on a great tradition. i spent many terrific afternoons at st. patrick’s day partys at your family’s parties with little billy and liz. (you were both adorable but you know that.)and i remember that your grandad was the soda breadmaker and it was delicious!
    i am making my st. patrick’s day dinner tonight. it’s a recipe for loin of bacon from kevin dundon’s book. do you know it? glaze with irish mist and honey.(beth in charge of soda bread.)

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