Corned beef has been a St. Patrick’s Day favorite ever since Irish immigrants first touched down in New York during the 1840’s.
The Destination America team says it all started when roughly half a million Irish came to the U.S. during the mid 19th century — accounting for more than half of all immigrants at that time. And what they brought with them was a love for corned beef.
Its affordability, abundance and delicious taste made it a staple dish for St. Paddy’s festivities. Fast-forward more than 150 years, and it’s still the focal point of many meals.
Scratching Your Customers’ Corned Beef Itch
National Day Calendar points out that St. Patrick’s Day is also National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day. So on March 17, you can bet that your customers will be craving some delicious corned beef.
As you can see from the recipes listed below, there are a variety of ways to serve up this meat. You can go with the classics like a Reuben sandwich or corned beef and cabbage or be a bit more adventurous with a corned beef and bacon sandwich or even Irish tacos.
This way you can keep your customers happy, while at the same time capitalizing on the $4.4 billion that Americans spend on St. Patrick’s each year, according to Denver Nicks of Time Magazine.
The Classic Reuben
This is the quintessential corned beef sandwich that’s been wowing taste buds for the better part of a century. Although there’s some debate as to who exactly invented the Reuben, it first popped up on menus in 1934 Elizabeth Weil writes at Saveur.
In its classic form, the Reuben consists of corned beef on rye with sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and Russian dressing.
Daniel Gritzer offers some tips in Serious Eats for making a killer Reuben. He recommends preheating the sauerkraut and corned beef so that the cheese melts quickly when assembling the sandwich. You’ll also want to toast the rye on one side so that it has a delicious, crisp outer texture, while leaving the inside nice and tender.
Here’s a modern spin on the traditional Reuben according to Christy Denney of The Girl Who Ate Everything. It consists of a pound of chopped corned beef, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, shredded Swiss cheese and cubed rye bread.
To construct this tasty concoction, first layer a baking dish with the corned beef and sprinkle the sauerkraut on top. Then drizzle on the dressing, followed by the Swiss cheese on top of that. Finally, spread the diced rye on top and coat with just a touch of cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and you’re ready to nosh.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup
Nothing screams St. Patrick’s Day quite like corned beef and cabbage. This recipe from Corey of Fresh Family Meals infuses both of these Irish comfort foods into one amazing dish.
It’s made by sauteing onion, garlic, celery, chopped carrots, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper in a large soup pot for five minutes until tender. From there you stir in diced potatoes, chopped cabbage, chicken broth and corned beef. This truly hits the spot and is about as festive as you can get.
Grilled Corned Beef and Fontina Sandwich
The Bon Appétit team outlines a simple but scrumptious sandwich recipe that really makes corned beef come to life. You’ll need Jewish-style rye bread, corned beef, Fontina cheese, sweet onion and Dijon mustard. They suggest first melting butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
After assembling the sandwich, place it in the skillet while occasionally pressing down with a spatula until the cheese melts and the outside is golden brown. Then cut in half and serve.
Corned Beef and Bacon Sandwich
Fine Dining Lovers offers a slightly different take that’s sure to be a hit with meat lovers. It’s pretty simple: You’ll need either ciabatta, pumpernickel or rye bread, corned beef, bacon, cheddar cheese and honey mustard.
Assemble the sandwich and use either a Panini press or a stovetop skillet to heat. Grill until golden brown and eat it while it’s still hot.
Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef
This recipe from Dinner Then Dessert is well worth the wait once you sink your teeth into this juicy corned beef with a crispy outer crust.
Preparation is straightforward. Place corned beef into a slow cooker. Then add minced garlic, sugar and ground black pepper to the top of the corned beef and rub it in. Now add cider vinegar and a bay leaf to the side. Pour in just enough water to come up roughly a quarter of the way to the top of the meat.
From there, let it slow cook for nine hours. It pairs perfectly with roasted potatoes for a hearty meal.
Guinness Corned Beef with Cabbage
Want to crank up the Irishness to 11?
There’s arguably no better way than combining three of the all-time favorites: corned beef, cabbage and Ireland’s national drink of choice — Guinness.
John Roach at National Geographic writes that Guinness was one of the top customs and traditions Irish immigrants brought to the United States. He notes that on most days, 5.5 million pints are consumed, but that amount skyrockets to 13 million pints on St. Patrick’s Day.
The Steamy Kitchen team offers a superb recipe and explains that using Guinness rather than water maximizes the flavor of the corned beef and creates a dark, rich sauce that’s loaded with complex flavor.
It works by adding two bottles of Guinness along with dark brown sugar, pickling spice, onion and garlic to the corned beef. Then you slow cook it in the oven at 300 degrees for 4-5 hours.
Combine that with boiled cabbage and you’ve got a wonderful Irish meal.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Casserole
Looking for yet another way to combine corned beef and cabbage? Sheilah from Sheilah’s Kitchen has just the ticket with her tasty casserole.
Her recipe calls for chopped cabbage, sliced celery, chopped onion, rotini pasta, diced corned beef, sour cream, dry mustard, caraway seed, pepper and shredded Swiss cheese.
Place the cabbage, celery and onion into a large nonstick skillet and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients (minus the cheese) and mix thoroughly. Finally, spoon everything into a casserole dish, top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Voila! A new take on an old favorite.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Chowder
How many ways you could possibly combine corned beef and cabbage? You’d be surprised.
Sandra Shaffer offers this delicious chowder recipe in The Foodie Affair that’s ideal for chilly March weather. It combines onion, diced celery stalks, diced carrots, potatoes, corned beef and cabbage along with beef broth, milk, butter, flour, thyme and bay leaves.
First melt the butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots, and give them about five minutes to become tender. Then stir in the flour, followed by the broth, milk, bay leaves and thyme.
Let it simmer until thickened, and finish by adding the key ingredients of potatoes, corned beef and cabbage. Give it 10-15 more minutes and you’re ready to grub.
Corned Beef and Potato Bake with Hash Browns
This recipe from Diana Rattray of The Spruce is simple, tasty and very hearty. The best part is that it’s a great way to use leftover corned beef.
It calls for diced, leftover corned beef, butter, chopped onion, chopped green bell pepper, dried leaf thyme, spicy mustard, hash brown potatoes, kosher salt, ground black pepper, shredded Swiss cheese and breadcrumbs.
First melt two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Now add the onion and bell pepper and cook until tender. This is followed by the thyme and diced corned beef, which is then followed by the mustard.
Then add the potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with half of the Swiss cheese. Now spoon the corned beef over the cheese and sprinkle on the remaining Swiss. Top it off with breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter, and bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Looking to push the envelope even further with corned beef? This recipe from Wendy O’Neal of Around My Family Table does just that and offers an interesting taste of Irish/Mexican fusion.
It’s super easy. Combine corned beef, fried potatoes, sauerkraut (or cabbage), shredded Swiss and a dollop of Russian dressing onto a corn tortilla. Add just a bit of chopped green onions for extra taste and freshness and you’re all set.
If you’re looking to crank up the flavor profile even more, the Just a Pinch team recommends adding candied bacon, fresh cilantro and fresh green chilies.
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