St. Paddy’s Day Feast

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and I am looking forward to our traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner.  I post the recipe along with the Irish Soda Bread recipe every year in hopes you will try my Braised Corned Beef and Cabbage with Veggies.  I love the recipe and hope you will as well.

St. Patrick’s Day Feast

A St. Patrick’s Day Feast would be incomplete without Irish Soda Bread.  This Irish Soda Bread recipe is my version of my sister-in-law Kathy’s mother Peggy’s recipe.  I changed only a few things in the recipe.  Peggy’s recipe uses margarine, I use butter.  Butter gives it a richer flavor.  I added caraway seeds because my very Irish customer asked me to when I made it for her family.  We all loved the results.  It adds another layer of flavor.

Irish Soda Bread 

Peggy’s Irish Soda Bread

Makes 1 Loaf 

4          Cups All Purpose Flour

 1/3       Cup Granulated Sugar

 1          Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt

 2          Teaspoons Baking Powder

 1          Tablespoon Caraway Seeds, Optional

 4          Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Cold and Cut into 8 Pieces

 2          Cups Golden or Dark Raisins,  Soaked in Whiskey  (Optional.  In a small bowl, pour 1/4 Cup Whiskey over the raisins and let them soak for a few minutes.  Drain well before using.) 

1 ½     Cups Buttermilk

1          Large Egg

1          Teaspoon Baking Soda

1          Large Egg Yolk (For the Glaze)

1          Tablespoon Heavy Cream (For the Glaze)

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and the optional caraway seeds.

Cut in the butter with your finger tips or a pastry cutter.  (Using your fingers is the most efficient way to cut in the butter.  Just be sure the butter is super cold.)  Add the raisins and stir until evenly distributed.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with a fork and add the buttermilk.  Add the baking soda and stir to combine.  Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture all at once and combine with a fork until all of the liquid is absorbed and the mixture starts to hold together.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until the dough comes together.  Don’t over work it or it will be a tough bread.

Form the dough into a round, domed shape 7 to 8 inches in diameter.  Place on prepared sheet pan.

In a small bowl mix together the egg yolk and cream and brush the top of the bread all over with the egg wash.  Cut a cross into the top of the bread about half an inch deep.

Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake the bread for 60 to 70 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the baking time.  Bake until the bread is golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack.  Cool completely before cutting.

Oven Braised Corned Beef with Irish Beer and Irish Whiskey

When buying the corned beef be sure to buy the flat end.  This is the largest part of the brisket, the most evenly marbled and the tenderest.  The tip end is stringy and not very flavorful.  I had to look really hard through the meat section to find a large piece like I use in this recipe.  There seemed to be only two to three pound pieces and that, to me, is hardly worth the effort.  Besides, the shrinkage factor is crazy.  You can buy your corned beef a week in advance as there will be a better selection in size and, as long as you keep it in the bag it comes in, it will fine.  This size corned beef will serve six but there will not be any left over.

You might think that with all of the beer and whiskey in the recipe it will have a strong alcohol flavor.  But it doesn’t.  In fact there is no beer or whiskey flavor at all.  The beer does wonders for the taste and texture of the corned beef and the whiskey mellows the taste even more giving it a subtle sweetness.  If you prefer not to use beer or whiskey you can substitute a light, no sodium chicken stock.  My result was a delicious, melt in your mouth corned beef.

If there is a packet of seasoning in the bag the corned beef comes in, use it.  You can never add too much flavor.  Don’t use any salt as the corned beef has enough in the brine to flavor everything in the pan.

Corned Beef Nestled In The Pot

Serves 6

1        4 ½ to 5 Pound Corned Beef Brisket, Flat End

6        Garlic Cloves, Smashed

2        Large Onions, Thickly Sliced

2        Tablespoons Pickling Spice

2      Bay Leaves

2      12 Ounce Bottles of Beer (Not Light Beer) Such as Harps Lager

1/2  Cup Irish Whiskey (Or Canadian Club)

12    Medium Size Carrots, Peeled, Cut Crosswise on an Angle Into 1″ Pieces

6        Medium Size Yukon Gold Potatoes, Unpeeled and Cut Into Quarters

1       Pound Boiler Onions, Peeled and Left Whole with Root End Attached

1      Large Head Savoy Cabbage, Cut Into Six Wedges with Core Left Intact (Leaving the core intact keeps the cabbage leaves together making it easier to handle and it looks good as well.)

Preheat the oven to 325 Degrees F.

Rinse the corned beef with cold water to remove all of the brine the meat has been sitting in.  Place the corned beef into a large roasting pan. Add the garlic, onions, pickling spice, bay leaves, beer and whiskey. On the stove top bring the liquid to a boil.  (It is always good to put a hot pan into the oven when cooking something such as this.  It removes all of the time in the oven being wasted to get the pan and its contents hot.)  Cover with a lid and place in the oven. (If you do not have a lid for the pan, cover the meat with a sheet of parchment paper and then with foil.  Be sure to seal the edges of the foil tightly around the pan.)  Braise 3 hours, turning the meat in the pan half way through the cooking time.

 At the end of the 3 hours, remove the pan from the oven, turn the meat again, add the carrots and potatoes, scattering them around the meat. Replace the lid (or foil) and place back in the oven for an additional one and a half hours.

Remove the pan from the oven, add the onions and the cabbage, being sure to nestle the cabbage in the liquid and spoon some of the liquid over each wedge.  Replace the lid (or foil), place back in the oven and continue braising for 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let everything rest in the pan, covered, for 20 minutes.

Trim off some of the fat from the corned beef.  Slice the meat against the grain and decoratively arrange meat and vegetables on a large platter.  Drizzle some of the pan juices over the meat and vegetables.

Serve with prepared horseradish (I like the hot horseradish) and coarse whole-grain mustard.

I am looking forward to your comments, so please feel free to make a comment on this or any of my posts.  You can also email me at

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One Response to St. Paddy’s Day Feast

  1. Sarah Marie says:

    Wow Camille that Irish Soda Bread looks amazing!! I am going to attempt to make it for Kevin’s moms St. Patrick’s Day party on the 16th!! I will let you know how it goes!! Could I put some green food coloring in it to make it a little green??

    love you,


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