Corned Beef: A Real Delight

"All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed." - Sean O'Casey

Corned Beef Brisket Is Fantastic

In the United States, corned beef is also associated with Saint Patrick's Day, when many Irish Americans eat a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.

According to the History Channel, while cabbage has become a traditional food item for Irish-Americans, corned beef was originally a substitute for Irish bacon in the late 1800s. Irish immigrants living in New York City's Lower East Side sought an equivalent in taste and texture to their traditional Irish bacon, and learned about this cheaper alternative to bacon from their Jewish neighbors.

A similar dish is the New England boiled dinner, consisting of corned beef, cabbage, and root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and potatoes, which is popular in New England and parts of Atlantic Canada. Also similar is the traditional Newfoundland boiled dinner, sometimes called "Jiggs' Dinner" which uses the same ingredients as a New England dinner, except that it uses Salt Beef. This is a meat cured in brine (essentially coarse salt and water) and was commonly used in the days of sailing ships and the fishery which was Newfoundland's main economic stay. The meat though similar to corned beef and smoked meat is markedly different in taste and initial preparation.

"The corned beef is exquisitely done, and as tender as a young lady's heart, all owing to my skilful cookery; for I consulted Mrs. Hale (Sarah Hale's cookbook) at every step, and precisely followed her directions. To say the truth, I look upon it as such a masterpiece in its way, that it seems irreverential to eat it. Things on which so much thought and labor are bestowed should surely be immortal....."

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1844), fending for himself while his wife was away.