I Have a Corned Beef Story for You on National Corned Beef & Cabbage Day
What does an Italian girl who grew up on corned beef and cabbage serve on National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day? You might be surprised.
Grab your ba-ba and blankey, I’ve got a story to tell and a recipe to share.
You might not know, but it turns out that every March 17, according to the National Day Of calendar, is National Corned Beef And Cabbage Day. By the “luck of the Irish” it actually falls on St. Patrick’s Day this year. I’m not Catholic, so I don’t have the constraints of not eating meat on Fridays during Lent. Could be a foodie problem since St. Patrick’s Day is a Friday this year, but never fear.
Now for a little glimpse into my life. I’m an only child, who’s half Italian, half Swedish, adopted by a mostly Polish dad and a mom who was a mix of many things, but none of them my nationality. My mom was not much of a cook, but she had a few things she did really well. While she wasn’t Italian, she cooked like one in the sense that even though she was feeding just the three of us, she cooked like there were 20 of us.
When it came to corned beef and cabbage she insisted the flat brisket was better. She bought the biggest she could find, boiled it with tons of cabbage and potatoes. I know that’s pretty much tradition, but her leftovers where what was the key. Mom had an old hand crank grinder and in went chunks of cold corned beef, raw onions, flat-leaf parsley, and cold potatoes. When that was all ground together into a bowl she’d mix prepared horseradish in.
My mom’s thing was to make patties out of it instead of what you think of as the “traditional” hash. Out came the huge cast iron fry-pan, in went the slab of butter to melt, and then those hash patties got fried to a crispy brown.
I’m drooling over that memory. I say memory, because even though it is National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day, my husband detests corned beef, it makes him gag, I kid you not. So, like the good Catholic girl that I’m not, I’m making cod for dinner tonight. I am, however, pureeing parsley and horseradish together so at least I can top the fish with something green! If you’re reading this, feel free to bring me your leftover corned beef, we’ll be friends forever.