April is traditionally the time we celebrate the Irish in the family with a hearty Corned Beef & Cabbage Boiled Dinner. This meal is also referred to as New England Boiled Dinner. Some recipes add green peas to the dish [fresh or frozen]. With or without, it is fabulous.
I prepare the dish on a Saturday for Sunday dinner. Finish the dish except for adding the cabbage, cool it and then refrigerate overnight. This also blends the flavors of the corned beef with the vegetables. On Sunday an hour before serving, bring the pot back to a low boil and add the cabbage. Cook until cabbage is tender.
You may wish to try an Irish Soda Bread recipe with this meal. Find a recipe for Irish Soda Bread with Apples and Currants at http://www.yankeemagazine.com/new-england-food-cooking/irish-soda-bread-with-apples-and-currants
- 3-4 lbs. corned beef [depending upon the number of people]
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed
- pinch hot red pepper flakes
- 6 potatoes, peeled and quartered or halved
- 6 large carrots, peeled and cut length-wise
- 6 wedges cabbage
- 1 1/2 cups [10 oz. pkg.] frozen peas, optional
- In a large stock pot, cover corned beef with water. Add bay leaf, peppercorns, mustard seed and hot pepper flakes. Cover and simmer over low heat 3 to 3 1/2 hours until tender.
- Add potatoes and carrots. Cover and simmer 15 to 30 minutes or until tender.
- Add cabbage wedges and peas. Cook 15 minutes longer until vegetables are tender.
- Cut meat in pieces. Serve some of the broth along with the meat and vegetables.
NOTE: Corned beef is often sold with its own seasoning packet which may be used in place of the bay leaf, peppercorns, mustard seed and pepper flakes above. Consult the directions on the beef package for alternate cooking times.