History Traditional Irish Fare

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donna

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It will soon be St. Patrick's Day and time for so many wonderful Irish dishes. Many of us like Irish Stew, Cabbage and Corned Beef, Irish Soda Bread and Irish Coffee. Another traditional Irish dish is Colcannon. It usually consists of mashed potatoes and either cabbage or kale.

A traditional recipe is: "St. Patty's Colcannon".

1 large bunch kale, rinsed, coarsely chopped (8 to 12 cups)
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 lbs, potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
up to 1 cup milk


Cut large stems from kale leaves and discard. Wash the kale. Slice in 1 inch ribbons.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, cook over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add kale, cover and turn heat to medium low, stirring often, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook potatoes in pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well. Return to pot over low heat. add 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper. Drizzle in as much milk as you need to make mashing the potatoes easy and the texture you like them.

Add kale to the potatoes and stir to blend, adding milk as desired.

Serves 8.
 
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John Hartwell

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When my great-grandmother came over from Ireland back in the '30s, she was utterly disgusted that her children and grandchildren were eating cabbage on St. Patrick's Day, and calling it Irish! The only reason they ever raised it back home was to feed the pigs! Whether that was common in Ireland, in her Connemara region, or just her own personal taste I'm not sure. I have heard that corned beef and cabbage only became available in Dublin restaurants after American tourists kept asking for it.

My favorite Irish dish is bangers and mash -- which they have all over Britain, too.
 
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Anna Elizabeth Henry

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Here's a little history about the infamous corned beef & cabbage and its origins and how it's not exactly an Irish dish after all, so @John Hartwell your great-grandmother said they feed cabbage to the pigs, it sounds like she might not have been alone.

"The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Dublin but in New York City, in 1762. Over the next 100 years, Irish immigration to the United States exploded. The new wave of immigrants brought their own food traditions, including soda bread and Irish stew. Pork was the preferred meat, since it was cheap in Ireland and ubiquitous on the dinner table. The favored cut was Irish bacon, a lean, smoked pork loin similar to Canadian bacon. But in the United States, pork was prohibitively expensive for most newly arrived Irish families, so they began cooking beef—the staple meat in the American diet—instead.

So how did pork and potatoes become corned beef and cabbage? Irish immigrants to America lived alongside other “undesirable” European ethnic groups that often faced discrimination in their new home, including Jews and Italians. Members of the Irish working class in New York City frequented Jewish delis and lunch carts, and it was there that they first tasted corned beef. Cured and cooked much like Irish bacon, it was seen as a tasty and cheaper alternative to pork. And while potatoes were certainly available in the United States, cabbage offered a more cost-effective alternative to cash-strapped Irish families. Cooked in the same pot, the spiced, salty beef flavored the plain cabbage, creating a simple, hearty dish that couldn’t be easier to prepare.

After taking off among New York City’s Irish community, corned beef and cabbage found fans across the country. It was the perfect dish for everyone from harried housewives to busy cooks on trains and in cafeterias—cheap, easy to cook and hard to overcook. It was even served alongside mock turtle coup at President Lincoln’s inauguration dinner in 1862."

From -
Corned Beef and Cabbage: As Irish as Spaghetti and Meatballs
 
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Allie

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When my great-grandmother came over from Ireland back in the '30s, she was utterly disgusted that her children and grandchildren were eating cabbage on St. Patrick's Day, and calling it Irish! The only reason they ever raised it back home was to feed the pigs! Whether that was common in Ireland, in her Connemara region, or just her own personal taste I'm not sure. I have heard that corned beef and cabbage only became available in Dublin restaurants after American tourists kept asking for it.

My favorite Irish dish is bangers and mash -- which they have all over Britain, too.
I have a Chinese friend who is the same way about cabbage - to him it will always be poverty food. His wife is forbidden from serving it at their house. He can be pretty vocal about the difference between American-Chinese and real Chinese food.

I really like cabbage, though, in both Chinese and Irish foods! And kale sounds like a good substitution, making it healthier.
 
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Pat Young

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Here's a little history about the infamous corned beef & cabbage and its origins and how it's not exactly an Irish dish after all, so @John Hartwell your great-grandmother said they feed cabbage to the pigs, it sounds like she might not have been alone.

"The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Dublin but in New York City, in 1762. Over the next 100 years, Irish immigration to the United States exploded. The new wave of immigrants brought their own food traditions, including soda bread and Irish stew. Pork was the preferred meat, since it was cheap in Ireland and ubiquitous on the dinner table. The favored cut was Irish bacon, a lean, smoked pork loin similar to Canadian bacon. But in the United States, pork was prohibitively expensive for most newly arrived Irish families, so they began cooking beef—the staple meat in the American diet—instead.

So how did pork and potatoes become corned beef and cabbage? Irish immigrants to America lived alongside other “undesirable” European ethnic groups that often faced discrimination in their new home, including Jews and Italians. Members of the Irish working class in New York City frequented Jewish delis and lunch carts, and it was there that they first tasted corned beef. Cured and cooked much like Irish bacon, it was seen as a tasty and cheaper alternative to pork. And while potatoes were certainly available in the United States, cabbage offered a more cost-effective alternative to cash-strapped Irish families. Cooked in the same pot, the spiced, salty beef flavored the plain cabbage, creating a simple, hearty dish that couldn’t be easier to prepare.

After taking off among New York City’s Irish community, corned beef and cabbage found fans across the country. It was the perfect dish for everyone from harried housewives to busy cooks on trains and in cafeterias—cheap, easy to cook and hard to overcook. It was even served alongside mock turtle coup at President Lincoln’s inauguration dinner in 1862."

From -
Corned Beef and Cabbage: As Irish as Spaghetti and Meatballs
Around here this is the story we tell. These folks all lived in the same places. They would not identify stores by what they sold, but by the ethnicity of the owner. "I'm going to the Jew or the Italian" we're commen expressions and everyone knew what store was meant.
 
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cvanblargan

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Boxty and Slieve na mban (a carrot dish) are also quite good. We have a nouveau Irish restaurant on the west side of Cleveland that serves a variety of boxty which I find even more addicting than the local pierogies
 
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John Hartwell

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Boxty and Slieve na mban (a carrot dish) are also quite good. We have a nouveau Irish restaurant on the west side of Cleveland that serves a variety of boxty which I find even more addicting than the local pierogies
Sliabh na mBan (Mountain of the Women), County Tipperary. Also written phonetically as Slievenamon.
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A lovely sight, but I don't know why they named a carrot dish after it.
  • 12 small young carrots
  • 3 Tbl butter
  • 1/2 C milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • Trim and wash carrots and halve lengthwise
  • Melt butter over medium add milk, season with salt and pepper , add carrots and cook gently until temder.
  • Remove from heat, stir in cream and beaten egg yolks and reheat, but do not boil, stirring until eggs thicken
  • Correct seasonings if necessary and add parsley
 
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nitrofd

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I asked my wife if she had her father's recipe for Irish Soda Bread and she said she didn't but her brother might have it.so I searched the web to find a recipe from the old country and I found this site which tells the history of the real bread.the site is really to preserve the tradition, and they also have a recipe on how to morph the bread into cookies.
www.sodabread.info
 
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