Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Non-Traditional Irish Surprise

When I think of Saint Patrick’s Day I think of 2 things.

One: Wearing the color green to avoid being pinched.

Two: Corned Beef and Cabbage…hallelujah!

Last week in my Catering and Management class I learned that my teacher was Irish as he jokingly said, "class might be canceled next week due to it being Saint Patrick’s Day". No word of that happening yet so this Saint Patrick’s Day I plan to be in class and not at the local Irish Pub. (sad face)

I stayed after class that day to speak to him and ask him if he knew of any classic Irish traditional meals that I can blog about for Saint Patrick’s Day. That is when the alarming discovery happened. The “authentic” Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage is not Irish! How could this be? Ever since I was a kid my mom & grandparents boiled the peppery corned beef & cabbage with potatoes and served it with whole grain mustard. I was hearing it from an Irish man himself and after some research discovered it’s TRUE!

When Irish immigrants, fleeing the great potato famines, arrived in the Northeast they couldn't find, or afford, the traditional cuts of meat used for their beloved braised dinners. Corned beef and cabbage is an American meal. The original Irish recipe actually used a type of lean bacon, made with a cut of pork similar to Canadian bacon.

Corned beef came into the picture as a lower-cost substitution, to replace the more expensive and harder to find cut of pork. Why corned beef? New York’s early immigrant populations lived in very crowded neighborhoods, and there was a close proximity between the Irish and the Jewish communities. As history has taught us, when you put two ethnic groups living close to each other culinary traditions are borrowed. That is what happened. Corned Beef is basically a brisket flavored with peppercorns…and being Jewish know that us Jew’s looooooove a good brisket. No wonder I was brought up on this “Irish” dish.

Finding out this huge Irish Surprise I thought it was fitting to share this recipe with you! If this isn't an Irish Surprise I don't know what is. It comes from Arena Blake from The Nerds Wife.

Irish Bread Pudding with Caramel Whiskey Sauce


This bread pudding is light & moist with sugary cinnamon topping. It is topped with a caramel whiskey sauce to add a bit of heaviness to it.

Check out the raisins and the crispy top! I bet its even great without the caramel sauce.

To see the full recipe click here.

Enjoy and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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