Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patrick's Day

We're not Catholic, but like most of North Americans we have some Irish blood in our veins. That means that celebrating St Patrick's Day is a natural. While most people celebrate with a mug or two of green beer, or a mug of Guinness and green face paint, we celebrate St Paddy's Day like we do any other feast day. We cook a special meal and sit down together to enjoy it.

Traditionally we make Dublin Coddle and Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day but this year we decided to mix things up a bit. We decided to make something similar to Coddle, but with a touch of New England Boiled Dinner.

St Paddy's Day Boil
1/2 lb thick sliced smoked bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
5 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 leek, white part only sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 sections of garlic chopped fine
1/2 head cabbage, cut into 1 thick wedges
Salt to taste

In a heavy dutch oven, fry the bacon, garlic, and leek over medium high heat until the bacon begins to brown. Do not drain off the fat. Add the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage wedges in layers in that order. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and carrots, and just reaching the bottom of the cabbage layer. Sprinkle salt on each layer to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for an hour or until the potatoes are tender.

To serve scoop out the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon allowing the juices to drain off. Save the juices as a stock for a lovely soup later in the week. Or, leave the juices on and serve dinner in a bowl with a fork and a slice of soda bread.

We drained ours and served with a toss of butter thrown in. I'm not a fan of cabbage, except as sauerkraut, but I enjoyed my meal tremendously last night and look forward to left overs for lunch tomorrow.

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