We Can All have a Drop of the Irish

I’ve learned that when you are making new friends, it’s better not to show all your Pioneer Woman skills at once, because before people know about the cancer and the anxiety and the other reasons we eat like this, they may get intimidated. Or it may feel pretentious or mompetition-y and goodness knows we are not about that.

We had some new friends over for dinner Saturday night and since Shea is going to be gone tonight, I made a St. Paddy’s day dinner. It was simple and easy, and who doesn’t love that, so I’m sharing.

I got my corned beef at Trader Joe’s and was surprised at how lean it was. But corned beef can be bought at any meat counter today and for super cheap.

I boil my corned beef. I pop it all into a big pot, cover with water and dump the spice packet in. Then I add the secret ingredient: one beer.

Now, I will admit to using Coors Light in years past.

I know. But I was young and stupid.

These days I try to use something hearty and maybe even Irish. Shea had Mississippi Mud in the fridge, but he told me I couldn’t use it. So I went with a local micro-brew.


Bring the pot to a boil and then lower to a hard simmer. I go with a 2 ½ hour boil, but that can change with the size of the beef. They usually come with directions.

The last 30 minutes, I quarter a full head of cabbage and float it on top of the simmering beef.

I never boil potatoes or carrots in the pot, because I hate mushy veggies. Usually, I make garlic mashies, but this year I found a recipe in Family Circle for red roasted potatoes. It was a huge hit and instantly went into the dinner rotation.

Take good sized red potatoes (one per person)

Cut slices across the top of each potato, leaving a quarter inch base at the bottom.

Stuff fresh garlic slices into the vents (you could use crushed but that’s going to be a much stronger garlic flavor. The slices add a delicate flavor to the potato)

Drizzle with olive oil, lightly salt and pepper and roast at 375 degrees for 65 minutes.

Optional (but delicious): crisp chopped shallots in olive oil to sprinkle over the potatoes before serving.

Shea is half Irish and I am an eighth. Or sixteenth. I’m not really sure, but Kennedy is a family name so there’s Irish blood back there somewhere, which qualifies me to say:

May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

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