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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Kelly's Korner - Happy St Patrick's Day!

Top 'o the mornin' to ye!

St Patrick's Day seems to be one of those holidays that every one enjoys - wearing green, drinking green beer, parades and corned beef and cabbage.  I love it all and not because my name is Kelly and I have green eyes.  Eveyone is happy!

I was perusing the Web and came across this little video about the origins of the corned beef and cabbage tradition - it didn't start in Ireland!  And it's not totally Irish!  When the Irish came to this country, most were very poor and would have one special meal a week.  Brisket, because it was usually the cheapest cut of meat, and cabbage, because it was plentiful and inexpensive.  In Ireland they would have boiled bacon.  They brined it (Eastern European tradition) because it was a cheap way of preserving the meat.

Now, my boys and I LOVE corned beef and cabbage.  I have always gotten the packages of corned beef at the grocery store and tossed the meat in the crockpot covered in water, sprinkle in the package of pickling spices included, turned it on and went to work.  When I got home, I'd pull the meat out and put wedges of cabbage in the water/drippings to cook while I fried up some potatoes.  I just let the cabbage cook until just barely tender and warmed through.  I don't like it overcooked.  Bring on the mustard and dig in!

One draw back of this method is you have all the fat still in the pot with the meat and it gets on the cabbage, too.  Lots of people don't like that.  It's never bothered me or my boys. and we always make sure we have plenty of leftovers to make Rueben sandwiches - more meat and cabbage (as saurkraut which is fermented cabbage) and yummy.

But this year, now that we have the Traeger, we are definately going to be trying something a little different.  I have found that brining is almost a must do when cooking meat on the Traeger.  Not only does it add some flavor, depending on what you use in your brine (citrus fruits, onions, vinegars, sugars, etc.)  but it seals the surface of the meat and keeps all those scrumptious juices in the meat where it belongs and not dripping off and being wasted.  My resident chef, #1 son Bryan, has been researching the perfect recipe for cooking our brisket on the Traeger and I can't wait to get home and taste his latest masterpiece!

Have a fun and safe St Paddy's day and may the luck o' the Irish be with ye!

PS:  Happy Birthday to my nephew, James, who was born on this lucky day!

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