Written by Kayla Hoffman (Features Writer)
A common underlying theme of holidays is food. Whether or not it’s candy or a full-blown feast, food has been used as a tradition of celebration for centuries and the month of March is known for Saint Patrick’s Day. This holiday consists of tons of green-themed foods, alcoholic beverages, and a more traditional meal, corned beef, and cabbage.
When it comes to homemade meals, my Mom, Gina Barbaccia, has continuously swept our family off our feet—especially during the holidays. At any chance, she gives my brother and me pointers on cooking, and it’s simply the basics that everyone should know. Usually, when it comes to cooking meals, people tend to do too much and forget these basic elements. That’s why when my Mom and I go into the kitchen, I’m sometimes astonished by how easily she does it, claiming she simply “measures with love”. While this was an answer to most of the questions I asked her for this article, I wanted to pass on the same confidence to SLVHS that she gives to me when it comes to cooking.
What You’ll Need
- Oven pan
- Corned beef
- Carrots and potatoes (optional)
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper
“I’ve had some crazy corned beef and cabbage,” she states. “Oftentimes when I taste some other people’s corned beef it’s either too much or too little. But if you just get the bag from Safeway, there are directions right on it! It’s the easiest option and the best one I’d recommend to families. The cook time and temperature vary depending on the size and weight of the beef itself.” When it comes to the right seasoning, Safeway made it super simple as well. A common mistake with corned beef is having it come out dry. “A good way to combat dry corned beef is to take all the seasoning, beef, along with the blood in the package and some water so it’s mostly covered in the crockpot. As I said, cook time and temp vary on the weight.” When the corned beef is done, you’re
Throughout the day, you and your family may do St. Patrick’s Day festivities while the corned beef cooks, however, there are other things that our family has for this holiday dinner. “Every year my carrots and potatoes vary; I’ve done roasted carrots, candied carrots, carrot slaw, you name it, right? Same thing with potatoes too. I think the easiest way to go about this is to oven roast, simply because it doesn’t take too much prep and it’s pretty simple. But with the carrots, you need to buy full ones! Not baby carrots. Come on now. It’s St. Patty’s Day.”
Preheat your oven to 425℉. For roasted potatoes and carrots, you’re going to cut the potatoes in half. For carrots, our family just halves the carrots twice, but you can cut them however you prefer. Take your oven pan and put in your potatoes and carrots. Drizzle in a generous amount of olive oil and about ten cracks each of salt and pepper. Shake the pan to be sure that everything’s a little covered. Once the oven is preheated, you’re going to roast them for 40 minutes. Once or twice, take the pan out and toss the veggies so then all areas get cooked.
“Cabbage is going to be the last thing on the list and I recommend you oven roast it as well. If possible, you can throw them in with the carrots and potatoes but in a second pan. Only do it if your oven has that kind of room. You can always do it one at a time and cover the other stuff in tin foil.”
What is corned beef without the cabbage? Take the cabbage and cut it into quarters. Then dip it in the juices that the corned beef cooked in. This adds a little extra flavor to it. Once it’s dipped, you’re also going to put this in an oven pan and roast it. Roast until the edges are lightly crispy. While there’s no particular time to roast for, you’d roast at 425℉ just like the veggies. Check your cabbage after about 20 minutes. Once everything is all done, that’s a simple St. Patrick’s Day meal!
From my family to yours, we have a couple more tips when it comes to corned beef and cabbage. With cutting the cabbage into quarters, you can take the bigger leaves and section off your corned beef in a piece that you can roll up in the cabbage. From here you can dip it in mustard, any kind will do, like French’s, digon, sweet and spicy, etc. The next day when you have leftovers, you can toast sourdough with swiss cheese and make a layer of cabbage with corned beef for a really delicious sandwich.
When it comes to holiday traditions, it varies from family to family. With this advice from my Mother, it’s very minimal, so you can put a twist on whatever you’d like varying from the veggies you roast to how you serve them. Have fun and stay safe this holiday.