A wee bit O’ brined meat and a lot O’ Guinness!

Happy (belated) St. Patrick’s Day!!! Seeing as I judge a holiday based off of the food associated with it, St. Paddy’s is one of my favorites. Anytime I can find Guinness on sale is a win in my books as well.

This being the first St. Patrick’s Day in awhile that I haven’t been in a college town, I decided to skip the whole bar scene and make dinner at home for a few of my friends. Plus, the Timbers were playing the Sounders that night and there was no way I wasn’t going to be in charge of the remote…

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Eating and drinking and being merry!

Here’s the menu, enjoy folks!

Sauteed cabbage

Salt and Vinegar Mashed Potatoes

Irish Soda Bread

Homemade corned beef

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

A lot of beer

—–

Corned Beef:

Corned beef is traditionally made with a brisket, but since I cook beef from cows raised on the ranch I work at, and I didn’t have a brisket in my freezer, I improvised and used a cross rib roast, which worked just fine.

Ingredients:

4 lb brisket (or your choice of cut)

8 cups of water

1 c kosher salt

1/4 c brown sugar

3 tablespoons pickling spice

1 small onion, quartered

2 stalks celery, roughly chopped

1 carrot, roughly chopped

Directions:

Create the corned beef brine by bringing the water to a boil and add the salt, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the pickling spice. Boil until salt and sugar have dissolved, then set aside to cool.

In a gallon zip-loc bag, place meat and pour cooled brine over. Make sure to put the bag in a pan or casserole dish to catch any drips or spills, and refrigerate for five days, making sure the meat is completely submerged and flipping the bag daily.

When you’re ready to cook the beef, rinse meat thoroughly under cold water and place in a dutch oven or large stock pot, and add enough water so that the meat is covered by at least 1 inch of water . For a less salty meat you can add up to another inch of water. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and remaining 1 tablespoon of pickling spice. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cover. Cook until the meat is fall-apart tender, about three hours.

*Note that I didn’t add anything like pink pickling salt or saltpeter to the brine, so my corned beef wasn’t the traditional bright pink color, but I didn’t see it as a necessary addition…

—–

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes:

I’ve been making these cupcakes for awhile based off of this recipe, but here is the exact method I use to make them.

Ingredients:

1 c plus 2 tablespoons salted butter

1 1/4 c Guinness

3/4 c cocoa powder

2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 1/4 c flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 c sugar

2 eggs

2/3 c Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

1 tblsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, Guinness, cocoa powder, and unsweetened chocolate together, and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and sugar. Pour in chocolate mixture and combine. Stir in eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. The batter should be thick and mousse-like.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full with batter and cook for 18 minutes. Note that this is meant to be a moist cake though, so if you check for done-ness with a toothpick, a few crumbs should still stick to the toothpick- use your judgement to make sure cupcakes are done but not dried out!!

The original recipe comes with a cream cheese/ whipped cream frosting that I’ve never actually made. In the past I’ve frosted them with Paula Deen’s cream cheese frosting (my fav!), but my favorite way to eat them is actually with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a hearty splash of O’Mara’s.

I’m sorry to say I didn’t get a picture of the cupcakes, however. My attention seemed to have been diverted to my overly-full stomach and Timber’s last minute rally to tie the game at the 90th minute… Oops.

—–

I hope everyone had a fun and delicious St. Paddy’s day, I can’t wait for next year!!

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