All About Corned Beef and Cabbage

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A hearty corned beef and cabbage dinner is most often associated with St. Patrick's Day celebrations, especially in the United States where it has become a popular holiday dish. Although it is often thought to be an Irish recipe, it is rarely served in Ireland.

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Corned Beef

Corned beef refers to beef that has been preserved and flavored in a brine solution that is usually prepared with salt, which acts as a preservative. Sugar is stirred into the brine solution, which prevents the meat from getting hard due to the presence of the salt. Also added to the solution is saltpeter, which helps to maintain the red coloring of the meat and various spices are added for flavoring. The reason it is called corned beef is because the old English word "corned" was used to describe beef that was cured and the word "corn" was the word describing a small kernel or particle such as the particles of salt that were used. Corned beef is available as a sliced deli meat for sandwiches or whole corned beef briskets are available that are often served with cooked cabbage.

Corned Beef Dinner


A vegetable having a short stem surrounded by large wrinkled leaves that are packed together in a round broad head. It can be used cooked or raw in dishes ranging from corned beef and cabbage to coleslaw. Among the varieties are Savoy with green leaves, Napa, which has pale green to white leaves, red cabbage, and bok choy (Chinese cabbage) with white stems and dark green leaves.

Bok Choy

Napa Cabbage

Green and Red Cabbage


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