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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef - Photo credit: A.C. Cunningham Full view

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef

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Photo credit: A.C. Cunningham

Corned beef — beef salt cured with large grains of salt — is popular in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. The origins of corned beef are unknown, but more than likely occurred when people began to preserve their meat through the process of “corning” meats. In this case, corning refers to the Old English word “corn,” meaning any small grains (specifically the salt) to use for beef curing. Saltpetre, or potassium nitrate, has been used in curing beef in the past. Popularity of this dish grew in Britain during the 19th century. However, the Irish were trading their corned beef with the British since at least the 17th century. The meat was popular during wartime because it was non-perishable. French colonists took advantage of the meat during times of long passages to North America. Ireland, with a large stake in the corned beef Atlantic trade, grew in industry with the city of Cork, producing half the islands beef exports in the 17th century. The demand for corned beef production in the British Isles grew as Ireland’s production of corned beef led to depleting resources and eventually contributed to the Irish famine and the Great potato famine. During this time, people residing in Ireland ate very little of the corned beef products they produced. Instead, staple diets for majority of Ireland consisted of cured pork and various dairy products. Today, corned beef is produced primarily in South America.

Create this easy corned beef to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. Inspired by Rae Gun Ramblings blog, this recipe is a family favorite.

Ingredients:

1 package corned beef

1 1/2 cups of water

Directions:

1. In a crock pot, place your corned beef topped with the seasonings included in the package.

2. Pour the water into the packaging the spice and corned beef was in. Pour the water from the package into the crock pot.

3. Place the crockpot temperature on high for four to five hours.

4. Serve hot and with boiled cabbage.

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Photo credit: Inna Mikhailova

Written by Victoria Petersen