I have to admit that we are not big St. Patrick's Day celebrators at our house. In the old days when I lived in Chicago we would go to avlocal Pub (my husband happens to love Pubs) and I would drink a green beer or two. Those were really fun days! A city that will die a river green knows how to celebrate!
Lately our celebration has been limited to wearing green in hopes of not being pinched. I am part Irish and I do love Ireland, but other things in life have seemed more pressing than cooking some corned beef and Irish Soda bread.
This year I thought I'd try to up our celebration.
Gluten Free Corned Beef
I was curious to find out why we eat Corned Beef on St. Patrick's day. I did a little research and found out that most people in Ireland don't eat corned beef and cabbage. Instead the Irish would eat Irish bacon. The theory is that immigrants couldn’t find or afford the bacon they were used to, so switched to corned-beef brisket, readily available at kosher delis. Still it doesn't explain why corned beef has all but vanished from Ireland and became fundamental in Irish America.
In any event, it is pretty easy to find gluten free corned beef because it is simply beef that has been cured, sometimes with the addition of some spices. Just to name a few, the following are labeled gluten free or are listed as gluten free on the company's website:
- Bill Bailey's Irish Brand Corned Beef Flat Brisket: Link includes a recipe on how to prepare it with red potatoes and cabbage.
- Boars Head Corned Beef Brisket
- Colorado Premium Corned Beef
- Dietz & Watson Corned Beef
- Grobbel's Gourmet Corned Beef Briskets: Available at Walmart as well as Sam's club
- Wegman's Corned Beef Brisket
Once you have the corned beef, there are many recipes on the internet as to how to prepare it.
Irish Soda Bread
I did a little more research and found out that the primary leavening agent for bread in Ireland is bicarbonate of soda resulting in what's now known in Ireland as soda bread. In the past, most bread in Ireland was soda bread: "bakery bread" was only available in big cities. Soda bread was made either in a pot or casserole over the fire, or baked on a bake stone, an iron plate that rested directly on the embers. If you really want to know all there is to know about Irish Soda Bread check out this article on European Cuisines.
- The Gluten Free Girl's Irish Soda Bread Recipe of the Food Network
- Jules Treacle Tea Cake
- Living Without Magazines recipe for Gluten and Dairy Free Old-Fashioned Soda Bread
So how will you be celebrating this holiday?