Beef, Main Attraction, Nova Scotian, Sauces

A Saint Patrick’s Day Birthday Feast

Plate No. 1

Tomorrow is my son’s birthday.  He was born on St. Patrick’s Day, six years ago.  It was cloudy and grey, there was snow in the woods, and David Myles was playing at the Cafe.  We loved the fact that there will always be a great party on his birthday.  He has plenty of Irish heritage, so bring on the jigs and reels!  And the Irish food.

We’re celebrating tonight with Boiled Dinner with Grammie’s Mayonnaise.  Doesn’t that sound delicious? How about Corned Beef with Winter Vegetables and Sweet Mustard Sauce. Better?   The sauce, my great-grandmother’s recipe, is rich and vintage-ly scrumptious, and the rest of the meal can be too.  You’ve got to start with a decent piece of beef, and cook it patiently.   We buy our corned beef from Meadowbrook Meat Market, where they cure it themselves.  A two pound chunk will serve about 6 people.  I’m not usually tempted by boiled vegetables, let alone meat, but you will have to trust me on this.

Corned Beef with Winter Vegetables and Sweet Mustard Sauce

2 lb. Corned Beef
10 Peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf
1 very small head Green Cabbage, cut into 6 wedges (leave the core in so it stays together)
3 large Carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
1 small Turnip, peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
6 small Potatoes, cut in half

In a large pot, place the beef, peppercorns and bay leaf.  Add enough water to cover and bring to a simmer over high heat.  Reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 3 hours, or until a fork can easily penetrate to the center.  Remove the beef and let it rest while you cook the vegetables (leave the cooking water in the pot).  Throw the cabbage, carrots, turnip and potatoes in, top up with water to cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and cook for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.  Slice the beef thinly against the grain and serve with the vegetables and Sweet Mustard Sauce.

Grammie’s Mayonnaise (Sweet Mustard Sauce)

2 Eggs
3 tablespoons Flour
2/3 cup Sugar
1/2 t. Salt
1 t. Dry Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric

2 cups Vinegar, heated to boiling

In a small heavy pot, whisk the yolks, flour, sugar, salt, dry mustard and turmeric.  When they are smooth, add the vinegar and set over low heat.  Whisk frequently as the sauce heats and thickens, about ten minutes. Thin with milk if the sauce seems too thick.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!