Corned Beef & Cabbage, 2 Soda Breads, Champ for St. Patrick

IMG_8076104_2404Moist and Buttery Soda Bread\

I remember one St. Patrick’s Day in particular. I was a first grader at St. Margaret of Cortona School. Sister Justina asked me why I wasn’t wearing a green ribbon in my hair. “Because I’m Lebanese”, I replied timidly. The real reason, I suspect, is that Mom couldn’t afford to buy green ribbon for us 8 girls. Sister chuckled and said, “You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.”  And she was right. We can all be a bit Irish on St. Pat’s Day!


Corned beef and St. Patrick’s Day just go together. I usually buy the corned beef with the spice packet and follow directions for cooking. This year, though, I wanted to add a few more flavor elements like coriander, bay, garlic, onion and celery to kick the dish up a notch. It worked — the beef was so flavorful and the carrots, potatoes and cabbage soaked up some of the savory juices as they cooked.

Here’s the recipe. Give it a try; it’s certainly worth the extra effort. 

Corned beef is versatile when it comes to the cooking method, as well. I used my pressure cooker. 

Oh, and one more thing — when you cut cabbage, leave a piece of core on each wedge. That holds cabbage together as it cooks.

Corned beef & cabbage in pressure cooker

Boiling potatoes keep their shape pretty well but you can use whatever potatoes you have on hand. Peel and cut large potatoes into quarters.


1 corned beef with spice packet, 2-1/2 to 3 pounds or so

2 bay leaves

1 garlic clove, minced

1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half

1 rib celery, cut into 1” pieces

1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground (optional but good)

Liquid: enough cold water to cover or 12 oz beer  and enough cold water to cover

Boiling potatoes – I used small red potatoes, unpeeled, 1-1/2 pounds 

Carrots – 1 pound, peeled and cut into large chunks

Cabbage, cut into eighths 

Salt and pepper to taste

To serve with: red wine vinegar and horseradish  (optional)


Place corned beef, fat side up, in pressure cooker.

Add bay leaves, garlic, onion, celery and coriander.

Pour enough cold water or combo of water and beer just to barely cover. I used 4 generous cups water.

Place lid on, bring to high pressure and cook 70 minutes or until meat is cooked and registers 150 or a bit higher. Release pressure naturally.
Remove and keep warm with some broth. 

Place carrots and potatoes in pressure cooker. Nestle cabbage wedges on top.

Bring to high pressure and cook 4-5 minutes or so. Use “quick release” method. 

Remove bay. Season to taste.

Slice beef against grain. 

Pass red wine vinegar and horseradish!


Preheat oven to 275. 

Cook meat with seasonings, onion, celery, garlic and liquid in covered oven-proof pot for 2-1/2 to 3 hours until meat is cooked. 

Remove and keep warm with some broth.

Cook vegetables in broth on stovetop over simmering heat until done, 20-30 minutes.


Bring meat, seasonings, onion, celery, garlic and liquid to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover and cook 2-1/2 to 3 hours until done and tender. 

Remove meat and keep warm with a bit of juice ladled over.

Cook vegetables in hot broth over simmering heat until done, about 20-30 minutes.


To cook the meat with seasonings, onion and celery, follow directions on instapot to pressure cook at high pressure for 70 minutes with natural release. 

Follow directions above for carrots, potatoes and cabbage, but check after 3 minutes or so. Remove bay.

Serve beef and vegetables as directed above.


Annie Mitchell is my colleague at Sacred Heart Radio’s Sonrise morning show. Here’s her family’s yummy not so sweet soda bread.


4 cups unsifted all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Sugar up to 1/4 cup

1/4 cup butter (I usually use less because I can’t handle the calories!!)

2 cups raisins

1 egg

1 3/4 cup buttermilk


Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.  Cut in the butter until crumbly. Add the raisins.

Beat the egg slightly and combine with the buttermilk, then add to the dry ingredients and stir until it’s all blended together.

Knead on a floured board until smooth. You’ll probably have to add extra flour to the dough as you go along, and don’t get concerned if you end up adding a lot – just make sure it’s not sticky when you’re done.

Divide the dough at least in half for two loaves.  I like to make multiple small loaves that I bake in small oven-safe bowls and big coffee mugs – you could even do muffins tins!  Anyway, shape them into round loaves, and put them in whatever pan is appropriate for the size you’ve made.  I usually spray the pans/bowls/cups/etc with some cooking spray beforehand.  Take a sharp knife and cut a big cross in the top.

Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes.  I always do the knife check to make sure they have cooked all the way through.

**Now, some people like savory soda bread, in which case you omit the sugar and raisins and add instead a 1/8 tsp of corriander. 


Shamrock Plant

Moist and buttery soda bread

Bet you can’t eat just one slice. I use my food processor, but you can use a mixer or do it by hand.


2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 heaping cup dried cherries, raisins, cranberries or favorite dried fruit

1 cup regular sour cream

Melted butter

A bit of turbinado or coarse sugar (opt but good)


Preheat oven to 375. Place piece of parchment on cookie sheet and spray parchment.

Mix flour, soda, salt, sugar and butter until crumbly. Add cherries. Toss to combine. This keeps fruit suspended in the bread.

Blend in sour cream. Form into mound-shaped circle about 6 inches wide and 2 or so inches tall. Place on cookie sheet and make a cross in the middle. (This is to let the devils out, or is it to keep them from coming in?!).

Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Check after 40 minutes. Serve warm with butter.

This has a puddle of butter in the middle. Eat from outside to inside, dipping each bite into butter.

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, chunked up and cooked

1/2 cup whipping cream or half & half

1/2 stick butter

1 leek, sliced thin or 4 green onions, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

While potatoes are cooking, bring cream and butter to simmer and stir in leeks. Remove from heat, cover and let steep while potatoes cook. Mash potatoes, add enough cream mixture to make potatoes creamy. Make well in center, put dab of butter there to melt and make puddle.

One thought on “Corned Beef & Cabbage, 2 Soda Breads, Champ for St. Patrick

  1. Hello Rita, Have you tried using Coke In place of water, beer or beef stock? It seems to work as a meat tenderizer. Gerard



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