A few times a year, my mother will insist on preparing a meal that her own mother used to make for her. Unfailingly, every St. Patrick’s Day, my mom spends hours working on my least favorite meal of the year:
Corned beef and cabbage. Or, as it is referred to by my grandfather – corned beef and garbage. I feel it is my responsibility to enlighten my readers on the preparation of this “culinary treat” and how the two components starkly contrast.
I’ll give her this – my mom makes a lot of meals for the rest of the family that she is not terribly fond of. For example, after having grown up Italian, she knows her way around pasta – but lasagna isn’t her favorite thing to eat. So once a year, my sister, father and I bite the bullet and let my mom have her corned beef and cabbage. But not without some griping on the side…
Corned beef and cabbage is everything that is wrong with food. Part of the problem is evident in the name “cabbage.” Whether sautee’d or boiled, cabbage is gross. Typically served with boiled meats, cabbage is used mostly for the aroma it produces when sugars are released.
As for the corned beef, the helpless brisket is lowered into a crock pot and then immersed in a gallon of water and slathered with the accompanying spices. Some briskets are bathed in mustard and spices and are baked in the oven for an hour or so.
As one can easily discern from previous columns, I have and will continue to eat some disgusting foods – but corned beef and cabbage is an outrage.
My question is: Why would anyone prepare and couple what could be such a delicious meat with boiled cabbage? I dare any chef to justify such a sacrilegious action.
Despite my hatred for the dish, some enjoy the traditional corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty’s Day. Katy Huis, junior and resident editor of The Mycenaean, is quoted “I LOVE BEEF AND CABBAGE!!!!!!!!!” Why she does, however, is beyond me.
With another St. Patty’s day behind us, all I can do to battle the stench is light every candle in the house and wait for the lingering odor to fade away… until next March.