Corned beef. I made my own corned beef by making a brine with sugar and salt and leaving it to soak for three weeks, but you can easily buy ready made corned beef. I slow cooked ours for 8 hours on low with two Guinesses, chopped carrots, quartered onions and water to cover. My brine originally included lots of cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and allspice, but if you’re using store bought corned beef I would recommend adding these into the slow cooker as they (the cinnamon in particular) really adds a lot of depth of flavor. I served the beef with mustard.
(We had 25 people at our little fete so I got a pony keg for the deck, which cut down on bottles and cost. Plus, I used it for the beef! If you’re in HK and looking to order a keg, just call Johnny at 9326-7327)
Champ. This is a very traditional Irish side dish and the perfect accompaniment to corned beef. I did Epicurious’s version, which included potatoes, lots of milk, chives, and peas. You can make this the morning of and just re-heat it when you’re ready to eat.
Kelly’s Irish Soda Bread. My good friend from Notre Dame Kelly (who is so Irish that her wedding color is Kelly green) gave me this recipe and it was divine! And also super easy. This is also good made a day or two ahead of time, but it is insanely good right out of the oven!
- Sift together 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder and a dash of salt.
- Add 1 and 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup of raisins and 1/2 cup of caraway seeds and mix thoroughly.
- Pour into a loaf pan and sprinkle top with sugar.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
Currant scones. Now you probably don’t need these if you’re also doing the soda bread, but I thought they were quite delicious so I’m including them here.
Finally, in addition to the signature Irish Carbomb cocktail (if you can even call it a cocktail), I made some little jello mint mojitos, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles. The Mr. manned his bar, played traditional Irish music, and read a few Irish toasts. It was a very fun night indeed!
All the flowers are by Diane at the very talented Ellermann Design–didn’t she make simple white carnations look amazing? The dessert table is on tap tomorrow.