I have a funny story regarding corned beef that is probably really one of those “you had to be there” stories to find amusing, but I’m going to tell it anyway.
Have you ever played Taboo? It’s a fun game in which players try to describe a word without using certain “taboo” words or phrases. It was hugely popular amongst our families when we were in college.
Stuart and I each had a game set, but they were manufactured in different years and therefore the cards are different.
Corned beef hash is on one of the cards in the older deck. It’s a dish that, at the time, none of us younger players had ever heard of. With no way to describe it, a point was given to the opposing team and play moved on. Since that point, if there’s ever a pause in clue giving or zero idea on the guessers part, we automatically guess “corned beef hash!” (We’re never right.)
So what is corned beef?
Corned beef is salt-cured beef which became popular during wartime when fresh meat had to be rationed. Its most common uses are for sandwiches or hash.
One of these days I’ll actually make corned beef hash.
We’ve enjoyed corned beef in my Irish Bread Braid and in these turnovers. Makes me wonder why I only cook with it in March.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Turnovers
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 C diced yellow onion
- 4 C coleslaw mix
- 1/2 lb corned beef, finely chopped
- 1 box of 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, whisked with a little water
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent and tender. Add the coleslaw, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes. Stir in corned beef and season to taste with S+P. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry and seal the seams. Cut out 9 squares from one sheet. Put 1-2 tbsp of filling onto each square.
- Roll out the second sheet of puff pastry and cut out 9 more squares. Stretch the squares to fit over the filling and use a fork to seal the edges of the turnovers. Using a paring knife, cut a small slit in the tops of the turnovers.
- Place turnovers onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg wash.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
*This recipe is adapted from Lori at http://www.recipegirl.com/2007/03/14/corned-beef-cabbage-turnovers/*
I never really celebrated St. Patrick’s Day until moving to the panhandle and becoming best friends with Kate. St. Patrick’s Day 2011 coincided with Auburn’s Spring Break and we had Kate and her now husband Josh over for a simple dinner and game night – individual meatloaves and mashed potatoes. That event began a four year tradition. In 2012 Kate and Josh were now living here and we went to their apartment for Ruben Egg Rolls, Shepherd’s Pie, and a yogurt parfait with angel food cake and mango. (Lesson learned – do not dye vanilla pudding green, it will mess with your mind and fool your taste buds.) I hosted in 2013 and served an Irish bread braid, individual meatloaves, and colcannon. Kate brought over a beautiful rainbow cake too!
This year marks our fourth, and probably final (as we’re moving this summer), St. Patrick’s Day together. It’s Kate’s turn to host and we’re combining our favorites – the Irish bread braid, Ruben egg rolls, Shepherd’s pie with shamrock rolls, and for dessert maple shortbread cookies and chocolate chip ice cream. It’s a big menu for four people, but we’re going all out this year!
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it – my crescent rolls were very easily tear-able and no matter how much I pinched and tried to make the dough seamless there was no hope. Instead I made a rustic-looking tart. But the flavors were still beautiful. I don’t know if the dough warmed up too much in the 30 minute drive to Kate’s or if using the name brand product is simply too good at it’s job – Stuart suggested maybe buying a generic brand of crescent dough in the hopes that it’s not as perforated. Here’s the real advice – if your store sells seamless crescent dough, buy it! None of my local stores do.
Last year I made this bread braid (see pre-baked photo in above collage) for St. Patrick’s Day and it was such a hit that Stuart requested it again for Easter. I will probably make it again, and if I’m successful in the braid I’ll post it!
Irish Bread Braid
- 3 red potatoes
- 3 C chopped kale, stems removed
- 2 cans seamless crescent roll dough
- 1/2 lb sliced corned beef
- 1 C shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 egg
- caraway seeds, for sprinkling
- Boil kale in salted water for 4 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and set aside.
- Boil potatoes until tender. Let cool, slice, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- On a greased baking sheet, unroll crescent dough and press side-by-side lengthwise into one larger rectangle. Additionally, press together all perforated seams if not using seamless.
- Place corned beef in the center of the rectangle, leaving 3″ on each side. Top with potato slices, kale, and shredded cheese.
Cut dough into the same number of strips on each side of the filling, leaving an inch buffer around the filling. Criss-cross the strips over the filling to create a braid. Fold crescent dough around the filling to create a rustic tart. (See above photos.)
- In a small bowl whisk the egg with 1 tbsp water. Brush the bread with egg wash and sprinkle with caraway seeds and kosher salt, if desired.
- Bake for 25 minutes. If your bread braid turned into a rustic tart lightly cover with aluminum foil for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake another 5-8 minutes until the crust is golden and cooked through. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.
*This recipe is modified from girlversusdough at http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/irish-bread-braid/aa8ebb56-1255-4cec-996f-3de32cb5456e*