Yesterday I was reading a post about cheddar chive beer bread on thekitchn and became inspired to make something for St. Paddy’s day. Then I thought- how can I make this into dinner? So I thought I would make an open faced corned beef sandwich. After contemplating for approximately 3 minutes about making corned beef, I instead decided to go to our local market and buy some thinly sliced corned beef.
Here is the short rundown on corned beef, it’s salt cured and brined with spices- that’s what makes it what it is. You can get it in a can, which is the ground salted version- and is shockingly better than you might think- but not like fresh corned beef. Then there is the kind you can buy in the supermarket that is already packed in brine that comes with the seasoning packet. You can also make it from scratch following Alton’s instructions which will probably be fantastic but will take you days. It’s not so much hard, as it is time consuming. So if you are making this dish and you know of a good deli (Marczyk’s for me) maybe just buy it there.
So next, we are on to the bread. Oh my God, the bread. Is it possible that I have never had beer bread? Or was it just never this good? Either way, I am hooked. It was SO easy, and delicious! You mix everything in one bowl, and it comes together in minutes. From the first bite, all I could think of was ways to modify it. I love making bread with yeast so I have never really gotten on the quick bread train (at least not the savory kind) well- I’m here now. This bread is made with stout, white cheddar, and chives. The stout adds a light bitter flavor, which is delicious on its own and even better in the sandwich.
I have very fond memories of my dad making corned beef and cabbage growing up… I should really rephrase that and say, I have fond memories of the beef, the cabbage part, not so much. I remember it smelling a lot like farts and plugging my nose to eat the one piece I was required to choke down before I could leave the table. Here is the thing about cabbage (and brussels sprouts and a number of other vegetables out there) they contain sulfur. When you over cook them- they smell like a fart. Now, they might not taste like it- but try explaining to your kids why they should eat something that smells like a fart- let me know how that works out. I read about roasted wedges of cabbage on a few blogs awhile ago, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it. IT IS DELIGHTFUL! The outer edges get crispy, and the inside is buttery and tangy. It’s almost impossible to overcook it (to fart stage) because you just watch the outer leaves and when they turn brown it is perfect! I finished mine with a little lemon, and it was a perfect addition to the plate.
Last thing before the recipes- the sauce. My dad used to put a mixture of brown sugar and mustard on our corned beef. I’m not sure where this tradition came from, but it was one of my favorite parts. I loved the tangy sweet flavor it added to the meat. This is a common pairing with ham, but I’m here to tell you, it should be on corned beef too.
This isn’t just a meal for St. Paddy’s day people- I’m going to make this every Tuesday.
Cheddar and Chive Stout beer- originally from the kitchn
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) bottle stout (I used St. Peter’s cream stout because I love it)
1 cup grated Irish cheddar cheese (I used Tillamook vintage white cheddar because it’s the best)
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup Irish butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line 8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, or coat with butter.
In a mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour in the beer and mix until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Fold in 3/4 cup of the cheese and the chives.
Transfer the batter to prepared pan. Pour the melted butter evenly over top of the dough. Bake about 30 minutes then scatter the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the top. Return the loaf to the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
Turn out and serve warm, sliced.
Roasted Cabbage Wedges:
Preheat oven to 425
Remove any wilted outer leaves. Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper, and squeeze lemon juice over each piece (about 1 lemon).
Bake for 30 minutes until the outer leaves and edges are browned. Dress with more lemon (if you love lemon like I do) and serve.
Brown sugar mustard sauce:
In a sauce pan combine ¼ cup dark brown sugar with 1 Tbs yellow mustard. Cook over medium until the brown sugar is dissolved. Taste and add more mustard if desired.
I made the bread first and let it cool. Then I roasted the cabbage. While the cabbage was roasting I cut the bread into ½” slices and put them on a baking sheet. I put them in the oven to toast lightly while the cabbage was finishing. Then I topped them with a few slices of corned beef, a drizzle of the sauce, and a few slices of Swiss cheese When the cabbage was done I turned on the broiler and broiled the sandwiches until the cheese was bubbly and just starting to brown.
A few notes:
Happy St. Paddy’s day everyone! Don’t drink the green beer, drink a stout instead, and then use any leftovers to make beer bread!
I mean it about the quick bread- you should expect to see more posts, and soon.
I am thinking fresh dill from the garden, or maybe buttermilk walnut bread? I’m getting pretty excited about it.
Is it St. Paddy’s or St. Patty’s? St. Patricks? I’m not going to lie- i put all of these in here to make this post searchable. Don’t judge.