I like to cook a lovely corned beef on Saint Patrick’s Day – to celebrate my Irish heritage (on my Momma’s side). We generally do the traditional New England Boiled dinner with carrots, potatoes and cabbage; a nice loaf of rye bread and butter on the side.
I’ve traditionally purchased my corned beef brisket close to the holiday – a day or two before – from whichever supermarket chain had the best price. Well, this year I put it off until the day before. I happened to be in the neighborhood of Food Giant – so I selected a nice piece with a “healthy” amount of fat (yum). My youngest daughter was with me and we also picked up a nice head of cabbage and some school snacks. We also purchased a bottle of DayQuil for my suffering husband. We took our purchases to the check out line – where I was “carded” for the purchase of DayQuil (guess I look younger than I am!). We paid for our groceries and headed home with two bags in tow.
Well, whilst unpacking the bags at home we discovered that our corned beef was not in the bags! I ran out to the garage and checked the truck – no beef there! I phoned the store and was told to just stop back and pick it up. Well, now it was dinner time on Monday, so I decided I’d pick up the meat first thing in the morning. The next day, after dropping the girls at the bus stop I proceeded directly to Giant and spoke to the Customer Service person – it was St. Patrick’s day morning. She was a very friendly Irish woman who kindly told me to just go back and pick out another. Well – guess what? There were NO MORE – and they were not expecting another delivery from the supplier. She apologized and gave me my money back.
So, off I drove to another local market – Genardi’s. Would you believe it – NO corned beef – sold out! OK – surely ACME Markets will have a few left? You guessed it – no more. Not expecting any more for a few days. I’ve never had this experience – guess there must be a lot of Irish cooks in the neighborhood!! I contemplated pursuing it further, then as I passed the deli counter – I noticed that they had some lovely lean corned beef in the display. So, I had a pound and a half sliced up nicely. This I took home and made a modified Irish dinner. Since I didn’t need to cook the meat – I did the veggies in a new way and had very pleasing results. My oldest daughter, who is not particularly crazy about the traditional corned beef (she doesn’t eat any fat) – actually enjoyed it very much and both children even ate the Cabbage – braised with bacon and onions. I heated the slices of corned beef with a mixture of brown sugar and honey mustard to give it the flavor that we enjoy. Small golden potatoes oven baked with salt, seasoning and honey-dijon mustard made a nice side dish. So, our untraditional holiday meal was a big success!