Cooking for St. Patrick's Day

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Next Saturday is St. Patrick's Day. We're planning a dinner party. How about you?

To avoid being accused of perpetuating food myths, we're going to get this out of the way first: corned beef and cabbage is not authentic Irish food.

Frances Shilliday wrote a poem to remind us of this. Here's how it starts:
I just want to put something straight
About what should be on your plate,
If it's corned beef you're makin'
You're sadly mistaken,
That isn't what Irishmen ate.

The Irish traditionally served pork or lamb, not beef. But corned beef and cabbage with boiled potatoes and carrots is an Irish-American tradition, so -- like grandma and mom -- we're planning to serve it, in some variation, next weekend.

We do not know how to turn a keg of Brooklyn Lager green, but we do have a few St. Patrick's day suggestions, questions, and photos after the jump.If you're looking to cure your own corned beef, Martha Stewart says it takes up to six days, so if you're starting from scratch you should get started tomorrow morning.

Here's what we served last year:

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While purists will tell you to cook it all in one pot, that's a bunch of blarney. To keep the vegetables from turning into a greasy mush, you need to keep things separated. Cook the vegetables in one pot and the beef in the other. Cooked the beef with some onions studded with cloves and then discarded those onions before serving.

You might want to make extra corned beef. Corned beef hash is a breakfast treat:

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Links for St. Patrick's Day Cooks
Last year's Kitchen discussion on Corned Beef Served Four Ways
Corned Beef and Cabbage discussion on Chowhound
Potatoes Colcannon
Everyday Food's Corned Beef Hash
Healthy St. Patrick's Day suggestions at iVillage
Guiness Cupcakes
Irish Soda Bread

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