I’m sure you’ve heard by now that corned beef and cabbage is not authentic St. Patrick’s Day food. It wasn’t until Irish immigrants, fleeing the great potato famine, arrived in New York, and started hanging out in delicatessens that brisket became the cabbage-adjacent meat of choice.
I assume it was the potato knishes’ siren song that initially drew them in, but eventually they got hooked on the corned beef, and the rest is history. So, I decided to do a little mash-up (and mash-under), and this Irish pork stew with baby cabbage was the result. By the way, “baby cabbage” can be a little hard to find, but you can use Brussels sprouts, and no one will know the difference…mostly because there isn’t one.
You can cook them in the stew if you want, but the timing can be tricky, and trust me, you don’t want to eat “baby cabbage” that’s been cooked too long; no one does, So, I highly recommend blanching them first, and warming through at the end.
Since we are using Guinness, I will admit this isn’t a beginner’s stew. The stout gives a ton of flavor, but also a slightly bitter note, which some people do not enjoy. I balanced it with the balsamic vinegar and caraway seed, and it was absolutely wonderful, but I think it’s worth mentioning.
You can leave it out, use a lighter beer, or just splash in some extra stock. Anyway, if you’re looking for beautiful alternative to that traditional “authentic” St. Patrick’s Day meal, then I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 6 portions Irish Pork Stew:
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic clove, minced
2 generous tbsp flour
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon caraway seed
1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Draft or other dark beer
3 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups chicken broth, more as needed
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
12 Brussels sprouts, halved, blanched
mashed potatoes to serve over
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