St. Paddy's day Bento

In celebration of St. Patrick's day I got a nice reminder from Recipezaar chock full of good ideas. I picked my favorites and put together this week's bento. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the bento, "I totally cleaned my plate. err... box" so my eye for recipes must have been pretty good.

We begin with our main course: Guinness corned beef with cabbage. What kind of St. Patrick's day would it be if you didn't have corned beef and cabbage. It just can't be done any other way. Someone posted up a Guinness mustard sauce that I could resist trying, it sounded a little weird but it worked really well with the corned beef. The sauce consisted of Guinness paired with 3 types of mustard and some brown sugar. The brown sugar really cut the sauce from being too "beery".

Next we have a Irish Dublin Prawn Cocktail. I'm not sure what is so irish about this dish, but it was a good excuse to take advantage of the special they had running at the grocery store so I took it. The shrimp is prepared with a bit of seasoning and vinegar in the boiling mix. The key feature here is the sauce. I've never encountered a cream based cocktail sauce, it was kind of mellow and dumbed down the catsup which, to me, made the horseradish come out really bold. I happen to like that so it's a winner in my book.

We finish things off with a starchy side dish of a Carrot and Parsnip Mash. I opted out of making Champ because I needed something a little healthier. This was a simple little dish, I only modified the butter content as the whole recipe had 1/2 a stick of butter (I went with 2 tbsp). It was a little sweet and gave this box a healthy contingent of vegetable servings.

Happy St. Paddy's day!

Box Contents:
  • Corned beef and cabbage served with Guinness mustard
  • Shrimp with Irish Dublin coctail sauce
  • Carrot and Parsnip Mash


eilismaura said…
re the prawn cocktail - when in Ireland I have ALWAYS had it with a cream type of cocktail sauce!

Guess that is what makes it "Irish"!
Ironjack said…
Thanks for the the enlightenment! I never would have thought shrimp cocktail as being an "Irish thing"

Thanks for visiting!
Argh: I REALLY am sorry I missed my annual dose of corned beef. I may need to make some for SXSW hangover food. :) Where did you buy your beef? Any tips? AustinAgrodolce posted these instructions; seems like a good recipe.

This looks fab--thanks for adding me to your blogroll, btw!
Ironjack said…
I usually buy corned beef right from my local HEB. It's the same stuff they sell at Central Market. I didn't use the spice packet opting rather to use the Recipezaar recipe as a guildline (and add my own) and tossed the whole thing in the crockpot and let it go. I once used red wine in the crock and the meat came out *really* tender. (maybe the acid from the wine).

Anyhow here's what I put in this time around and it was good!

1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp of yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp of kosher salt
1 bay leaf
5 cloves of garlic smashed (not chopped)
1 onion
2 bottle of Guiness draught (depend on how big your crockpot is)

put it in the slow cooker and waited a very impatient 3.5 hours and worked on the rest of my bento.

Thanks for dropping by!
Thanks! Good to know I don't need to go anywhere "fancy."(Now I need to think about how to convert cooking time, since I don't have a slow cooker.) :)
Ironjack said…
Actually that's fairly easy: Get a good heavy pot a stock pot will do but if you have a dutch oven that's better (holds heat more evenly due to mass) get the whole thing boiling and reduce to low/med-low heat (simmer) and 3 hours in you can lob in carrots and cabbage and such and that and they'll finish at the same time at a total of 3.5 hours.
eilismaura said…
I was just thinking - the prawn cocktail is more Irish than the corned beef!!

They don't tend to eat much beef over there - lots of lamb (and I don't like lamb chops) and pork (as in bacon, boiling bacon and boiling ribs). Corned beef evolved when the Irish immigrants could not find the 'boiling bacon' in the US.
Ironjack said…
See you *do* learn something everyday. I figured in Irish food it was about mutton and potatoes not much else!

Thanks for the food history, and of course thanks for coming by.

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