We had already planned to make a Sunday dinner of corned beef and Irish soda bread, but I didn't feel well enough to cook, so Tom kindly stepped in and made a delicious meal, including doing the shopping. Thanks, Tom!
This meal wasn't heavy or greasy at all because it was boiled. The vegetables were cooked perfectly, i.e., not mushy. I even liked the cabbage. The corned beef was tender and not dry.
Last time Tom made this bread was 3/17/02. Neither of us could remember exactly how it was going to turn out. It is rather sweet, not like the basic brown or white soda bread that I saw on the travel shows, but very tasty. Baking soda was revolutionary in early 1800's, and allowed the Irish to make bread without yeast, or having to knead. They could make it in a cast iron pot at home. Most did not have an oven then.
Sweet Irish Soda Bread
Recipe by Jill Novatt, a Food TV recipe
2 cups flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 T. sugar
2 T. cold unsalted butter
2 T. cold vegetable shortening
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup currants
2 T. toasted caraway seeds
1 T. melted butter
1 T. sanding sugar (coarse sugar)
New England Boiled Dinner
adapted from James Beard's American Cookery
Piece of corned beef, preferably brisket, 4 to 5 pounds
6 white onions
4 to 5 small to medium turnips
6 to 8 potatoes
1 head cabbage
bouquet garni of spices (peppercorns, cloves, etc.) - came with corned beef
Wash the corned beef, place in a kettle of cold water, and bring to a boil. Add bouquet garni. Reduce heat and simmer 2.5 to 3 hours. Add the onions and turnips and cook 30 minutes more. Add the carrots and potatoes and simmer 15 minutes. Add the cabbage, cut in quarters or sixths.
The bread was good the next day for breakfast and a snack. It is more like a muffin loaf bread than regular bread, or plain soda bread.