SF Bay Area artisanal charcuterie The Fatted Calf sends out a great email newsletter, worth subscribing to even if you don't live in the area. This week's missive included this nice bit on corned beef:
Corned beef isn't exactly from Ireland but neither was St. Patrick. It turns out that this briny beef specialty, called "corned" because the grains of salt used for preservation resembled little kernels, gained popularity in the ghettos of New York's lower East Side where recent Irish immigrants were searching for a substitute for their beloved bacon (which they make from Pork Loin and not belly). As luck would have it, their Jewish neighbors across the hall were digging into a tasty brisket that fit the bill for their boiled supper perfectly. Irish! Jewish! Who cares? It's delicious! And it's especially delicious when prepared with Marin Sun Farm's organic beef brisket.
Simmer your hunk of beef until just tender, throw in all manner of carrots, potatoes, turnips and of course, cabbage. Cook until your roots are creamy and your beef is succulent and nearly falling apart and you will have yourself a feast that, if not exactly traditionally Irish, will most certainly be grand. If you are suffering the next day from one too many pints of stout you can begin the road to recovery with a heap of corned beef hash. And if you are really lucky there might even be enough left for a towering sandwich of corned beef on rye.