It looked so easy when the Quinn family served it up, so tender when the Duffys did. But, ask a Biskupic née Kostelnik to cook corned beef and you get a gristly mess.
St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland, and I celebrated by boiling all the flavor out of my corned beef and cabbage.
Somewhere, in the maternal roots of my multi-cultural family tree, there lies buried some genuine Emerald Island DNA. And somewhere, those Irish grannies are rolling in their graves.
I’m not sure where I went wrong.
It might have been brisket, a challenging cut of beef. We once let the male members of our Gourmet Group plan the meal, and they chose beef brisket and lemon drop martinis. They underestimated the cook time of the former, over served the latter, and, by the time they carved the main course, just after midnight, everyone needed to go home.
It may have been the stout, which, apparently, had sat in our cupboard for more than two years.
It may have been the cook time, she sat with her pickling spices and ale in the crock pot on low for 11 hours. Too much?
Mostly, though, I think it was me.
Next year, I’m going to procure my corned beef the way the Polish way: I’ll show up at the Duffy’s just before dinner.
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May you never have to hold my corned beef on the rye bread in your hand.