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What would St. Patrick’s day be without corned beef?

The classic meal for a St. Paddy’s day celebration in the United States almost always includes some form of corned beef, which can be cooked in a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or in the oven. However, this is an Irish American tradition, not so in Ireland where a more traditional St. Paddy’s day meal includes lamb or pork. So how did this American tradition come about?

The Smithsonian provides a detailed historical explanation for corned beef and its popularity with the Irish in the U.S. It was the British who invented the term “corned beef” in the 17th century to describe the size of the salt crystals used to cure the meat (which were the size of corn kernels), and they brought it to Ireland. However, beef was a luxury in Ireland, in which only the wealthy could partake. When the Irish immigrated to the U.S., and began to become more economically comfortable, they began eating beef. And the beef they could afford was corned beef, which they happened to buy mainly from kosher butchers. Corned beef is made from brisket, which is a kosher cut of meat from the front part of the cow. So corned beef in the U.S. has a British influence, an Irish influence, and a Jewish influence. In fact, Abraham Lincoln selected corned beef and cabbage to be the meal for the luncheon on his inauguration day. No wonder we have the saying “Everyone’s Irish on March 17th."

So, to help you enjoy your St. Paddy’s day celebration this year, try our corned beef, cabbage, and root vegetables recipe. This recipe uses Spice For Life’s aromatic corned beef/roast beef rub made from: white, black, green, and pink peppercorns, coriander, mustard seeds, ancho chili, smoked salt, and garlic. Of course, this meal always tastes better shared with family and friends.