Next Friday is St. Patrick’s Day and there’s quite a dispute going on in the Irish-American community: do we abstain from meat as prescribed for Lent or do we go right on ahead and eat corned beef and cabbage anyway? (Despite my German-Swiss surname I’m roughly half Irish)

Corned beef and cabbage while traditional here isn’t Irish: it’s Irish-American. During the 19th century all the Irish beef was exported. But this is Irish and you can eat it without violating the abstinence rules. I suggest broiling some nice, fresh salmon to go along with this. That’s Irish, too.


Serves 6

1¼ lb. kale, washed, tough stems removed or green cabbage
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1¼ lb. potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup leeks, cleaned and chopped (white part only)
1 cup milk
½ cup melted butter
Pinch mace
Salt and pepper

  1. Simmer the kale or cabbage in 2 cups of water with the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain thoroughly and chop fine. Set aside in a warming plate.
  3. Cover the potatoes with water in a small pot and simmer for 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Simmer the leeks in the milk, covered, for ten minutes in another small pot.
  5. Drain the potatoes, puree them into the large pot.
  6. Add the leeks with their milk and the cooked kale.
  7. Beat with a wooden spoon until fluffy.
  8. Season to taste with mace, salt, and pepper.
  9. Mound on a plate and top with melted butter.
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