The Perfect St.Patricks Day Family Recipe

Deck yourself out in green and celebrate St. Paddy's Day with this hearty family dinner recipe

by Cidonie Richards | Wed, March 15, 2017

Regardless of your nationality, everyone's a little bit Irish during the month of March.  It's no wonder everyone loves celebrating St. Patrick's Day - what's not to love? Great food, great beer and a time of great celebrations can be found across the globe every year. In Shanghai there are a multitude of green events taking place around town, full of Irish dancing, pub tours and fun celebrations so be sure to check out where to go here.  But if you fancy celebrating at home with your family or if you are just a little home-sick for a good ole' fashioned home-cooked meal. We've got you covered with this delicious traditional Irish meal. 

Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Historically, Saint Patrick  was actually never officially canonized by the Catholic Church, he was proclaimed a saint by the Irish people for his missionary work, eventually becoming the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick began his mission to the largely pagan Ireland in 432, and by his death in 461, the island was almost entirely Christian.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was actually held in New York City in 1762 by Irish immigrants. The parade grew in importance across the 19th century with the arrival of large numbers of Irish immigrants. Celebrations took place on the streets of major Irish cities such as Boston, New York, and Chicago.

St. Patrick's Day New York 1909 and 1874

Fast forward to today, and March 17th is a day marked in many places around the world to celebrate Irish heritage. Parades, wearing green clothes, traditional Irish dancing and – of course – special foods add to the fun atmosphere of the holiday. 

About the Recipe

While not a true traditional Irish meal, corned beef and cabbage was first made by immigrants hoping to recreate an old favorite: boiled bacon and cabbage. They gave it a New-World twist with readily available beef, which would have been a luxury for the rich back in Ireland.

The name “corned beef” actually refers to the cooking process. Large cuts of beef were preserved with salt “corns”, or kernels and other spices, and then smoked, roasted or boiled. The pink color of the meat comes from saltpeter, a preservative, which was omitted in our recipe due to limited supply locally. Not to worry, though; it will still have the wonderful flavor expected of the dish. Allspice, cloves, peppercorn and garlic all combine to season the meat to perfection.

“May your blessings outnumber the sham- rocks that grow and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.” – An Irish blessing

Corned Beef and Cabbage


About 1 1⁄2 kilos (3 pounds) beef brisket
1 1⁄2 quarts hot water
3⁄4 cup medium grain salt (kosher salt or sea salt flakes work well)
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 tsp mustard seeds
1⁄2 tsp whole allspice
1⁄2 tsp whole cloves
3 cups ice cubes
1 head cabbage, quartered
1 bunch baby carrots, peeled and tops removed 1 onion, quartered


In a large pot, bring 11⁄2 quarts water to a boil. Turn off heat, and then add all seasonings and spices. Stir until salt and sugar have dissolved completely, and then add ice. The brine solution needs to be room temperature or cooler before adding to the brisket. Refrigerate for a couple of hours if necessary. Have a large, non-reactive (glass or stainless steel) pan ready. Place brisket in a large sealable plastic bag and place bag in the pan. Carefully pour brine solution over brisket, making sure it is completely covered and that all the spices and garlic make it into the bag too. 

On feast day, remove brisket from brine and place in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for two hours. Add cabbage, carrots and onions, cover the pot and cook another half hour to an hour, until meat and vegetables are fork tender. Remove the brisket and place on a cutting board to slice thinly. Serve the vegetables alongside the meat, drizzling cooking juices over everything. The dish would be wonderful paired with a pint of Guinness and some of your favorite cooked potatoes or crusty bread!



牛胸肉约1.5kg(3磅) 热水1.5夸脱 粗粒盐3/4杯(犹太盐或 海盐片皆可) 红糖1/2杯 大蒜3瓣,碾碎 月桂叶2片

胡椒粒 1茶匙 芥末籽1茶匙 多香果半茶匙 丁香半茶匙
冰块3杯 卷心菜1颗,切四瓣 嫩胡萝卜1把,去皮去缨 洋葱1颗,切四瓣


将1.5夸脱水在锅中煮沸。关火后,加入调味料。 搅拌直至盐和糖充分溶解,然后加入冰块。待调 料水降温至室温以下时,才可用来腌制牛胸肉。 如有必要,可放入冰箱数小时以降温。准备一个 大号平底锅(玻璃或不锈钢材质)。大号可密封 塑料袋装牛胸肉,放入平底锅。小心的将调料水 倒入密封袋中,淹过牛肉,同时将所有香料和大 蒜也放入袋中。

到了聚会的日子,就把牛肉从调料水里捞出来, 放进一个大锅子里。 放入水煮开,然后开盖小火 慢炖2小时。加入卷心菜,胡萝卜和洋葱,盖上锅 盖再炖半小时到一小时,直至肉和蔬菜都变软 嫩。(叉子可轻易戳入)取出牛肉,案板上切薄 片。将蔬菜同牛肉摆盘,淋原锅汁即可。这道菜和 一品脱黑啤酒,以及你拿手的熟土豆或者脆皮面 包将会是绝配!

Recipe: Darcie Hunter

Food Styling: Cidonie Richards and Darcie Hunter

Photography: Ransom Wingo


For more great places and events around town to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Click HERE!