How does one come up with a recipe for corned beef, potato, leek and beer soup? I would love to tell you that it was a creative stoke of genius I had, but that would be a big fat lie. The reality is I got too big for my apron (I don’t really wear an apron but I gave up wearing britches for Lent) and tried a new method for cooking beef brisket years ago. The result was something that smelled like corn beef brisket but tasted like pleather (leather would have been a delightful upgrade).
So with my “this will not define me” attitude I minced the corned beef pleather, then added potatoes, leeks, cabbage and it was not half bad. Why not add some beer? Why thank you, I believe I will.
After making this many times it has now become my standard dish to make around St. Patrick’s Day forgoing the the standard corned beef and cabbage.
1 five pound bag of Yukon gold potatoes peeled
1 large bunch of leeks
3 tablespoons of butter
Chicken stock about 3 cups
One 3 pound cooked corned beef brisket trimmed of fat (reserve liquid)
Two carrots peeled and chopped
One cup or more depending on taste shredded cabbage
A double bock beer or a Guinness (optional)
Salt and pepper
1/4 lb sharp white Irish cheese*
-Boil the potatoes in a large stock pot until soft then drain.
-Cut up the white and light green parts of leeks. (Be careful to wash or discard any part with sand) and sweat them in butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until they are soft.)
-Over medium heat, add reserved liquid from the brisket to the potatoes. Now add as much stock as needed to cover the potatoes well.
-Break the brisket up into small pieces and add to stock pot.
-Now add leeks, carrots, cabbage and beer.
-Puree with an immersion blender. Add milk if the soup is too thick.
-Add salt and pepper to taste.
-Reduce down a bit, letting all of the ingredients to become friends.
-Cut rye bread up into cubes toss with salt and olive oil then place on a baking sheet. Bake in the over at 350 for about 15 minutes or until crisp.
To serve: ladle into a bowl, sprinkle shredded cheese over the top and add rye croutons.
Eat, do a jig and raise a glass (or your spoon depending on how much beer you added) to yourself for surviving this year’s West Orange St.Patrick’s Day Parade or toast yourself for staying home. For those of you heading into the city for the big parade this Saturday — and I mean this from the bottom of my heart — what is wrong with you?