These Essential Recipes Are the Stars of Martha's St. Patrick's Day Feast
Come March, our founder looks forward to cooking up a traditional feast for friends and family on St. Patrick’s Day. Over the years she's tried many different recipes, but these are her over-the-rainbow favorites.
When I was growing up, my mother made it a tradition to serve a big kettle of brined brisket, prepared with cooked cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and turnips, whenever the calendar hit March 17. She would bring the meal to the table on an immense board, along with small bowls of coarse salt and hot mustard. Sometimes our Irish neighbors joined us, and they would regale us with stories from their home country. Sometimes it was just us. But we always loved every minute of it, and stuffed ourselves accordingly.
When I hired Kevin Sharkey, who today is our executive director of design and a very dear friend, he made it crystal clear that St. Patrick's Day was an important holiday to him. Raised in Boston, he looked forward to eating his Irish grandmother Mary's simple, uncomplicated dishes—especially her corned beef, cabbage, and turnips. She would also order a box of fresh shamrocks from Ireland, which she'd receive right in time for the day. Kevin now cherishes the motif, and collects shamrock-adorned crystal, silver, porcelain, and linens.
His love for the holiday reminded me of my mother's custom, and inspired me to start cooking this spread annually for everyone at the office, much to Kevin's delight. (One time I even had bagpipers come and play down the halls.) It's also the perfect excuse to invite friends over and enjoy it at home.
This year I'm setting a festive mood—and table— with faux-bois pots ($27.73, amazon.com) of verdant Pilea glauca 'Silver Sprinkles' and bowls filled with chocolate gold coins. D. Porthault napkins printed with a shamrock motif welcome each guest. I hope you enjoy this menu as much as I do. For one lucky day each year, we all get to be Irish.
Quick-Brined Corned Beef and Vegetables
Here I share my corned-beef recipe, which I learned in part from my friend Gretchen Sweet, in Maine. The beauty of it is that it cures in about a third of the time that most other recipes take. I like to add my own mix of homegrown vegetables.
Two kinds of fresh horseradish sauces (one with beet and one without), and whole-grain and Dijon mustards are offered with the spread of corned beef and vegetables.
Martha found her jade-banded Paris porcelain plates at an estate sale years ago, as well as the vintage green-tinted glassware. For this St. Patrick's Day meal, she uses them for water and beer.
Irish Soda Bread with Rye and Currants
Adding rye flour to soda bread gives this St. Patrick's Day favorite a flavorful twist.