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Savor St. Patrick’s Day with recipes from WSU’s executive chef Jamie Callison

Middle March conjures the desire for savory and comforting corned beef and cabbage.

It is, after all, the traditional dish of St. Patrick’s Day. Or, at least it is on this side of the pond, where we’re all Irish for a day on March 17 – or for as long as there are leftovers.

That once-a-year combination of garlic, mustard, beef, coriander, caraway seeds, cabbage and maybe a few carrots doesn’t usually last too long. But brining brisket is a feat five days in the making. So, start now and plan to enjoy this dish for dinner Sunday night, capping a weekend of St. Paddy’s festivities.

The recipe comes from executive chef Jamie Callison and several of his students at Washington State University’s School of Hospitality Business Management. They offer a simple twist to an Irish-American classic without straying too far from tradition.

The complete menu features house-brined corned beef brisket encrusted with honey and three kinds of mustard; cabbage cooked with caramelized onions, bacon and herbs; butter-basted new or Yukon Gold potatoes; and Irish soda bread.

They come from old family recipes that Callison and his students updated as well as new ones that they created together. The students he worked with on these particular recipes are Brittley Barrett, Megan Wells, Jessica Murray and Lauren Larson.

Recipes all make about four servings, except for the bread, which makes about eight.

Don’t cut corners on the corned beef brine. “You need the full five days,” Callison said.

Note: Corning something is simply preserving it in a salty brine. “Corn” refers to coarse grains of salt used for curing.

This time of year, shoppers can easily find already-corned beef in stores. But what if you get a craving for corned beef and cabbage at some point later in the season? Save these recipes.

“The brine really comes in handy during the rest of the year when it is impossible to find corned beef,” Callison said.

Corned Beef Brine

1 quart water

1/3 cup Kosher salt

1 tablespoon pink curing salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon pickling spice

6 juniper berries

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1 teaspoon fresh garlic

4 cups ice water

2 1/2 pounds beef brisket

Bring all brine ingredients through garlic to a simmer and cook just until sugar and dissolves. Let brine cool for about 5 minutes, then add to ice water. Place brine in cooler until cold.

Trim brisket, leaving a thin layer of fat over top. Submerge brisket in cold brine. Allow brisket to sit in brine, refrigerated, for 5 days, flipping and stirring brine on a daily basis to insure that the brine has contact with all parts of the brisket. Remove from brine, rinse, and cook in simmering water for 4 hours or until fork tender.

Note: The brisket can be cooked in a slow-cooker.

Honey-Mustard-Glazed Corned Beef, Cabbage Slaw and Buttered Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds cooked corned beef brisket (see recipe above)

For the glaze

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup stoneground mustard

1/4 cup yellow mustard

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons brown sugar

For the cabbage

4 slices thick-sliced bacon, medium diced

1/2 sweet onion, julienned

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, washed and chopped

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 head green cabbage, cored and sliced

For the potatoes

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or new potatoes, washed

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons flat leaf parsley, washed and chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Make the glaze: Remove corned beef, reserve cooking liquid and trim excess fat.

Mix all glaze ingredients together. Coat both sides of brisket with mustard glaze and broil until golden brown on both sides. Keep in warm place until cabbage slaw, potatoes, and other items are done. Slice against the grain. This is very important.

Make the cabbage: Cook bacon until it just starts to brown, and then add onions, thyme, caraway seeds, and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook cabbage for about 4 minutes in boiling reserved water from cooking corned beef, then strain off liquid. Drain excess fat off of bacon mixture, return to pan and add cabbage. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper

Make the potatoes: Start potatoes in cold water, bring to simmer, and cook until fork tender, approximately 20 minutes. Melt butter, add parsley and season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Irish Soda Bread

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup currants

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together, then cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Toss currants and caraway seeds together with flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix buttermilk into flour mixture. Form a ball, then press out to form a disk. Score an “X” with a knife that has been lightly oiled. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and fully cooked in the middle.