The Magic of Corned Beef

Shamrocks, green beer, and Irish eats means one thing—St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! It’s one of our favorite spring traditions, where friends gather over a tall glass of Guinness and pay homage to the Irish American holiday. And if there is one dish that’s synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, it’s corned beef. The mystery meat is devoured across America by festive partygoers in celebration of St. Paddy’s. But what exactly is it? Simply put, it’s a salt cured beef brisket. The name hails from the way the meat is tenderized using large grain rock salt, spices, and herbs. Traditionally served as corned beef and cabbage, we came up with a few other fun ways to utilize this underappreciated hunk of meat! Stuff your face with corned beef hash, sample corned beef tacos, or indulge in a hearty, Reuben sandwich.


Corned Beef Tacos


1 c. shredded purple cabbage

1 c. cabbage

1 small purple onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced for garnish

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. spicy brown mustard

2 pounds corned beef, shredded

8 flour tortillas



For the tacos: shred the corned beef and warm the flour tortillas. For the slaw: in a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar. In another medium bowl add the cabbage, onion, and jalapeno. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the slaw just before serving. To assemble the tacos, layer the corned beef and slaw into the warm tortillas. Garnish with home-made thousand island dressing and jalapeno slices.

Corned Beef Hash


6 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 c. thinly sliced green cabbage

1 ½ lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, coarsely grated

12 oz. corned beef, shredded or cut into matchstick-sized pieces

6 large eggs, plus two beaten eggs

¼ c. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper



Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic until the onions are opaque. Add the cabbage and cook for five minutes until cabbage is crispy and golden. Add the potatoes and cook until they are crisp, about 20 minutes. Move potato mixture to a large bowl and add salt and pepper. Add beaten eggs to the mixture and fold in the corned beef. Pour mixture back into the skillet and cook until golden brown, pressing down on with the spatula for five minutes. Make six divots in the hash and crack one egg into each divot. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to medium low and cook until egg whites are just set, about seven minutes. Top with parsley.

Corned Beef Sandwich (Reuben)


¼ c. unsalted butter

8 slices of rye bread

4 oz. sliced sharp white cheddar cheese

6 oz. corned beef, thinly sliced

¼ c. mayonnaise

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 8 oz. package of shredded green cabbage

1 c. onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp. coriander seeds, coarsely crushed

1 tsp. celery seeds

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 tsp. sugar



Whisk mayonnaise and Dijon mustard in a small bowl and set aside. Heat vegetable oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add cabbage, onion, coriander seeds, and celery seeds and sauté until wilted and tender yet crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in white wine vinegar and sugar until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Arrange rye bread slices on a cutting board and divide cheddar cheese among four bread slices. Spread mayonnaise mixture on remaining bread slice and place slices over corned beef. Brush outside of bread slices with remaining mayonnaise and top with corned beef and cabbage mixture. Heat the same skillet to medium heat and add the sandwiches, two at a time until golden brown and cheese has melted, about two minutes per side.


Where to find Corned Beef in the 209

If you don’t want the hassle of cooking your own corned beef, there are plenty of spots in the 209 serving up corned beef sandwiches and plates to devour. Stop into these local haunts to get your fix. Grab a Reuben sandwich from Fiori’s Butcher Shoppe or the Farm Café at Michael David in Lodi. Or, if carbs aren’t your thing, head to Stockton’s Finnegan’s Pub and Grill or Chuck’s Hamburgers for a traditional plate of corned beef and cabbage to satiate your craving. No matter how you like your corned beef, there are plenty of digs in San Joaquin to savor the seasonal cuisine.

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