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3.7.11 Meaty Monday: Corned Beef with Vegetables

You don't have to be Irish to love corned beef. Eastern European Jews are great connoisseurs of all manner of boiled meat, and New York deli is renowned for its sandwiches piled high with thin slices of this pink, juicy meat. But St. Patrick's Day is coming up a week from Thursday, and that gives you plenty of time (you only need about 5 days, which means you should get started by Saturday at the latest), and the perfect reason, to make your own this year. In its original, peasanty guise, this traditional fodder is as much about the vegetables: turnips, rutabagas, carrots, onions, parsnips, cabbage and plenty of spuds, of course. Not to mention delicious mustards and horseradish sauce. It's a dish meant to usher in spring by using up all those roots stored for the winter. The date for celebrating St. Patrick—a 5th-century English missionary who converted a load of pagans to Christianity—fell during the fasting season of Lent, but prohibitions against eating meat were lifted so the Irish could celebrate their patron saint with dancing, drinking and feasting on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage. If you make a big hunk of meat, you can share it with lucky friends, or hoard it to make such delectable offshoots as red flannel hash (with beets) and Reuben sandwiches (with homemade sauerkraut).
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