We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day last weekend. My mom is the youngest of ten kids from an Irish-Catholic family. My Grandma Flo (her mother) is one of my favorite people who ever walked the planet. She would often sing a line of Irish Eyes Are Smiling and her eyes would twinkle as she did.
Since I can remember I have worn green on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s still a tradition I consider mandatory and my husband and children willingly oblige. I remember being in middle school or early high school when my mom and I made our first traditional Irish meal. We made lamb stew and soda bread, maybe another side too. We decorated the table in green and I think my mom even had authentic Irish serving dishes or some kind of extra special touch. We also invited my Grandma over to share the meal with us. Now, my palate has changed since then and my mom is a phenomenal cook so if we served a bad meal under her care, it was just me or it was a fluke. But my memory of the night was that the stew was flavorless, and the bread was weird. I didn’t especially care about eating an Irish meal on St. Pat’s Day after that. Which is saying something because if you know me, you know I love tradition and celebration.
My grandma with her progeny at her last family reunion in 2008. If only she could see how we’ve grown in the last 10 years! She would be so proud.
Then about 5 years ago I started corning my own beef brisket every St. Patrick’s Day. It takes much pre-planning so we really go for it, serving the expected sides and enjoying a Guinness beer or Guinness beer cake for dessert. We invite people to share the meal with us. Usually my parents because we invited them the first or second year and once you’ve had this corned beef you want it every year.
But I have to admit, we are also a little greedy about our corned beef because not only is it incredibly delicious and a rare commodity in this house, we HAVE to have leftovers to make this Reuben skillet. Growing up my husband loved Reuben sandwiches. It was a special meal his grandma made for him when he would visit her. I love that this meal has ties back to both our grandmas. I also love that we can enjoy all the flavor and comfort of a Reuben without the bread. I leave the cheese off for my boys and I but this is one of those times when you notice the cheese is gone. It’s still totally worth it without the cheese but if you can eat it, do it up! Without further ado….
Heaping ¼ c. mayonnaise (I like avocado oil mayo)
2 ½ Tbsp. ketchup (we use one without added sugar because we avoid sugar)
A few dashes of hot sauce, to taste
3-4 Tbsp. dill relish
butter or oil for cooking
1 small – medium head of green cabbage, shredded
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 c. Bubbies sauerkraut, or more to taste
1 lb. leftover corned beef, chopped (my mom also makes this with pastrami)
Thinly sliced Swiss cheese
1. Mix together sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
2. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Melt a pad of butter or a drizzle of oil in the skillet. Add cabbage and sauté, stirring often, until cabbage is crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add sauerkraut (a little juice from the jar poured in is delicious) and corned beef. Continue to cook, stirring often, until heated through.
4. Layer cheese slices on top and allow to melt. (Sometimes I put a lid on it to melt faster as to not overcook the cabbage.)
5. Remove from heat. Serve topped with dressing and enjoy!
*I originally heard about this recipe from my mom who got it from a friend. The recipe they use is Trim Healthy Momma’s recipe called Reuben in a Bowl. When I went to look it up I could only find the ingredient list. Since, I have slightly modified some ingredients/ quantities and assumed the directions from there.
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