October 2021 Challenge: Irish

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I made some pickle meat for the Cajun/Creole challenge. It is basically chunks of pork shoulder in a vinegar, salt and hot sauce brine. A key ingredient to really good red beans and rice.

mjb.
 
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I've seen a pork shoulder corned by plugging it with salt.

I made some pickle meat for the Cajun/Creole challenge. It is basically chunks of pork shoulder in a vinegar, salt and hot sauce brine. A key ingredient to really good red beans and rice.
See, this is just it. Is old-school Irish pickled pork done with vinegar or salt? I suspect salt -- should be easy to come by in an island nation -- but I don't actually know.
 
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Did a little more searching. Most Irish newspapers have at one time or another run an article on how to make your own pickled pork, and they all look basically like corned beef but with pork. Here's an example from The Irish Examiner: https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/arid-20033092.html

I think what Alton Brown is making in that video clip is New Orleans-style pickled pork, which is a fundamentally different beast.

In any event, I didn't mean to derail this thread. Sorry! But I may well make some proper Irish pickled pork and have it with cabbage and potatoes....
 
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Darina makes it with a rather simple salt cure. I trust Darina on matters of Irish cookery.

I concur that no matter what Alton called it… it was something different.

As a complete aside, my Irish great-great grandfather, while living in Northern England between 1840 and 1850, was a salt dealer.
 
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Boxty - an Irish potato pancake

Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan,
If you can’t make boxty,
You’ll never get a man.
Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan,
The wee one in the middle,
That’s the one for Mary Anne.”


(Traditional Irish Rhyme)​

I dedicate this to my great-grand-aunt, MaryAnn, who was the eldest child of my great-great-grandparents and was born not long after they left the Emerald Isle to settle for a while in Northern England. Little is known about her because she became lost to the family until I recently re-discovered her and her story. Apparently the transition to the United States was just a bit strenuous on this girl and she sought "comfort" in "worldly ways". At 17 she spent a few months in the city jail for "wantonness" but absconded and re-appeared a few years later with a child on the other side of the country. She married a widower man more than twice her age, had a few more children with him, and died at 35 years of age. Nobody in the family today remembered even hearing about her.

The ingredients:

One lonely old Russet potato

IMG_0722.jpg

The boxty process:

Half mashed with cream, half grated (raw), some flour, and a bit of baking powder for lightness. Some recipes use egg but I like this soft so didn't. Mix and fry slowly in butter.

IMG_0724.jpg

The results - BOXTY:

IMG_0725.jpg
 
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A couple questions for people who know things about Irish cooking, about which I know very little.

2. I understand that the potato famine came about because there was one dominant breed of potato, which got wiped out by a blight, and since this one potato breed was about 80% of what poor people all over Ireland ate, the result was devastation.

It's a dark topic and I speak to it whenever I hear the old famine being mentioned.

Ireland produced some of the strongest, tallest and healthiest people in Europe, the country was known as the strong man of Europe. Quite honestly, huge strong men. You had to be six foot two just to be a police man. We were always highly educated, and exported the most educated monks around Europe, we were known as the "land of saints and scholars". This is why a tiny country like Ireland has world class universities like Trinity (my alma mater) and UCD.

As Frank O'Connor once said, "Famine is a useful word when you do not wish to use words like ‘genocide’ and ‘extermination".

"A famine did not truly exist. There was no food shortage in Ireland evidenced by the fact that the British landowners (masters/invaders/slavers) continued to have a varied diet and food stuffs were exported to oversees British colonies. This was not the first failure of the potato crop in the history of Ireland. The starvation (and genocide) occurred as the British carried on their historical exploitation of the Irish people, failed to take appropriate action in the face of the failure of the potato crop, and maintained their racist attitude toward the Irish."

Irish food was being stolen, leading to preventable deaths. I know a lot about this, Irish catholic schools educate us about the 800 year invasion.

Here endeth the sermon.
 

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