While Irish fare isn't looked to as the "healthiest" of cuisine, that doesn't mean it can't be augmented to be just that. Most of us are at least somewhat conscious of our health, unless you're Donna Simpson (look it up), but that doesn't mean you have to skirt the traditional dishes of St. Paddy's altogether. A simple tweak to Corned Beef and Cabbage can make the dish healthy without sacrificing tradition or taste.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls
An easy alternative to cooking your own corned beef is to buy sliced, precooked corned beef instead. Look for it near the bacon in the cold case or ask for it at the deli counter. If using this substitution, simply omit the onion, cover the potatoes with salted water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add about 1 1/4 pounds sliced, precooked corned beef and simmer until potatoes are tender; the resulting broth is flavorful enough to pour over the cabbage rolls for baking. Follow the recipe as directed to finish the potato filling, roughly chop the sliced corned beef and you’re ready to assemble the rolls. Assemble this dish up to 2 days in advance, if you like.
2 pounds corned beef brisket*
1 onion, quartered
2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
16 large outer leaves from a savoy cabbage
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
Mustard, for serving
Combine beef and onion with 8 cups water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Remove from pot and set aside. Add potatoes to pot and simmer until soft, 15–20 minutes. Remove and set aside; discard onion. Boil cabbage leaves in liquid, 3 at a time, until soft, about 2 minutes. Set aside. Reserve 2 cups cooking liquid.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash potatoes with egg, salt and half the parsley. Chop beef very coarsely. Using a paring knife, cut a triangle at the bottom of each cabbage leaf to remove the thick, stiff part of the stem. Top each leaf with some potatoes and beef, tuck in the sides and roll up. Place seam-side down in a roasting pan. Ladle reserved cooking liquid over rolls, cover pan tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve with mustard.
*If corned beef brisket is unavailable, use a plain beef brisket, and season the cooking liquid with 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 bay leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper and 4 allspice berries (or 1/4 teaspoon ground).
Per serving (about 9oz/273g-wt.): 340 calories (160 from fat), 18g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 90mg cholesterol, 1530mg sodium, 23g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 20g protein