Posted in: Louisville Information, Louisville Real Estate, What to do in Louisville, Author: Younger Group (March 8, 2012)
With the St. Patrick’s Day Parade coming up in Louisville this Saturday, you might be planning to head to Bardstown Rd. for the festivities and then stick around to hit a few pubs. Or you might make your way to Fourth Street Live to enjoy some music, food, and fun over the next week. Amidst the revelry, don’t forget to eat your fill of the main dish most often associated with the holiday: corned beef and cabbage, or perhaps, a corned beef sandwich.
Corned beef, the traditional dish for the season, gets its name from the process of making it. Beef was put in a large crock and covered with large rock salt kernels known as “corns of salt,” which preserved the meat. It is considered a traditional Irish dish. Ironically, though it was available in Ireland since the Middle Ages, it was too expensive for most people to be considered a staple.
The Irish, especially in the town of Cork, produced corned beef since 1600 and exported it to nearby England and around the world. Many different cuts of meat were used as corned beef; the best quality was shipped in cans to England or the American colonies, while the worst went to the French. Although considerable pastureland in Ireland was devoted to cattle raising, little meat found its way into the Irish diet. By the late 19th century, canned corned beef production shifted to South America.
When Irish settlers came to America, they found canned corned beef cheap and readily available, so they substituted it for pork in traditional dishes. They also bought a fresh version made from brisket from Jewish butchers and enjoyed it on holidays to replace the bacon joint they enjoyed in Ireland. It was Irish-Americans who made corned beef a St. Patricks Day specialty. In the motherland, the dish is only served to tourists on St. Patrick’s Day.
In Louisville, corned beef is a popular item year-round on deli menus, while corned beef and cabbage specials are prolific in taverns and restaurants around St. Patrick’s Day.
Check out the Irish Rover, Bristol Bar and Grille, the Old Louisville Inn, or Irish pubs such as Molly Malone’s, Flanagan’s, O’Shea’s: Baxter Avenue in the Highlands for this dish, as well as other Irish dishes: Irish lamb stew, shepherd’s pie, bangers (sausage) and mash (mashed potatoes), or fish ‘n chips, served with soda bread or boxty. Some of the Irish pubs offer ethnic crafts – sweaters, jewelry, crystal – but if you don’t care about sweaters, there is also a good assortment of Irish whisky, Guinness, and other beers on hand.
Holiday aside, there are plenty of good corned beef sandwiches around in Louisville. All the “good” delis pile the meat high. Stevens and Stevens on Bardstown Road offers corned beef sandwiches and Reuben sandwiches as part of a huge delicious menu. Some Louisville diners swear the Reuben offered by Morris Deli & Catering is the best in town. The Bluegrass Brewing Company and most other pubs include a decent corned beef sandwich to accompany their beverages.
Whether you are Irish or not, there is plenty of good corned beef and beer to wash it down that you can enjoy this St. Patrick’s day and throughout the year in Louisville. Considered one of Southern Living Magazine’s “Tastiest Towns,” Louisville is a great place to call home. To make it your home, contact me, Mollie Younger of The Younger Team. We Know Louisville.