Irish Soda Bread (and Corned Beef)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I love to celebrate anything.  We had Purim on March 12th, Pi day on 3/14, the Ides of March on 3/15, St. Patty's day today, My 3rd kiddo has a birthday on March 22 (he will be 18 and I am having problems with that), and PappaH and my 22nd wedding anniversary on the 26th.  Whew!

But today is St. Patricks Day!  I love it.  I am of (mostly) Irish decent - my maiden name is Fanning.  I try to embrace my Irish (it's mostly blarney, though.)

I always make corned beef and cabbage and soda bread on March 17th.  Yes, I know that the Irish don't actually eat corned beef.  Whatever.  We love it.  I have many who have asked for my recipes for the bread and the beef.

The beef is easy.  Here is what I do:

Corned Beef

Take your corned beef - you know, the kind you get in the grocery store with the little spice packet.  Open it up (the beef) and rinse it off because it is slimy and eww.  Throw away the spice package.  Don't worry, it will be all right.

Plop the beef into your slow cooker fat side up.  (You didn't trim the fat off of the beef, did you?  Don't.  Trust me.) Cover the beef with 3/4 to 1 cup of brown sugar.  Pour 1 can or bottle of Guinness Stout all over the beef.  Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for about 10 hours or on high for about 6 hours.

That's it.

There is more to the bread.  (My kiddos don't like the traditional raisins or caraway seeds.) Here is my recipe.

Soda Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal (not instant)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Live a baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine all the dry ingredients and the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (of course you can do all of this by hand, but I am a bit lazy.)

Mix it up.

Put the remaining ingredients into the flour mixture.

Mix it up.  It's not going to be smooth.  You just want to mix until it comes together - there will still be a bit of dry stuff on the bottom.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface.  Knead the dough a few times until you can form a nice, fat, round blob-o-dough.
Cut an X on top of your lovely loaf.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean, or until the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.

Cool a bit and slather each slice with butter and/or jam.

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