Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), an avid food writer and blogger, a TV and radio personality, a food brand ambassador, a passionate home cook, a food event hostess, and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc. She has a BASc. in Nutrition and Food, Dietitians of Canada accreditation, and culinary training from George Brown College and private instructors.
I’m an Irish girl (well, okay, I’m 25% Irish), but on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone gets a taste of the Irish life! Believe it or not though, I’ve never been into green pancakes and I can’t handle more than a pint of Guinness at a time, but I am always down for traditional Irish fare. Give me some baked beans, bangers, fried mushrooms and runny eggs, and I’m one happy girl – Irish or otherwise!
Growing up, my mom would always try to find ways to stretch a dollar while still making sure we had a delicious, balanced, healthy meal. That usually meant a lot of potatoes, cabbage, and large roast dinners – clearly she took plenty of notes from our ancestors across the pond.
While it may not be totally authentic (sorry, Grandpa Fitzpatrick) this recipe from Ontario Pork has become my personal go-to on St. Patty’s Day (and any other day, as well.) It’s a delicious yet better-for-you version of the traditional Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potato combo you typically see on any pub menu, leaving you with a little wiggle room for that obligatory green pint. It’s definitely been making its way into my usual rotation more often than not thanks to the rising price of produce. Cabbage is literally one of the cheapest vegetables you can buy. One head of cabbage is usually under $3 and can easily feed a family of 6-12 depending on how much you want to eat.
I also like using an Ontario pork shoulder blade roast in place of the traditional Irish Corned Beef because it allows me to avoid the heavy hit of sodium that accompanies salt-cured meats. Pork really is an affordable powerhouse of nutrition that I think is too often overlooked. It’s obviously one of the top sources of lean, high quality protein, and is also loaded with B vitamins, zinc, selenium, potassium and iron. Packed with subtle sweet flavour, low in carbs, inexpensive and naturally gluten free and dairy free – you’d be hard pressed to find a better option for St. Patty’s Day.
What’s your favourite dinner recipe for St. Patty’s Day? I would love to hear how you’ve managed to lighten up your family’s favourites!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 90 minutes to 2 hours
- 1 Ontario pork shoulder blade roast, boneless, about 3 lbs (1.5 kg)
- 1 tsp (5 mL) each: salt and ground black pepper
- 1 small head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 green apple, cored and diced
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup (125mL) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) caraway seeds
- Pre-heat oven to 325°F (160°C). Season pork with pepper and roast for 1 hour on a baking tray or dish.
- Combine all remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Place pork in a large oven-proof casserole dish or Dutch oven; add red cabbage mixture, cover and place in the oven.
- Braise, stirring cabbage once or twice, the internal temperature of pork has reached 170°F (77°C), 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Shoulder cuts can be cooked to a higher final internal temperature due to their generous fat content which bastes the meat naturally as it cooks and becomes tender.
- Remove pork and cover. Stir the red cabbage thoroughly over medium heat for three or four minutes.
- Allow pork to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Slice thinly and serve with braised red cabbage.