Are you planning a meal around the classic Irish dish of corned beef and cabbage but unsure what to serve alongside it? Look no further than this guide to delicious and innovative side dishes that will elevate your St. Patrick’s Day feast.
But before Cabbagebenefits dive into the sides, let’s take a moment to appreciate the dish at the center of it all. Corned beef and cabbage has a rich history and cultural significance, particularly in Irish-American communities. The dish originated in Ireland, where beef was a luxury item and corned beef was a cheaper alternative made from brisket that was cured in salt and spices. When Irish immigrants arrived in the United States, they adapted the traditional Irish bacon and cabbage dish to use the more readily available corned beef. Today, corned beef and cabbage is a staple dish for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Not only is corned beef and cabbage a delicious and comforting meal, but it also has some nutritional benefits. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Beef, particularly grass-fed beef, is a good source of protein and important nutrients such as iron and zinc. So, let’s get cooking and discover the perfect sides to complement this classic dish!
Classic Side Dishes for Corned Beef and Cabbage
Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that pairs perfectly with corned beef and cabbage. The creamy texture of the potatoes complements the salty and savory flavors of the beef and cabbage. For a twist on the traditional recipe, try adding garlic or chives to your mashed potatoes for an extra burst of flavor.
Carrots and Turnips
Carrots and turnips are another classic side dish that complements corned beef and cabbage. These root vegetables add a touch of sweetness to the meal and provide a source of vitamins and fiber. To prepare this dish, simply chop the carrots and turnips into bite-sized pieces and boil them until tender.
Soda bread is a traditional Irish bread that is easy to make and pairs well with corned beef and cabbage. The bread has a slightly sweet taste and a dense texture that is perfect for sopping up the juices from the beef and cabbage. Try adding raisins or currants to your soda bread for a twist on the classic recipe.
Mustard sauce is a tangy and flavorful condiment that complements the richness of corned beef. This sauce is easy to make by combining Dijon mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar. The sweetness of the honey balances out the sharpness of the mustard, creating a delicious sauce that adds a pop of flavor to the meal.
Modern Takes on Traditional Sides
While classic sides like mashed potatoes and soda bread are always a hit with corned beef and cabbage, why not switch things up with some modern takes on traditional sides? These innovative side dishes will add some excitement and variety to your St. Patrick’s Day meal.
Roasted Root Vegetables
Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of root vegetables like carrots, turnips, and parsnips, making them the perfect complement to the saltiness of corned beef. Simply toss your chopped vegetables in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven until tender and caramelized. You can even add some chopped herbs like thyme or rosemary for extra flavor.
For a lighter and healthier side dish option, try a quinoa salad with corned beef and cabbage. Quinoa is a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, and its nutty flavor pairs well with the savory flavors of the main dish. Toss cooked quinoa with shredded cabbage, diced carrots, and a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. You can also add some chopped nuts or dried fruit for extra texture and flavor.
If you’re looking for a low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes, try cauliflower mash instead. Simply steam or boil cauliflower until tender, then mash it with butter, milk, and seasonings like garlic, salt, and pepper. The result is a creamy and flavorful side dish that pairs beautifully with corned beef and cabbage.
Horseradish Cream Sauce
For a tangy and flavorful sauce to serve alongside your corned beef and cabbage, try a horseradish cream sauce. Simply mix together sour cream, prepared horseradish, dijon mustard, and a squeeze of lemon juice. The sharpness of the horseradish and mustard cuts through the richness of the beef, while the sour cream adds a cool and creamy element.
International Flavors to Pair with Corned Beef and Cabbage
Looking to spice up your corned beef and cabbage meal with international flavors? Here are some delicious options to explore:
Colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes with cabbage)
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made with mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. It’s the perfect complement to corned beef and cabbage, as it provides a creamy and flavorful side that is rich in both taste and history.
To make colcannon, boil potatoes until they are soft, then mash them with butter and cream. Saute cabbage or kale in butter until it is tender, then mix it into the mashed potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg for a truly authentic taste.
Kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage)
Kimchi is a Korean dish made from fermented cabbage and spices, and it’s a great way to add some heat and tanginess to your corned beef and cabbage meal. Kimchi is also a probiotic food, which means it contains beneficial bacteria that can promote good gut health.
To make kimchi, chop cabbage and mix it with salt, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Let it sit for a few days to ferment, then serve it alongside your corned beef and cabbage.
Cabbage and bacon stir-fry (Chinese)
Cabbage and bacon stir-fry is a popular Chinese dish that pairs well with corned beef and cabbage. The salty bacon and savory cabbage create a delicious and satisfying side dish that is easy to make.
To make cabbage and bacon stir-fry, cook bacon in a pan until it is crispy, then remove it and set it aside. Saute chopped cabbage in the bacon fat until it is tender, then add the bacon back in and season with soy sauce and sesame oil.
Sauerkraut (German fermented cabbage)
Sauerkraut is a German dish made from fermented cabbage that has a sour and tangy taste. It’s a classic side dish for corned beef and cabbage, as the flavors complement each other perfectly.
To make sauerkraut, chop cabbage and mix it with salt and caraway seeds. Let it sit for a few days to ferment, then serve it alongside your corned beef and cabbage. You can also add some apple or onion for extra flavor.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
For those who follow a plant-based diet, there are plenty of delicious options to serve with corned beef and cabbage. Here are some vegetarian and vegan sides that are sure to satisfy:
Roasted Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello mushrooms are a meaty, flavorful alternative to beef. Roast them with garlic and herbs for a savory and satisfying side dish.
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
If you’re looking for a hearty and filling side, consider making a lentil shepherd’s pie. This dish is made with a savory lentil and vegetable filling, topped with creamy mashed potatoes, and baked until golden brown.
Fresh and simple, grilled asparagus is a great way to add some green to your St. Patrick’s Day feast. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice for a bright and zesty flavor.
Vegan Irish Soda Bread
No St. Patrick’s Day meal is complete without some soda bread! This vegan version uses plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar to create a tangy and moist bread that pairs perfectly with corned beef and cabbage.
With these vegetarian and vegan options, everyone at your table can enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal.
Conclusion: Serve up a Delicious St. Patrick’s Day Feast with Your Corned Beef and Cabbage
Now that you have some ideas for what to serve alongside your corned beef and cabbage, it’s time to get cooking and create a delicious St. Patrick’s Day feast! Whether you stick to the classic side dishes or try out some new and innovative flavors, your guests are sure to be impressed.
Remember, corned beef and cabbage is a dish with a rich history and cultural significance, particularly in Irish-American communities. By incorporating traditional Irish sides and flavors, you can honor that heritage while also putting your own unique spin on the meal.
And for those who prefer vegetarian or vegan options, there are plenty of delicious alternatives that still pair well with corned beef and cabbage. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new!
So, what are you waiting for? Put on your apron, pour yourself a glass of Irish whiskey or a cold beer, and get cooking. And for more information on the nutritional benefits of cabbage and other healthy foods, be sure to check out cabbagebenefits.com. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!