I am not Irish, not even close, but that doesn't stop me from pretending to be Irish once a year. Like most people I am a big fan of St. Patrick's Day and take full advantage of the one day a year that I can indulge in my favorite Irish treats. Sadly as I have gotten older recovering from St. Patty's day takes a little longer. My Redbreast induced hangovers last a lot longer than they used to and are my least favorite thing about the holiday. For most, St. Patty's day is a drinking holiday and although many people take part in the traditional corned beef and cabbage it isn't everybodies favorite part of the day. I have been trying to change that, and after last years St. Patricks day feast I think I have started a trend.
Corned Antelope Roast
For the past couple of years I have been trying to make St. Patricks day as much about the food as it is about the drink. A couple of years ago I made a very good venison Irish stew and last year I hit the bulls eye with a corned antelope roast. This year I expanded on that and went all out with a variety of appetizers and an Irish feast that everybody could love. I don't have many Irish themed cookbooks but the two I have were very helpful in planning my menu.
For my starters I made glazed beets with boiled eggs on sour dough toasts. To give it a little touch of me, I grated some dry cured antelope liver over the top. My second starter was a corned turkey gizzard with a boiled potato and braised Brussels sprouts and just a hint of horseradish. I got the idea from Hank Shaw, who gave a talk at Pheasant fest this year and mentioned that corning your duck gizzards was a great way to use them. Sadly I had used all of my duck gizzards and had to go to the Asian market to get some, only to find out they were sold out, so I ended up with turkey gizzards. The gizzards turned out terrific and I am sure that they would have been even better had they been duck gizzards.
The rest of my meal went like this, I made smoked fish cakes with some crappies and bluegills that I had caught. I first brined the fish with caraway, coriander and nettle salt then smoked them for a couple of hours over alders chips. Then I mashed the fish up with potatoes and tarragon and made little patties, rolled them in bread crumbs and fried them. They were delicious, smokey and rich and bright, I only wish I had made more.
I made a few traditional side dishes, sweet and sour braised cabbage and colcannon. Colcannon for those that don't know is the brilliant mixture of potatoes and cabbage that have been boiled together and mashed. Adding a little cream and a healthy amount of butter and you have one of the best sides I can think of. My wife and I agreed that we should make that more often that just once a year. My first entree for the evening was my Irish venison stew that turned out amazing. My venison was tender and succulent and it went perfectly with the colcannon. The second entree was the center of attention, the corned antelope roast is one of the best things I have ever made. I got the recipe from Hank Shaw's book and will make a special trip to Wyoming once a year for the rest of my life just so I can make it every year.
Of course no dinner could be complete without some sort of dessert so I thought I would have to come up with something very special. I believe, and nobody has told me different, that I have figured out how to make the very best Irish coffee. so for dessert I try to find a way to make my Irish coffee into a dessert. What I ended up with was Irish coffee Ice cream. It was amazing, the only downfall was that by the time we got around to dessert we were to full to eat it.
This years party was a good time, we had several friends over and everybody enjoyed themselves. I may have enjoyed myself too much, but fortunately for me I had an extra corned antelope roast and was able to make what I am sure is the best cure for and Irish style hangover. Corned Antelope hash. It is very easy to make and about as delicious as anything you could find.
Corned Antelope Hash
1 pound corned antelope (diced) or any corned meat
1 1/2 pounds peeled potatoes (diced)
1 green pepper (diced)
1 small onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
5-6 fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste but remember the corned antelope is already pretty salty.
1. diced all of your ingredients to a uniform size, about 1/2 inch cubes worked well
2. heat the butter on medium heat and start sauteing the antelope, once the antelope starts to brown on one side add the potatoes, onions, and peppers.
3. this hash will take about 15 minutes to cook, the potatoes are the most important part. Cook them until they are done to your liking. I like mine soft with just a little bit of crispiness.
4 I serve my hash with an over easy egg and a slice of American cheese.