The Place for real traditions.Irish Culture begins in prehistory. First was a paleolithic mindset-based on hunting. The spirits of animals aid in this. Groups had totems- birds, boar,for identity. Next came a Neolithic awareness- crops, agriculture,farm animals. Villages and lineages. Multiple gods became single gods with many powers. Chieftains by birth ruled. Next the Bronze age with rule by heroes. We got cookbooks and recipes left the mind. How do we know what to do? That's our purpose.

Irish Chieftain's feast

Monday, February 4, 2008

Going back to the halls of the Ancient Chieftains-Spiced Beef not Corned

Due to the time it takes I thought I would post this one well in advance
of March 17. St. Patrick's day is just one of the many important Irish
days of celebration. Patrick never made ale- Brigid did it all the time!
(her day is Feb. 1) so honor her as well and what could be better for
the Saint of the farm than a good beef meal.

There were no Jewish Dellis in New York when the Irish arrived and
spices were expensive therefore we have to go back before your grand
mother and great grand mother to get to the root of this Irish
ceremonial staple. This is how it would have been in the Chieftain's
hall with the warriors gathered around sticking their forks in to get
their appointed portions out of the huge pot.

This is an easy dish. You can leave the preservative out if you cook the
beef within a short period of time.

Irish Spiced Beef

Ingredients:20 cloves, 2 tsp ground allspice or cinnamon, 6 Shallots, 2
tsp Prague Powder(preservative/cure)(can be obtained from the Sausage
Maker-26 military Rd,Buffalo,N.Y. 14207), 1Pound Kosher Salt (coarse), 1
tsp black pepper, three tsp. ground mace, 7-8 lb. beef. 2-3 bay leaves,
ground nutmeg, Two Pints Guinness Stout. Instructions:1. Grind all dry
ingredients and mix 2. Add finely chopped shallots 3. Rinse beef and
place in plastic or glass container(avoid iron). 4.Take 1 seventh of the
spice/salt mixture and rub it all over the meat. Place meat back into
container, cover and set out on the back porch or in a cool spot-if too
warm out place in fridge. Each day for seven days rub the meat with one
seventh of the mixture, turn over and re-cover. Leave the liquid that
forms with the meat. At the end of seven days place meat and liquid into
a big pot -add water to top up and cover the meat and boil until the
meat is tender.(a fork should just barely be able to lift up strands of
meat-dont over do it!) Change water adding clean water and boil for
another 30 minutes. Then add veg-large carrots,onions, and potatoes-
cook until almost done. Add two pints Guinness Stout and boil for
another 10-20 minutes.
You can eat this hot or leave to cool overnight-place meat into colander
with weight on it and plate or dish under it.

I use eye of round as it has much less fat. I make one big one into
three portions. I spice them cook and freeze them. One for Patrick One
for Brigid and one for my wife's birthday. I am out to put the daily
salt on now.


Here is a 19th century recipe....remember that if you keep the beef in the salt for a long time you need a preservative- prague powder or equivalent.

SPICED BEEF ; (good and wholesome.)
For twelve pounds of the round, rump, or thick flank of beef, take a
large teaspoonful of freshly-pounded mace, and of ground black pepper,
twice as much of cloves, one small nutmeg, and a quarter teaspoonful
of cayenne, all in the finest powder. Mix them well with seven ounces
of brown sugar, rub the beef with them and Jet it lie three days; add
to it then half a pound of fine salt, and rub and turn it once in twenty-
four hours for twelve days. Just wash, but do not soak it; skewer, or
bind it into good form, put it into a stewpan or saucepan nearly of its
size, pour to it a pint and a half of good beef broth, and when it begins
to boil, take off the scum, and throw in one small onion, a moderate-
sized faggot of thyme and parsley, and two large, or four small carrots.
Let it simmer quite softly for four hours and a half, and if not wanted
to serve hot, leave it in its own liquor until it is nearly cold. This is
an excellent and far more wholesome dish than the hard, bright-
coloured beef which is cured with large quantities of salt and saltpetre:
two or three ounces of juniper-berries may be added to it with the spice,
to heighten its flavour.
Beef, 12 Ibs.; sugar, 7 ozs.; mace and black pepper, each, 1 large
teaspoonful; cloves, in powder, 1 large dessertspoonful; nutmeg, 1;
cayenne, J teaspoonful: 3 days. Fine salt, £ Ib.: 12 days. Beef broth (
or bouillon), ij pint; onion, 1 small; bunch of herbs; carrots, 2 large,
or 4 small: stewed 4$ hours.
Obs.—We give this receipt exactly as we have often had it used, but
celery and turnips might be added to the gravy; and when the appear
ance of the meat is much considered, three-quarters of an ounce of salt
petre may be mixed with the spices; the beef may also be plainly boiled
in water only, with a few vegetables, or baked in a deep pan with a
little gravy. No meat must ever be left to cool in the stewpan or sauce
pan in which it is cooked; it must be lifted into a pan of its own depth,
and the liquor poured upon it.-From: Eliza Acton, 1858,
Modern Cookery, in All Its Branches: Reduced to a System of Easy Practice