It will probably surprise no one that I consider myself a food traditionalist. I like my Chicago Style Pizza to be deep dish, I believe the best Italian restaurants are in Italy, and I think that one should respect the traditions that surround sushi. Pompous? I’ll begrudgingly cop to that.
That said, if you are planning to cook Corned beef on St. Patrick’s day this Thursday, you’ll be participating in an Irish-American tradition, rather than an Irish one. For St. Patty’s day, the big thing in Ireland is apparently Whiskey Cake, and Corned Beef is typically saved for Sunday dinners.
But what is corned beef? Simply beef that is cured or pickled in brine. The term “corn” originally meant grain, as in a small particle of something, and thus the “corn” in “corned beef” refers to the corns of salt.
If you wish to make your own corned beef, I suggest starting here.