Here at Long’s we also have a tradition – we make our own corned beef by brining for two weeks. It needs to be ordered in advance, so let us know asap how much you need ! The cut for corned beef is either a bottom round or brisket (but we can brine any cut). At $3.98 per lb, we know that you and your family or friends will enjoy every bite. Call us now – this is a very popular meat product for St Patrick’s Day ! (541) 344-3172. We also have free range Oregon lamb for Irish stew (read about a traditional Irish stew recipe).
St Patrick’s Day and Corned Beef History
Many myths have evolved around the celebration of St. Patricks Day on March 17th. St. Patrick's Day is a religious holiday of the Roman Catholic Church to commemorate St. Patrick (387 - 461 AD), the patron saint of Ireland. Since early Christianity it has been the custom to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a saint on the anniversary of his death.
St. Patrick was a fifth century English (or perhaps Scottish) missionary to Ireland who converted many pagans to Christianity. His feast day falls during the fasting season of Lent, but on March 17th the prohibitions against eating meat are lifted and the Irish celebrate their patron saint by dancing, drinking and eating bacon and cabbage.
Yes, that is right -- bacon or salt pork and cabbage; not corned beef and cabbage. The average Irishman could not afford to eat beef. Cows, if the ordinary Irish farmer owned a cow, were used for dairy products such as butter, cheese and milk. Sheep were raised for their wool. Pigs were the only livestock raised by for human consumption. Salt pork and bacon, therefore, were the common protein for the Irish farmer and his family.
By the 17th century salting beef had become a major industry of the Irish port cities of Cork and Dublin. The beef was then exported to France, England and later to America. Corned beef, a salt-cured beef brisket, was traditionally packed and stored in barrels with coarse grains or "corns" of salt. It was not until the Irish potato blight, or Great Famine, when the Irish immigrated to America and settled in New York City did corned beef become affordable to them. In fact, corned beef was actually a better value and cheaper than the bacon they were accustomed to. The Irish learned that corned beef was the better bargain from their Jewish neighbors in the lower East Side.
Corned beef on St. Patrick's Day also became popular due to the prejudice against Irish immigrants. Many farmers in Ireland raised pigs for sale to help pay the rent. Now, however, that tradition mixed with prejudice had turned into a slur: "Paddy with his pig in the parlor." By the 1910's, pigs, not shamrocks, decorated St. Patrick's Day cards and souvenirs. Irish Americans were now able to afford both pork and beef so it was easier to claim corned beef than pork.
Submitted by David Brown, Eugene webmaster, for Longs Meat Market