Defense Commissary Agency
Office of Corporate Communications
1300 E Avenue Fort Lee, VA 23801-1800
Tel: (804) 734-8773 DSN: 687-8773 FAX: (804) 734-8248 DSN: 687-
Release Number: 16-07
Date: March 2, 2007
Contact: Kevin Robinson, Media Relations
Tel.: (804) 734-8773
Quick and easy Brown Soda Bread perfect
companion to corned beef and cabbage
By DeCA Home Economist Kay Blakley, firstname.lastname@example.org
FORT LEE, Va. – Have you ever discovered a recipe that was so good you
wanted to stop people on the street to tell them all about it? Well, watch out! If we
happen to be shopping the same commissary at the same time, I just might stop you to
share a copy of this one! It is that good!
It’s quick, because it’s leavened with baking powder and baking soda rather than
yeast, so there’s no waiting for the dough to rise. There is no kneading required – as a
matter of fact, the less you handle it the better. Just over-mixing this batter will make the
It’s 100-percent whole wheat, so it’s loaded with important vitamins, minerals
and fiber, and even if you’re not wild about whole wheat, you may very well love this
version. The molasses, brown sugar and buttermilk produce a hearty bread with a fine
texture and just the right hint of sweetness. I plan to serve it along with corned beef and
cabbage for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration at my house, and hope you will, too.
If you’ve never eaten corned beef before, now is the time to try it. Don’t be
surprised by its rosy red color, that’s the result of the salt-spice-and-brine cure process it
undergoes to become corned beef. And no, corn is not used in the curing process. The
name is an age-old reference to the corn-sized crystals of salt used to brine large cuts of
beef brisket or beef round.
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It can be high in fat, unless you choose a “flat-cut” corned beef, which is the
leaner half of the whole brisket. Look for those exact words on the front of the package.
You’ll get the same great corned beef flavor, but it’s low enough in fat to qualify as
“lean” according to the government’s labeling standards.
It can also be high in sodium, but you can reduce the sodium somewhat, by
cooking in plain water instead of the brine it is packed in. Remove the brisket from the
package and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Place the brisket in a large pot
and add water to cover, add 20 black peppercorns and 2 bay leaves, or use the seasoning
packet that came with the brisket. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to a slow simmer
and cook, covered, until a fork can easily penetrate the center of the meat. A 3- to 4-
pound brisket will take 2½ to 3 hours, but check package directions for recommended
Add wedges of fresh green cabbage to the pot during the last 15 to 20 minutes of
cooking. When the meat is tender, remove it to a cutting board and let stand for about 10
to15 minutes. Drain the cabbage and keep warm. Cut the corned beef, against the grain,
into thin slices and remove to serving plate or platter.
Serve with boiled potatoes - the new-crop red potatoes, if your commissary has
them. Don’t bother with peeling them, their red jackets add some color to the plate, not to
mention lots of good-for-you nutrients. Offer mustard or horseradish as a condiment for
the meat, and generous slices of your quick and easy Brown Soda Bread to round out the
meal to perfection.
May the luck of the Irish be with you, and I’ll see you soon at the commissary!
Brown Soda Bread
2½ cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
½ cup light molasses
¼ cup light or dark brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated zest of orange or lemon
2/3 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 F, and position rack in lower third of oven. Grease a 9x5-inch
loaf pan and set aside.
Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl,
and combine thoroughly. Use a whisk, if you have one, to make sure the baking powder
and soda are evenly distributed throughout the flour. Break apart any lumps that might be
In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, molasses, brown sugar, vegetable
oil and lemon or orange zest. Make sure the brown sugar is thoroughly dissolved and
Add the flour mixture (in 3 parts) to the egg mixture, alternating with the
buttermilk (in 2 parts.) After each addition, use a large spoon or rubber spatula to gently
stir or fold, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Be careful not to over-mix, as this
will toughen the bread. The batter will be very thick. Scrape batter into the pan and
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool, in pan, on wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool
completely on the rack, about 2 hours.
The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries
providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure
shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent
surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing
existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases
compared to commercial prices – savings worth about $3,000 annually for a family of
four. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and
benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for
America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest
men and women to serve their country.