BYAriel Scotti
The "corn" in corned beef refers to the curing element that transforms a cut of brisket into the Irish dish.

Spoiler alert: there's no corn.

The "corn" in corned beef refers to the curing element that transforms a cut of brisket into the Irish dish. After arranging the meat in a deep pot with large kernels or "corns" of rock salt, water and other spices, the mixture sits for days on end and pickles into the St. Patrick's Day staple. You can even add a Guinness (or two) to the brine if you're making it at home and feeling particularly festive.

The "corn" in corned beef refers to the curing element that transforms a cut of brisket into the Irish dish.

(DustyPixel/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The meat used in a traditional corned beef is usually a brisket cut from the front of a cow. It's a super versatile final product that's worth the time to make if you've got it. Corned beef is part of a traditional boiled dinner served alongside cabbage and potatoes; it's the meat in a Reuben and a breakfast hash sautéed with potatoes, onion and topped with a fried egg. So, despite the very bland reputation attached to Irish food, corned beef is quite delicious.

When making corned beef at home, you can even add a Guinness (or two) to the brine.

(kulicki/iStock/Getty)

But, beware the canned corned beef. It once fed the British troops in World War I and still lurks on supermarket shelves today. It's like spam, really, and it's a wonder it's still a thing - yuck.

There's a big difference between shamrocks and four-leaf clovers

One thing corned beef is not: healthy. A serving size packs about 800 calories, 60 grams of total fat and a whopping 3600 milligrams of salt (blame the brine). Silver lining? It’s loaded with protein, nearly 60 grams per serving.

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