That’s right. I said it. Today we’re making a corned beef and cabbage pizza.
Why? Because tradition isn’t the boss of me. Because Wolfgang Puck made himself a household name by putting duck on a pizza. And because I believe that if you aren’t willing to lose every friend you have over a friendly competition, you aren’t playing hard enough.
Last St. Patty’s Day I was invited to a corned beef and cabbage cook off, and as maturity obviously hasn’t cured me of my insatiable need to win at everything – whether or not everyone else has any idea that we are competing – I wasn’t about to show up with a crockpot full of mushy carrots, and sad, wet cabbage.
No. I was going to up my game. I was going to do something new, something fresh. As Coco Chanel once said, I was going to be the lady in red when everyone else was wearing tan.*
I was going to give the people something they’d love. Something that would enter the annals of Irish folklore, giving birth to songs and rituals that would be sung around campfires and passed down, generation to generation for time immemorial.
And what do the people love? The people love pizza.
This recipe sounds a little odd at first but if you consider the elements – crunchy, pillowy pizza dough, buttery potatoes, creamy irish cheddar, salty corned beef, the sweetness of the caramelized, roasted cabbage – it begins to make sense. This pizza was such a hit that my incredibly picky husband not only loved it, but tried to convince me to serve it at Easter brunch. The pizza ultimately lost to a bacon, cheddar and mushroom quiche, but it has worked its way into our St. Patrick’s Day traditions permanently, and if you give it a chance, I think it might just find its way into yours.
So without further ado, I present you with corned beef and cabbage pizza. Let’s get to it.
Cooks note: because I invented this recipe myself, and because of the nature of pizza, you should feel free to experiment with the amounts and toppings to find a final product that uniquely suits your palette. I like a thick crusted, crunchy, cheesy pizza with a lot of toppings. If you don’t, you’re obviously wrong, but I’ll never know, so play around and have a good time!
Like all the best recipes, it starts with butter, cheese, and carbs.
I use a pizza stone for homemade pizza because I’ve found it to be the best way to get that chewy, crunchy, pizza shop consistency I love so much. If you’re doing the same, toss yours in the oven at 450 or 475 (depending on your comfort zone with a wildly hot oven) and let it heat up while you slice the potatoes. A metal pizza pan or baking sheet will work just fine too.
Set the butter to melting in a large saute pan over medium heat, and then toss in the potatoes. Season very liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Potatoes can take a lot of seasoning and with all these delicious toppings to compete against, they need it in this recipe.
While the potatoes are cooking through, shred your Irish cheddar using an old fashioned grater or your food processor. This is also the time to prep your cabbage. Slice the cabbage into 1/4-1/2 inch slices, then toss with the oil in brown sugar. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.
Once you’ve cooked the potatoes through – you want them nice and tender – roll or stretch your pizza dough and place it on the hot stone or pizza pan. Now it’s time to top the dough with your delicious, buttery, salty potatoes.
Feel free to layer the potatoes thinly or to double up, as suits your preference. My Irish soul says the more potatoes the better, but this is a personal choice only you can make. Search your heart.
Now, gentle reader, it’s time to top the potatoes with that gorgeous pile of shredded cheddar. Did your pulse just speed up? Mine did too.
I was ready to call it a day after we topped the potatoes with the cheese, but since I’ve committed to this post, we now need to add the corned beef. This is your art. Fling that meat like you’re Jackson Pollack and that corned beef is your paint. Unless you aren’t the one who cleans the kitchen, then you should probably just place it gently on top of the cheese.
The corned beef gets topped with a generous layer of mozzarella, and then this belt buster is ready to meet the oven. Place it on the bottom rack, then place your sheet pan of cabbage on the top rack at the same time.
Once the crust has browned and the cheese is melted and golden, pull the pizza out of the oven. Let it rest for a few moments while the cabbage continues cooking. You want the cabbage to begin to caramelize and brown. Once the cabbage is done, give it a sprinkle of salt and pepper and it’s ready to meet its doughy, cheesy soulmate.
Once the pizza has cooled enough to cut, slice that baby up and top each piece with a helping of the caramelized cabbage. If you’re really extra you can make a Guinness reduction or a creamy mustard sauce to accompany it, but I’ve already moved on to the part where we drink Jameson so you’re on your own now.
Slainte, my friends! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!
Corned beef and Cabbage Pizza
1 pound fresh pizza dough (note: For best results, proof the dough in a warm place for one hour, for let it rise on your kitchen counter for 2-3 hours)
2/3 – 3/4 pound of deli corned beef, shredded
2 C Irish cheddar, shredded
1 1/2 C shredded mozzarella
4 C thinly sliced Yukon Gold potatoes
6 T butter
1 head fresh cabbage
3 T avocado or olive oil
1 1/2 T brown sugar
salt and pepper
Special equipment recommended: a mandolin and a pizza stone or metal pizza pan
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. If using a pizza stone, place the stone in the oven to preheat for at least 15 minutes.
While the oven is preheating, slice your potatoes. Melt the butter in a large skillet and toss in the potatoes. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
Next, slice the cabbage into 1/4 – 1/2 inch strips, then toss with the avocado oil and brown sugar, place on a baking sheet and set aside.
Once the potatoes are cooked through and the stone is hot, roll, press or stretch out your pizza dough and place on the hot stone. Top with the potatoes, and then all of the Irish cheddar. Next, distribute the corned beef evenly over the cheddar. Top with the mozzarella and place the pizza in the oven, on the bottom rack.
Place the cabbage on the top rack of the oven right along with the pizza. Cook the pizza for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust has browned and the cheese is melted and golden.
Let the pizza rest while the cabbage continues to cook for another 5-7 minutes, tossing once with a spatula. The cabbage is done when it is tender but not mushy, and starting to brown.
Slice the pizza, top with the cabbage, and enjoy!
*Haha, just kidding, that was actually Fran Drescher as The Nanny. But you get the point.