Irish Eggs Benedict

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day Eve (yes, that is a thing!) and all over the land, giant hunks of corned beef are brining and simmering and generally getting ready for the corned beef and cabbage-fest that is about to happen.  I can smell the delicious aroma of my mama’s corned beef all the way from three miles up the road from her As We Speak.  And tomorrow, after the pints have been drained and the corned beef and cabbage has been eaten and the soda bread is reduced to crumbs and we’ve all sung Molly Malone a time or two….there will STILL be corned beef left over.

And before you head straight into corned beef hash territory (which is a great territory, don’t get me wrong), here’s a curve ball for you.  Irish Eggs Benedict.  Tender shredded corned beef over an English muffin (I know, I know, and if you want to use soda bread instead that is fine…we just never have any left over), topped with a poached egg and a cheese sauce made from lovely Irish cheddar.  It’s the perfect day-after use of that corned beef, and if you didn’t make your own corned beef, it’s well worth nabbing some leftovers from somebody who did.

This is also the time of year I traditionally show you twelve-year-old me kissing the Blarney Stone in my groovy 1970’s pantsuit.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, my friends!  May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go. 

Irish Eggs Benedict
Serves: Serves 2 - can be increased as needed.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of cooked corned beef, shredded and at room temperature or warmed
  • 1 English muffin, toasted and torn into bite sized pieces (or a slice of soda bread!)
  • Parsley for garnish
Cheese Sauce
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar (Irish cheddar if possible!)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  1. Poach or soft boil the eggs and set aside.
  2. Make the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat and whisk in the flour. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Stir in the cheese until melted.
  3. Place the torn English muffin or soda bread on a plate. (The reason for the tearing? I don't like struggling to cut through an English muffin when I eat eggs benedict. If you don't mind, you don't have to tear it.)
  4. Put a generous amount of corned beef on top of the muffin. Top with poached egg, and pour the cheese sauce over all. Garnish with parsley and serve at once.


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  1. says

    I will give this a try with my leftover corned beef. I do make some with Irish Bacon. I love that, and mailorder it. I am smiling at your picture, I took one on my 21st birthday may years ago (I wanted to go to a pub for my first beer in Ireland, and went by myself for a week!) What a fabulous memory you brought back to me… Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

  2. ruthie says

    What a great idea! But leftover corned beef bashing??? Say it isn’t so! Leftover corned beef can only be a good thing — hash, as you mentioned, sandwiches, plain and Reuben! And chunks on toothpicks (maybe sharing space with a nice Irish cheddar) to be dunked in some hot mustard…Oh, man, am I glad when I have leftover corned beef. 😉

    And this recipe is definitely going to get a try, but I’ll make soda bread just for this one. Leftover soda bread is also a good thing! Thanks, Kate.

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