Allison's Life Changing Corned Beef and Cabbage Pizza
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 obviously 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.
*Haha, just kidding, that was actually Fran Drescher in The Nanny. But you get the point.
A Few Things Before We Begin
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’m fortunate to be able to buy amazing pizza dough right at my grocery store (Wegmans HOLLAAAA). If you can’t, see if your local pizza shop is willing to sell their dough by the pound. 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 between 450 and 500 degrees (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.
I use a mandolin to get thin, even slices, and because fingertips aren’t really that important to me. You can use a food processor for even thinner slices, or just (carefully) use a good sharp knife.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat, and toss in the potatoes. Season very liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I strongly recommend using Yukon gold potatoes on this recipe. Their waxy texture holds up well during sautéing and baking, and their naturally buttery flavor works perfectly.
While the potatoes are cooking, 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, vinegar, and brown sugar. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.
Sweaters, potatoes, booze, and cheese. This is what my people are known for. If you’ve met me, this makes perfect sense.
A bit of brown sugar adds necessary sweetness to balance all the butter and salt of this dish. And also because I’m clearly trying to kill you.
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.
Consider cooking up more potatoes than you need, lest you lose some to attrition
You should probably buy extra cheddar as well.
Feel free to layer the potatoes thinly or 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 feel like we could stop here and I’d still be really, really happy with this recipe.
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're the one who cleans the kitchen, then you should probably just place it gently on top of the cheese.
Yeah. It’s deli corned beef. If you want to spend all day braising your own corned beef just for this pizza you can do that, but you should know that myself and every other mom at carpool is totally rolling our eyes at you.
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.
Admit it, you doubted me, but this looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Did I mention all the butter and cheese and potatoes?
You see what happens when you stick with me? Magic. Magic happens. And cabbage.
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
1 T balsamic vinegar
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, vinegar, 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!