There is nothing like a good saloon. A neighborhood bar is a place where you can go and enjoy the comfort of friends and share family memories. It’s a place to go to get away from everything, a place you can go to regroup.

Briody’s of Rumson was that place for me. My good friends Joe and Peggy Briody provided that “comfort” and haven for 35 years. They closed their doors for good on March 17th 2008, a fitting day to say goodbye. It was a tough day.

Joe’s dad, Joe Briody, migrated from Jersey City to Rumson and opened this great saloon and restaurant, I’ve been going there for years. It was a place where we celebrated baby showers, birthday’s, graduations. Briody’s was a place where we found solace after burying our friends and family, including Joe Briody’s father and my mom, Mary. It was a place where we enjoyed football Sunday, pig roasts, football pools and the battle between the Jets and the Giants.

It was a place where we enjoyed the music of local talent and it was a place where family and friends got together to celebrate the holidays with a cocktail or two. It was a place where you knew the bartenders, hosts and servers, watching them grow up and have families of their own. It’s a place where you were greeted at lunch by a friendly, smiling Peggy and knew that life was good for that hour or two. It was a place you came to get away from it all and hang out with friends.

The regulars in Briody’s were fixtures just like the stools and neon signs. St. Patty’s day at Briody’s was a place to dip yourself in green, stay for long hours, eats lots of delicious corned beef, enjoy the frivolity and laugh about it the next day.

St. Patty’s day was the closest you can come to Mardi Gras in New Jersey. Thanks, Joe and Peggy, for great memories and for providing a lot of comfort for those who walked through your doors.

I asked Joe to share the family’s world famous recipe for Briody’s corned beef. Joe wrote the following: On or about the year 1962, March of course, I a young man of about six or seven, watched my grandmother and father in a tiny kitchen of Briody’s of Jersey City as my grandmother, Ann, sweated over a large pot of corned beef. As my father added a pitcher of beer to the pot my eyes lit up, as I was amazed. Since we moved the restaurant to Rumson we had a larger scale restaurant and with that the pot and amount of corned beef increased as well. Just about every month of March we cooked and served about 4,000 lbs of corned beef while in Rumson.

You’ll need:

Corned beef brisket (Briody always used Mosey’s and I would too when I could find it)
½ cup pickling spice per 10 lbs
12 oz. beer (any beer works, many prefer Harp) per 10 lbs.
1 bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 large head of cabbage

How to cook the beef:

Fill pot with water till it covers the beef. Add pickling spice and beer. Every hour while cooking add a dash of Jameson in the pot and “one for the cook.” Cook for approximately 3 hours.

Let beef cool off, then trim the fat off. Save the juices for stock to cook cabbage in.

While the beef is resting, cut cabbage into wedges. Simmer the wedges of cabbage in the stock for approximately 15 minutes or until soft and tender.

Remove and serve with nice thick slices of the wonderful corned beef and perhaps a frothy pint of Guinness.

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