Oregon District restaurant serving up ‘hearty’ Irish meal with a side of tradition

The special Jiggs dinner that Corner Kitchen will be serving up on March 15-16 is the meal that Jack Skilliter, owner and executive chef, has been eating every St. Patrick’s Day since he was a kid.

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"Jiggs dinner is actually an Irish-American meal. It dates back to a comic strip called Bringing Up Father about an Irish-American. The dish is named after the central character, the patriarch of a family named Jigg who was reluctant to accept many modern American ways. It’s an Irish-American meal that would often be served on Sundays," said Natalie Skilliter, owner and general manager. "The Jiggs dinner incorporates all the components of the classic Irish-American dish, which includes corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, stewed carrots and celery, and a piece of Irish soda bread. Soda bread is quick bread but Chef Jack’s version is a little decadent compared to the standard recipe because it includes buttermilk and is seasoned with caraway seeds, raisins, and is brushed with butter and lightly sprinkled with sugar."

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The corned beef is the same house-made corned beef used in the restaurant’s popular "Big Ole Reuben."

They use choice grade brisket from Allen Brother’s for their Corned Beef.

"Chef Jack brines the brisket five to seven days, depending on thickness. He then boils it slowly for three and one-half hours. We then slice it thick and portion it – 10 ounces for Jiggs Dinner, eight ounces for the Big Ole Reuben," Natalie Skilliter said. "Chef Jack uses his Mom’s corned beef recipe where the corned beef is boiled in a traditional method to cook it fully; it is then finished with a rub of various spices, brown sugar, and mustard that turns into a kind of beautiful glaze."

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The Jiggs dinner is $17 for the plate (10 ounces of corned beef) and It will be available to order on Friday and Saturday, March 15-16 in honor of Saint Patrick's Day.

The massive Reuben sandwich costs $15 and includes eight ounces of our house-made corned beef, spiced cabbage slaw, a fried egg, Gruyere cheese, and Russian dressing, along with crispy herbed fries served both in the sandwich and on the side. They said it's a very popular item each week with more than 50 sandwiches sold on average.

The restaurant will also be serving an Irish vegetable soup that is a partially pureed mixture of various vegetables.

"Chef Jack discovered this soup when he was 18 years old and traveled to southern Ireland with his family. This soup is popular in County Cork and made a huge impression on Jack," said Natalie. "From evidence of the turnout at Irish pubs and restaurants in the area, there’s clearly a strong Irish-American population. For many, a refreshing pint and a Jigg’s dinner offers a hearty meal with a side of tradition."

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