It's funny, but it's probably only in the past ten years or so that you can find 'corned beef and cabbage' in Irish pubs. All the Irish families I know used to eat thick cut ham and cabbage with taties... And even today, it is still a religious/family holiday in Ireland, where people go to Mass as a family. The beef and cabbage seems to be an American dish, but Irish people aren't stupid.... if the tourists expect to see it on a menu, then on a menu it will appear!
A bit like in Scotland.... haggis never used to be available as readily as it is nowadays - and that is purely tourist-driven. Why, I do not know, considering that when many tourists order it, they are doing so on a dare and leave most of it on their plate! Personally, I adore it.:D
Edited to add: Here is an Irish recipe, from a cookery school that I have visited on a few occasions. Darina Allen is a wonderful cook, and her courses are well worth it if anyone visits Ireland! I believe her daughter-in-law is now running the school. This recipe is unusual in that it uses lamb chops, rather than chunks of lamb
Irish stew from Darina Allen's book, Ballymaloe Cooking School Cookbook.
3 pounds lamb chops not less than 1-inch thick
6 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
6 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 quart vegetable stock
1 sprig of thyme
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut the lamb chops in half and trim off some of the excess fat. Set the lamb aside. In a heavy bottomed pan, cook the fat trimmings to render liquid fat. Discard the remaining pieces.
Toss the lamb chops in the hot liquid fat and cook until slightly brown on both sides. Remove the lamb chops and reserve. Toss the chopped onions and carrots in the fat. Build the meat, carrots and onions up in layers in a casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Using the stock, deglaze the pan the meat was cooked in, and pour the liquid into the casserole dish. Peel the potatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste, and lay them whole on top of the stew – they will steam as the stew cooks. Add the sprig of thyme, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover and put in the oven until stew is cooked, 1 to 2 hours.
When ready, pour the cooking liquid out of the stew. Transfer the meat and the vegetables to a clean pan. Skim the grease out of the cooking liquid, and pour the remaining cooking liquid over the stew. Sprinkle with the parsley and chives to garnish. Serve immediately.