St. Patrick's Day Slow-Cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe
St. Patrick’s Day heralds spring, promising shamrocks and green. It’s a good reason to celebrate with friends and a hearty, simple country Irish dinner of reliable corned beef.
Come St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish--whether born so or not--and is sure ready to celebrate the coming of spring. Especially after winter's cold and blustery winds, we could use an excuse for a casual party.
Corned beef, an old fashioned, hearty Irish one-pot supper, is quite simple. There’s no prep and hardly any cleanup...it’s a pure no-brainer. Impossible to overcook, corned beef is made for the slow cooker. Start it early in the day, and it's ready by the time guests arrive for dinner.
The meat is actually the equivalent of a wet-cured ham, that is, beef which has been steeped in a spicy brine for weeks. The process was once the means of preserving, but it has remained popular because the meat is infused with wonderful flavor and stays moist and tender. Corned beef is cut from the brisket. If you have a choice, buy the flat cut rather than the point cut because it’s the better end.
Nearly as good as corned beef is corned beef hash, which you can whip up with leftovers. It’s just a matter of dicing the meat and pan-frying it with chopped boiled potatoes and onions (likely left over from dinner) in lots of butter. Add a little stock and simmer until the liquid is evaporated. Then just keep scrambling it over medium heat until all of the pieces are beautifully browned.
Of course, if you don’t feel like going to such bother, you can just fashion a fabulous corned beef sandwich, sliced thin with mustard and pickles on sturdy wheat bread. (And chase it down with a lovely cold beer.)
St. Pat’s Day corned beef makes the party, especially when the slow cooker does the work for you!
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 5 hours 20 minutes
4 medium red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3- to 4-lb corned beef brisket
1 bay leaf
1 head garlic, if desired
4 whole cloves
5 allspice berries
2 leeks, white part only
1 small head cabbage, cut into 8 thin wedges
Spray 5 to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In slow cooker, place potatoes and carrots. Top with corned beef; add enough water to just cover beef.
Add bay leaf, garlic, cloves, peppercorns, allspice berries and leeks over corned beef. Cover; cook, on High heat setting 4 1/2 to 6 hours until beef can be easily pierced with a sharp knife.
Remove corned beef from slow cooker to cutting board; cover to keep warm Add cabbage to slow cooker; cover and cook on High heat setting 30 to 35 minutes or until cabbage is crisp-tender.
Cut corned beef across grain into thin slices; place on serving platter. With slotted spoon, remove vegetables from slow cooker to serving platter.
Tips: The meat may be cooked a day or two ahead, wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in the refrigerator. To reheat, bake in the foil at 300°F for 30 to 45 minutes or until hot.
To brown the meat before serving, place it in a roasting pan and bake at 400°F until the top is nicely browned, about 10 minutes.