Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to make Corned Beef and Cabbage

Top of the Mornin' to ya'. March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day.

This is a semi favorite for St Patrick’s Day—although not exactly a traditional Irish meal. It was definitely born here in America. Next to all the beer and whiskey you can drink, and the "wearin' of the green".

This is a variation of the “New England” Boiled dinner. Basically every thing went in one pot the beef or pork shoulder, some vegetables, and what ever root vegetables were on hand. Most of the newly immigrated Irish were poor, so they couldn't’t but the best cuts of beef or meat, so they improvised, and learned that if you cook shoulder and brisket for a long time, it will come out tender. The more traditional dinners were just boiled in water. Later we learned, things taste better when cooked in stock or beer.

I spend part of my childhood in New England, so maybe that is why I relate to the one pot meal. Mom called my early versions of the one pot meal “Bubble Gum casseroles”. More on that topic later.

This is my version of Corned Beef and Cabbage.
You need a crock pot
Beef stock and dark beer
1 bay leaf
An onion
Beef roast
Whole pepper corns
Worcestershire sauce
Coarse ground sea salt.

One of the nice features of our modern super markets is that you can buy a package of beef brisket with the packet of pepper corns included.

In the bottom of a 5 quart crock pot layer a diced onion, the bay leaf, and celery chopped.
On top of that add the beef and the pepper packet. Add coarse sea salt, and beef broth. Add a dash of Worcestershire.
Cook on low for 6 hours.
Cut the potatoes in large cubes and place on top of the beef. Add the sliced carrots. Chop the cabbage into large chucks place on top season with more coarse sea salt, and let simmer for about another hour.
Just before serving, remove the bay leaf,and discard it. Carefuly take the beef out of the pot, and let it rest before carving.

Serve this with lots of hearty brown bread and butter. Yummy!

Mistress Kimberly

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