17 March 2015

Crock Pot Gourmet Recipe: Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite holidays. When I was a child, my mom always made Green Eggs and Ham for breakfast (with green milk to drink), we always wore green head-to-toe, and of course we had to have Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner. Now, I know that Green Eggs and Ham are technically more fitting on March 2nd (Dr. Seuss' birthday) than March 17th, and that you can't even find corned beef in Ireland (it's an Irish-American tradition, not an "Irish" tradition), but for me, these things make St. Patrick's Day special.

My mom always simmered her corned beef in a large stock pot on low heat on the stove, but I've discovered that the Crock Pot is perfect for cooking a melt-in-your-mouth tender brisket.

You will need (approximately):
2 lbs. baby carrots
6-8 large potaoes (washed, but with skins intact)
2-3 onions
1 corned beef brisket (flat cut has a better flavor and texture than point cut - it's worth the extra cost!)
1-2 heads green cabbage

Cut the onions and potatoes in quarters, and place together with the baby carrots in the bottom of a 7-quart Crock Pot (for a smaller slow cooker, you can simply cut the recipe by a quarter, or even in half ... there are really no exact measurements here).

Place the corned beef, along with the included seasonings, on top of the vegetables.

Add about 3-4 inches of water. (When simmering on the stove, you generally fill the pot with water and boil the corned beef, but I've discovered that it's unnecessary to use so much water in the Crock Pot. You'll still get the tender texture of slow-cooked meat with much more flavor. However, if you like the broth, feel free to add more water as desired.)

Cook on low for 6-10 hours, until meat flakes apart with a fork.

In the last 45 minutes to an hour of cooking time, quarter the cabbages and place on top of the corned beef to steam lightly. (You don't want to add the cabbage too soon, as overcooked, mushy cabbage gets a bitter, unpleasant taste.) Cook just until the cabbage is slightly tender.

Serve with your favorite green drink. (We always opt for kool-aid.)

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