Before you start emailing to tell me that people in Ireland never eat our version of corned beef, let me assure you I know that. I’ve made pork roast in the traditional Irish “corning” way, and, though tasty, it’s not what we crave when we want corned beef.
Here’s the way I make it, and I’m pretty sure GI Joe could duplicate it if I were ever incapacitated when March 17 rolled around. I also make it a few other times each year, but it’s a non-negotiable on St. Patrick’s Day. By the way, friends who think they don’t like corned beef love this version. The texture is more like pot roast than boiled meat, which is a very good thing. Still think you won’t like it? Try it, try it and you may, I say!
Corned Beef and Vegetables
3-4 lbs corned beef flat, as lean as you can find…but they don’t come very lean
1 lb carrots, peeled and in 3” pieces (yes, I usually buy a bag of baby carrots and dump them in)
6 medium red potatoes, cubed
1 onion, cut in wedges
1 head cabbage, cut in 1” wide wedges
1. Place the vegetables, except cabbage, in the bottom of your crock pot, then rinse the corned beef and lay it on top. Sprinkle with the seasonings, and add enough water to almost cover. Cook on low for 8 hours.
2. About 45 minutes before serving, remove 2 cups broth from the crock pot and put it in a deep skillet with a lid. Add cabbage and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, until tender.
We serve this with Irish Soda Bread. This recipe is a compilation of several that I’ve adapted over the last 20 years of making it. This photo is not very good, I realize. I made the bread into muffins for my husband’s office today, so they didn’t have to deal with cutting and buttering. The muffins were tasty (you didn’t think I’d send them in without tasting, did you?) but I prefer a loaf, sliced with Irish butter.
O’Donnell’s Irish Soda Bread
1-1/2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1-3/4 cup lowfatbuttermilk
1 egg, beaten (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1/2 cup applesauce
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a large loaf pan.
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, place raisins and orange juice, and macerate until raisins are plump (about 10 min).
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Drain raisins and add them to the batter.
4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake 1 hour, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm (with lots of butter!) or cool and wrap in plastic wrap. Stays fresh for about 3 days, if it lasts that long!
Wishing you all a very, very lucky St. Patrick’s Day!