Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day. In our house, that means corned beef and cabbage! I’ve learned over the years that corned beef and cabbage is one of those dishes that people either love or hate. It does not actually have its roots in Ireland, but in America. For a quick history, see the Wikipedia article on Saint Patrick’s Day. Regardless of where it originated, it has become a Saint Patrick’s day tradition across the United States. (I’d be interested to know what other countries eat on Saint Patrick’s Day. International readers, please chime in on the comments!)
Perhaps someday I will brine my own corned beef, but for now I just buy it. In the United States, most corned beef is made from brisket and is sold as “flat cut” or “point cut.” The point cut is fattier and a little tougher, making it less expensive, so that’s what I buy. The extra fat also makes it tastier and can help keep it from drying out during cooking.
The key to ending up with tender corned beef is to cook it low and slow with a little liquid. The slow cooker is the perfect appliance for the job. Resist the urge to add too much water. Also, be sure to slice the meat across the grain to increase tenderness.
I always add potatoes to my corned beef and cabbage. Because red potatoes were on sale this week, I went ahead and bought them. But russets work too.
About 5 red potatoes (enough to cover bottom of slow cooker in single layer)
1 corned beef brisket
1 c. water
Cut medium/large potatoes into quarters, small potatoes into halves. Place in bottom of slow cooker.
Place brisket on top of potatoes, adding juice and spices from package.
After washing cabbage, peel off 2-3 outer leaves and discard. Cut cabbage into quarters and remove center stem.
Place cabbage on top of brisket. If cabbage sticks up above top of crock a little, no worries. It will cook down. Add water.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours (preferable) or on high for 4-6 hours. Remove meat to platter and let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing across the grain.
|Be sure to cut across the grain in long strokes with a sharp,|
|The potatoes and cabbage absorb a ton of flavor from the|
meat. I eat them with a little butter, salt and pepper.