If you ever searched for a four-leaf clover when you were a child, then you subscribe to a wee bit of the Irish. On St. Patrick’s Day, it is said, everybody’s Irish, so wear your green and sit down to a traditional Irish meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage.
Corned Beef and Cabbage recipes normally call for the less-tender cut of beef called the brisket. The brisket requires slow, moist cooking and should be placed with the fat on top so that it slowly dissolves down into the meat as it cooks. This makes the brisket more juicy and tender.
The “Corned” in the name has nothing to do with corn. Corning is a form of curing. The name comes from the days before refrigeration when meat was dry-cured in coarse “corns” of salt. Pellets of salt, some the sizes of kernels of corn, were rubbed into the beef to keep it from spoiling. Today, brining (the use of salt water) has replaced the dry salt method, but the name stuck. Today’s Corned Beef gets a lot of its flavor from the peppercorns and bay leaves.
Here’s a fuss-free way to cook traditional corned beef and cabbage.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
2-3 lb. corned beef brisket
1 medium onion (quartered)
4 medium potatoes (quartered or halved)
1 pkg. baby carrots
1 can (14 oz.) beef broth (and 1/2 cup water)
4 or 5 peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 small head of cabbage (cut into wedges)
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
Place potatoes, onions and carrots in bottom of slow cooker, such as a Crockpot. Place brisket on top, fat side up. Add all the remaining ingredients except the cabbage wedges.
Cook on high for one hour, then reduce to low and cook for 7 to 8 hours. In the last hour, add the cabbage wedges to the pot.
Remove the bay leaf before serving, set your table in green and enjoy.