Corned beef and cabbage is about as classic a St. Patrick’s Day dish as you can make. Corned beef is slow cooked and served alongside cabbage with optional ingredients like potatoes, carrots and onions. Though corned beef and cabbage is Irish at heart, it’s not something the Irish ate often back in the day. Instead, during the 18th century, the beef-producing country exported the expensive meat to neighboring countries and dined on pork, veggies and dairy instead. Who knew?
Today, most Irish don’t consider corned beef a native dish. And believe me, we asked our resident Irishman. Rather, the salt-cured meat as we know it now is an Irish-American and New York delicatessen fusion. It’s become a St. Paddy’s favorite as part of Irish-American culture, since corned beef was a cheaper substitute for bacon in the traditional Irish dish bacon and cabbage. (Wikipedia)
Regardless of its origins or authenticity, we’re big fans of corned beef – both in sandwiches and this corned beef and cabbage dish – so we’re happy to make it at home once a year each March. To keep things as quick and simple as possible, we make our recipe in the slow cooker.
The corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions go in the crock with some pickling spices and water until everything is cooked through but still vibrant. It smells amazing as it cooks, so you’ll be hungry all day. When the table is set, the meat and veggies get drained and served for a delicious St. Patrick’s Day meal.
There’s only one pot to clean up and the leftovers (if there are any) make a delicious reuben sandwich. Serve the corned beef and cabbage with a good Irish beer. We’re not into the green beer, but prefer a nice stout to go with the theme: a deliciously hearty St. Patrick’s Day.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
2 1/2 to 3 pound corned beef brisket
1/4 cup pickling spices
1 small head cabbage, quartered
6 thin carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise
12 small fingerling potatoes, halved
1 bag (8 oz.) pearl onions, peeled
Spicy brown mustard, optional
Rinse corned beef and place in 5-6 quart slow cooker.
Sprinkle pickling spices over meat and cover with water.
Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 5 hours or LOW for 10 hours.
Add cabbage, carrots, potatoes and onions to slow cooker with corned beef and cook on HIGH for an additional hour. If using LOW, switch to HIGH.
To serve, cut corned beef across the grain and plate over cabbage.
Serve with spicy brown mustard or horseradish, if desired.
Pickling spices can be found in the spice isle of major grocery stores.
For variety, try yellow or purple potatoes.
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