By Gabrielle. Photos by Lindsey of Café Johnsonia.
Today, I’m delighted to share the second recipe in my Slow Cooker Series. This one is especially timed for March, and St. Patrick’s Day!
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Or maybe you have some Irish ancestry? Or perhaps you just love Ireland — its people, culture, and food? Then this recipe is for you! But it’s not just for green-themed holidays. This menu is delicious any time of year you’re craving something hearty and warming.
As for the Blairs, we’ve heard our surname is English, Scottish, or Irish — maybe it’s all three! I know there is a Blair Tartan. In fact, when we were newlyweds, I wove Ben a sturdy wool scarf in the Blair Tartan pattern. I also know there is a Blair Castle in Scotland, so I mostly associate the name as Scottish.
That said, our kids feel much more connected to Ireland. Partly because in both New York and France they happened to make friends with Irish expat families, and partly because of our trip there. It was almost a year ago exactly — we arrived in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day! If you like, you can see images from our trip here.
How about you? Does your family feel any connection to Ireland?
Now back to the menu. It’s a classic combo and it’s easy as can be, I promise! My recommendation? Make a big batch and have friends over for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner party, or work this into your monthly recipe rotation. You won’t be disappointed.
And now to the recipe: Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
One 4-5 pound corned beef plus enclosed spice packet
1 large onion, sliced
4-5 large carrots, peeled and cut into halves
1 small head green cabbage, cut into thick wedges
optional – parsnips, turnips, rutabaga
fresh ground black pepper
For serving – Irish soda bread, grainy mustard, parsley, mashed potatoes
Have a slow cooker ready. Line the bottom with the sliced onions. Place the corned beef brisket on top of the onions, fat side up. Sprinkle the spice packet evenly over the top. Add enough water to come up 1-inch. (Don’t add too much, or it will have too much liquid at the end.) Place lid on top of slow cooker and set to HIGH for 4-5 hours, or LOW for 8-10 hours.
If you are cooking it on HIGH, add the carrots after THREE hours. Place lid back on top and continue cooking. Add the cabbage during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
If you are cooking on LOW, add carrots after SIX hours. Place lid back on top and continue cooking. Add the cabbage during the last 60 minutes of cooking time.
The corned beef will be done when it is very tender and easily shreds with a fork. The veggies should be tender, but not mushy. Remove everything from the slow cooker. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and remove the layer of fat on top. Slice the corned beef on an angle against the grain of the meat. Transfer to a large platter and arrange the vegetables along the side. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.
Serve with mashed potatoes, grainy mustard, and Irish soda bread.
– Don’t be tempted to add too much water for this recipe. Some slow cooker recipes call for submerging the meat in liquid. Corned beef only needs about an inch of water in the bottom. The vegetables and meat will release more liquid as they cook.
– You can cook potatoes and other vegetables with the corned beef. Just be sure to add them near the last hour (or two hours for LOW) of cooking time or they will become waterlogged and mushy. Serving with mashed potatoes is one solution.
– If you like the vegetables to be more tender, add them to the slow cooker earlier. For vegetables that are less tender, add them later.
– Slicing the meat agains the grain will prevent a the meat from being stringy. It can also be shredded.
– Don’t be tempted to add salt! The corning process makes the meat salty enough and also provides enough salt for the vegetables.
– The cabbage cooks very quickly. If you prefer it to be tender crisp, add it during the last 15 minutes. Remember that it will keep cooking more as the leftovers are reheated.
– The leftover sliced corned beef makes the best sandwiches ever, or you can also make corned beef hash by dicing it.
– This can also be done in the oven or on the stovetop. The cooking time will be much less. Follow the package directions for correct times.
P.S. — As I’ve mentioned before, these recipes can be used with an electric slow-cooker, or a heavy duty pot — similar to this. I currently go the heavy duty pot route, because I don’t own an electric slow-cooker at the moment, though I have in years past and know how helpful they can be!