Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Dinner

I know this is too late for anyone who actually wanted to have corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day, but I thought I'd post it anyway since you might be able to find corned beef for a really good price now that the holiday is over. (Note to self, go check the grocery store for cheap corned beef...) Plus, if you picked up a basket on Saturday, you'll probably have all the vegetables you need, except for the onion, so this could be a great way to use up your carrots, potatoes, and cabbage.

Until last St. Patrick's Day, I'd never had corned beef, cabbage, or Irish soda bread. My mom mentioned that she hadn't had any for a while, and it sounded good. So I started looking for recipes on the internet. Lo and behold, I found a recipe for corned beef and cabbage in the slow cooker! In case you didn't know, I love my slow cooker. I don't get why people don't use them more. What could possibly be better than spending fifteen minutes in the morning to throw everything together and viola! Dinner is done eight-ish hours later. Anyway, back to making corned beef and cabbage for the first time last year. It was a hit! Everyone said it was great and it was easy-peasy. Just the kind of food I love to cook. I was happy to cook it again this year.

Irish soda bread turned out to be super easy too! It's a quick bread, so all you have to do is mix everything together by hand. You don't even have to use a mixer. Then you pour it in the pan and bake. Easy! And did I mention it's absolutely delicious? It is. 

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
taken from

1 medium onion, cut into wedges
4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 lb. baby carrots
3 c. water
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 1/2 tsp.)
1 bay leaf
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 (2 1/2-3 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet
1 small head cabbage, cut into wedges

Place the onion, potatoes and carrots in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine water, garlic, bay leaf, sugar, vinegar, pepper and contents of spice packet; pour over vegetables. Top with brisket and cabbage. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf before serving. 

Irish Soda Bread
taken from 

3 c. flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/3 c. white sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 c. buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, add 2 Tbs. white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, then add enough milk to make 2 c.)
1/4 c. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x5" loaf pan. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Pour into pan. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. The original recipe says to wrap it in tinfoil for a few hours or even overnight for the best flavor, but I've yet to remember to make the bread that far ahead, so I don't know if it's true or not.

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