I’m a late with my St. Patty’s Day post, but my excuse is that we actually didn’t even make this “traditional” meal until Saturday. I know…what were we thinking? Something that takes three to four hours to cook just isn’t practical on a week day, but we were determined to give this Americanized meal a try this year, so we indulged ourselves a few days late. The only complaint I have about our corned beef and cabbage is that we didn’t corn our own beef. There’s always next year though, right? Right.

While corned beef and cabbage is in fact an Irish meal, it most definitely isn’t a St. Patty’s Day (or any other day, for that matter) tradition in Ireland. (As noted in one of many interesting articles we found while researching recipes last week.) After reading about Ireland’s “foremost cooking authority,” according to Epicurious, we decided to go with Darina Allen’s recipe with a few Martin twists. Traditional or not, it certainly was delicious.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Serves: 6 to 8
– 4 lb corned beef brisket
– 6 onions, quartered
– 1 tsp dry English mustard
– 1 large sprig of thyme and 3 parsley stalks, tied together
– 3 to 4 large carrots, cut into large-ish chunks
– 1 head cabbage, cut into 6 to 8 wedges
– 2 to 3 russet potatoes, quartered
– salt and pepper

As far as one pot meals go, this is a winner. It takes little to no prep work, makes the house smell absolutely fantastic and the end results are worth the time it takes to cook. In a large Dutch oven, put the brisket with the onions, herbs and mustard and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer (covered) for two hours. During this time, you don’t need to do anything to the brisket, just let it simmer away over low heat.

After the brisket has been simmering for two hours, remove the lid and add the carrots, cabbage and potatoes. Make sure everything is submerged in liquid, then return the lid to the pan. Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour, until all the veggies are nice and tender. Remove the brisket from the pot and let it rest before slicing it. Serve the meat and vegetables with lots of cooking liquid, some good bread and spicy mustard.

Corned Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes and Carrots

I happen to love corned beef and cabbage, so I had pretty high expectations for our first attempt at it. The results of three hours of simmering on our stove was delicious. The brisket picked up all the flavors from the mustard (though, I would put more next time) and herbs and the veggies picked up all the delicious flavors from the cooking liquid. Everything was perfectly tender, and the meat pretty much just fell apart. Billy made a delicious Irish soda bread (more on that later) to go along with it, and was absolutely perfect for soaking up all the juices.

I think probably the only thing I would do differently next time is actually corning our own beef. I’ve heard this takes like 10 days, so next year I’ll have to remember that before it’s too late! Luckily, a lot of recipes called for prepared brisket or said it was an okay substitute if corning your own wasn’t possible.

Darina’s original recipe can be found on Epicurious.

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