With Saint Patrick’s Day coming up this week, I’ve been thinking back on the trip Mike and I took to Ireland in 2005.
Ireland is beautiful and green, and it looks a lot like Kentucky.
We went with Mike’s parents, and the four of us had such fun touring Dublin, exploring crumbling castles, and imbibing our share of Jameson’s and Guinness.
We also ate lots of potatoes.
Like, LOTS of potatoes.
Fried potatoes. Boiled potatoes. Mashed potatoes. Roasted potatoes. At one point I was even served three different kinds of potatoes all in the same meal. I have never in all my life craved a salad, but I would have paid $50 for some arugula by the end of that trip.
Anyway, with St. Paddy’s Day being on Thursday, I thought I’d share a super easy way to make a very traditional Irish meal: corned beef and cabbage.
With a side of — you guessed it — potatoes. (Really delicious potatoes.)
I did my corned beef in the crock pot. You can buy a corned beef round at the grocery store that comes with its own set of spices (I happened to have my own pickling spices on hand so I used that instead), and it doesn’t even need to be trimmed or seared first. You just throw it in there with a few other ingredients and turn on the crock pot. So. Simple.
I cooked my corned beef by itself and served it alongside braised cabbage and buttered herbed potatoes that I prepared on the stove, but if you want to make things even simpler, you can just add the raw potatoes and cabbage to the crock pot a couple of hours before serving.
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE WITH POTATOES (pdf)
CROCK POT CORNED BEEF
4 C hot water
2 T cider vinegar
2 T sugar
1 packet corned beef spices OR 3-4 T pickling spices
2 bay leaves
Fresh ground black pepper (be generous)
1 onion, cut into chunks
1 corned beef round roast (mine was about 3 1/2 pounds)
Combine first 7 ingredients in crock pot, then add corned beef roast. Sprinkle with more black pepper. Cook on high for about 5 hours or on low for about 7-8 hours, or until roast is tender and tears apart easily with a fork.
Serve with grainy mustard, alongside Braised Cabbage and Buttered Herbed Potatoes (recipes below).
1/2 stick butter
1 head green cabbage, cut into wedges (1 head is enough for 2-3 people)
Salt & pepper to taste
2-3 ladlefuls of liquid from the cooked corned beef
In a braising pan (if you have it — a lidded saucepan if not) over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add cabbage, salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally, allowing cabbage leaves to caramelize slightly around the edges. Add liquid, allow to come to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer on low heat, occasionally scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan and stirring into the cabbage, until cabbage is tender and caramelized.
BUTTERED HERBED POTATOES
8-10 small red and/or white potatoes
Chicken broth (enough to cover the potatoes)
1/2 tsp salt
Butter to taste
1/4 C sour cream
1/4 – 1/2 C milk (optional)
Herbs of your choice, to taste (dried or fresh chopped parsley, chives, dill, etc)
Salt & black pepper
Place potatoes in a heavy saucepan, cover with chicken broth, and add 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
Drain and discard chicken broth. Add remaining ingredients to taste, mashing lightly to mix well.
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind always be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand,
P.S. The braised cabbage is borderline amazing. I had no idea that cabbage had so much potential. It is a MUST TRY, y’all.