With our baby being too young to go out and properly enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, we had to bring the St. Patrick’s Day festivities to our apartment. And so, I tried to make Corned Beef and Cabbage.
All four people that I was cooking this meal for thought that this food would be terrible, including me. But I figured, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, so we’ll try it, wash it down with Guiness, and it would be festive fun. But to my surprise, this was fantastic. I liked it so much that this will certainly become a regular part of my St. Pat’s routine. And it may even make it into the regular crock pot rotation.
1. Corn it: The first thing I had to do was corn the beef brisket. Apparently, this takes two things I didn’t have, pickling spices and about a week’s worth of brining/pickling time. So, I took a shortcut and bought pre-corned beef.
2. Rinse it: The corned beef was packaged in liquid. Some of the recipes that I had reviewed suggested that you rinse off the corned beef before putting it in the crock pot. The package itself says you should keep it. But it was thick, like cold gravy or a handful of snot. So I rinsed it off.
3. Crock it: This piece of meat was a little over 4 pounds. It filled the crock pot nicely, and had a thick fat cap on it. I covered it with about 3.5 C water and set the crock pot on high. Then, we left for downtown to see the Chicago River dyed green.
4. boil it: after about four hours or so in the crock pot, I pulled the meat carefully out and wrapped it in foil to rest. In the meantime, I poured the liquid into a Dutch oven and set it on high. I then added a small bag of small yellow potatoes and half a head of cabbage, quartered. I let this come to a boil and then simmered the cabbage and potatoes for about half an hour.
5. Eat it: I removed the large fat cap from the corned beef, which came off in one easy to remove piece. I then sliced up some thick slices and served with the drained cabbage and potatoes.
The corned beef was marvelously soft and delicious. Even though it had rested for over half an hour, it was still nuclear hot. The meat just fell apart with the slightest touch of the fork, which was pleasant.
But the biggest surprise was the cabbage. Normally, I would think that boiled cabbage would be gross. But this was fantastic! I don’t know why this is a special event kind of food. The cabbage had softened nicely, it was bitter at all, and it picked up a lot of flavor from the beef cooking liquid. The potatoes were quite nice too, but I expected that they would be nice.
My sister and her husband were also surprised at how much they liked the cabbage. They both eat Korean food (and especially kimchi, which is made of cabbage) regularly. So it was little surprise to me that they liked the cabbage. But it did make me wonder why more Koreans don’t like corned beef and cabbage more.