Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage


Slow cooker corned beef and cabbage is my St. Patrick's day tradition.
*At least, that's what we've always called it, "corned beef and cabbage". It is really a mix of vegetables - cabbage, carrots, onions and potatoes.

When I started cooking this meal myself, I'd buy the biggest corned beef I could find and squeeze it into the pot. Now that I'm older (and...wiser?), I buy a small corned beef. Somewhere along the line I realized: even though I love corned beef, the best part is the vegetables. The corned beef flavors everything else in the pot, giving the vegetables its wonderful pickled, meaty flavor.

Now, this is not an authentic Irish meal. The Irish original is bacon and cabbage. When the waves of Irish migration to the United States happened, they couldn't find bacon like they had in the old country.  But their Jewish neighbors had something that was very similar - corned beef. In other words, this is Irish-American cooking, just like spaghetti and meatballs is Italian-American, and burritos are Tex-Mex. That doesn't mean it isn't a delicious combination, and it defines "St. Patrick's Day" for me.
*I made a great, authentic, Irish lamb stew once, and while it was good, it just seemed...wrong. Like serving chicken on Thanksgiving.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Cook time: 10 hours

Equipment:
Ingredients:
  • 2-3 pound corned beef roast (with seasoning packet)
  • 1 lb new potatoes
  • 1/2 cup beer (Guinness is most "authentic". Or you can substitute water.)
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 medium sized cabbage, cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard

Directions:
1. Layer ingredients in the slow cooker: Put the corned beef on the bottom of the slow cooker, and fit the new potatoes in around it, then pour the beer over the corned beef. Sprinkle with the seasoning packet. Add the onions and carrots, then sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of kosher salt. Add the cabbage on top, and sprinkle with another 1/4 tsp of salt and the ground mustard. (Make sure the lid can close on the slow cooker. Move the cabbage around or remove some to make sure the lid seals against the crock.)

Layer 1- Corned beef and potatoes
Layer 2 - Carrots and onions
Layer 3 - Cabbage
2. Cook: Cover the slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.

3. Slice and serve: Remove the vegetables to a serving platter with a slotted spoon, and moisten with the juices in the slow cooker. Slice the corned beef crosswise into 1/2" thick slices, put on the platter with the vegetables, and moisten with more of the juices from the slow cooker. Serve.

Done!
Oh, my
Dad, is it ready yet?
Variations:
*Simple version: Skip everything except the corned beef, cabbage, and 1/2 cup of water or beer.

*Skip the potatoes: Potatoes are not slow cooker friendly - they either cook to mush, or don't cook enough and are rock hard in the middle. I include them in this dish because, well, it doesn't seem like it would be very Irish without potatoes. I use whole redskin new potatoes. I think the skin keeps them from overcooking, and the small size lets them cook all the way through. Sometimes I just leave them out, which leaves more room for the vegetables I really love, the cabbage and the carrots.

*Other starchy root vegetables: Parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes - they're not very Irish, but they all go well in the slow cooker. Cut into 2 inch chunks, and add to the cooker with the rest of the vegetables.

Notes:
*Serve with soda bread and mustard. Oh, and lots of Guinness. A little Bushmills or Jameson's for an after dinner drink would be a good idea as well.
Cue Michaleen Flynn in The Quiet Man - "Sorry, my mouth is like a dry crust, I can't continue this post...I don't suppose there's a drop of anything wet in this house?"

*You don't really need to use beer in the crock; it tastes fine with plain water. But it just feels right to cook with beer on St. Patrick's day.

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:
Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

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10 comments:

MAH said...

Yumm... I made my corned beef and cabbage (and potatoes) last night and cooked them overnight so I will have for lunch and dinner today. I am patiently counting down the minutes until lunchtime!!! OUr recipes are very cimilar, except I also add some brown sugar and water. Love it! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

@MAH:

I made this recipe a few weeks ago for the blog, and the leftovers only made it until lunch the next day. I can't wait until tomorrow, so I can have it again!

The brown sugar is an interesting touch. Out of curiosity, how much do you add, and how much sweetness do you think it adds to the recipe?

A Year on the Grill said...

A great timely post... Beautiful perfect photo... Luck of the Irish to ye

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

@AYOTG:
Thanks for reminding me:

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.

Happy St. Patrick's day, everyone!

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Hey Mike -

I just saw this blog called Dinner, A Love Story and thought maybe you'd like it.

Happy Tuesday!

Erin from Long Island said...

I must confess I just stumbled upon this post, but I normally read your blog in a timely matter! I had to say is warmed my Irish-American heart to see someone tell the truth about corned beef and not just pretend it is Irish. This year I decided to try baking mine in a deep roasting pan with a lot of water. I used onion, garlic, cabbage, carrots, and rutabaga. I am pretty sure they use rutabaga in Ireland.

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

@Erin

Rutabaga? Never thought to try that. I'll have to throw it in the pot next year.

Kelley said...

I'm so glad I was able to track this recipe down again! We made it last year but of course I can't find the printout and didn't save the link. I knew it came from a blog by a dad so I Googled "corned beef dad" and there it was. Yay!

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Welcome back!

Ryan said...

I'm doing Corned Beef this weekend. How does your cabbage come out being in the cooker the entire time? Loving your site!

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