In honor of St. Patrick's Day this week, I thought I would serve the family corned beef and cabbage. When I told this to my dad over the phone, he asked, "Who in your family likes corned beef and cabbage?" I thought for a moment. Nobody, really (except me, that is). But then I realized something - this is the whole point in making it! I mean, if I just assume that my kids won't like something because they are, well - kids, then I'm really not giving them the opportunity to like it. What kind of mother would I be then? If my kids aren't born vegetable eaters, than I feel it is my duty to develop them into vegetable eaters, through trial and error, and repetition.
So here is my version of corned beef and cabbage. It's adapted for a slow cooker because A) I love my shiny stainless steel slow cooker and B) I don't own a dutch oven. (Hint Hint - Birthday Idea Anyone?)
Start by heating the corned beef and the liquid in a pan. I did this to speed the cooking process. If you start in the morning instead of at noon, like I did, you can skip this part.
Add the thyme and bay leaves whole so they are easy to fish out. Put the garlic cloves through a garlic press right into the cooking liquid.
Don't forget my secret weapon - apple juice! In our house it looks like this.
While the meat is cooking, prepare your vegetables.
While they are still slightly undercooked, fish the vegetables out and spread them on a roasting pan.
Drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt. Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
After six hours on high, remove the corned beef. Let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
Slice thinly against the grain and serve.
What the little critics had to say:
Samuel: The vegetables tasted good because they were cooked with the meat.
Anna: The cabbage was a little burnt, but I would give it 3 stars and I was treated with great service with a sweet and cute dog licking my foot half the time.
Arielle: Overall, it was 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. Surprisingly, I loved the cabbage. I love how the salt gave it so much flavor. Cooked carrots are my favorite. I loved the sauce on the meat. (Editor's note: She really talks like this!)
Ella: Mashed potato with salt - 2 stars. Meat - 1 star. Bun - 19 stars. Cupcake - 90 stars. Jello - 1000 stars. (Editor's Note: Only Ella found a single serving Jello in the fridge.)
Fortunately, I would call this experiment a success, since we will be eating the leftovers on Thursday!
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
4-5 pounds corned beef
5 garlic cloves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
12 ounces Guinness stout
2 cups beef broth
6 ounces apple juice (my secret weapon)
3 cups water
1 large vidalia onion, cut into wedges
1 pound whole carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
6-7 medium red potatoes, scurbbed
1 medium head green cabbage, cut into quarters, core removed
Rinse the corned beef and put it into a large pan. Add liquid to the pan and bring to a boil. The purpose of this is to speed up the cooking process. If you have more time, just pour everything into the slow cooker. Add the whole sprigs of thyme and the whole bay leaves. Put the garlic through a garlic press and add to the liquid.
Set the total cooking time to 6 hours on high.
After 2-3 hours on high, add the potatoes, carrots and onion. At the 5 hour mark, remove the vegetables and place them in a roasting pan. Add the cabbage to the slow cooker. After 30 minutes, remove the cabbage and place it on the roasting pan with the other vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast all the vegetables together at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the corned beef and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Slice the meat thinly against the grain at an angle. Remove the vegetables from the oven and serve them with the meat.