Saturday, March 17, 2012

Not-So-Boiled Dinner for St. Patty's Day

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Happy St. Patrick's Day!
There are foods my husband doesn't like, and foods he doesn't prefer.  (And things he likes, but that isn't that post.)  The difference is the foods he doesn't prefer he will tolerate once a year.

Boiled dinner is one of those things he doesn't prefer.  I use my once a year opportunity to make boiled dinner on St. Patrick's Day.  Every year I chop a cabbage up, open a bag of baby carrots and potatoes, and dump it all into the crock pot with some water, slab of brisket, and that little spice packet that comes with the beef.

Since my husband loves brisket, I asked him why he didn't like boiled dinner.  He told me it had to do with the blandness of it all.  I admit, simmering something in water for hours doesn't make the most flavorful meal, even with the little spice packet.  Mission Make Better Corned Beef Dinner accepted.

This takes a little more prep time and a few more pots, but it is worth it.  If you or your crowd are purists, try this a few weeks before, just to make sure you aren't upsetting any taste buds.

You will need:
3-4 lbs corned beef brisket
1/2 medium cabbage, cut into thin strips (like slaw)
4 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 small bag baby carrots or 6-8 regular carrots, peeled and sliced (we really like carrots, so you can tone this down)
8 small white potatoes, cut into quarters
1 small onion, sliced into rounds
about 14 oz beef broth
1 TBS cloves
1 TBS herbs de Provence
small slice of butter
about 2 TBS dijon mustard
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 325F
I used our oval dutch oven for this, to use only one dish for the meat.
Over high heat, sear the brisket on both sides - about 5 minutes on each side.
Cover the brisket in mustard.  Add the cloves, bay leaf and spice packet, if included.  (Mine didn't come with a spice packet!  What gives?)

Bake, covered, for 90 minutes.  After 90 minutes, empty any juices and spices into the vegetable pot with the beef broth.  

Cook beef, uncovered, for 15 more minutes(ish).  You can just turn off the oven and let it sit there.

Near the end of the beef's cooking time, toss the carrots, parsnips, and potatoes into a pot with the beef broth and beef pan drippings.  Add water to cover, and bring to a boil.  Simmer vegetables until cooked.

Melt butter over medium heat in a pan with a cover.
I used a dutch oven so that I could stick all the leftovers into this pot.
Saute the onion until golden.  Add in the cabbage, 2 TBS of water or broth, and the herbs de Provence, give a good stir, cover, and sweat the cabbage & onions until they only have a slight bite (or until they are mush, if you like it that way).

To serve, pile the veggies and sliced meat over the cabbage.
I like mine with more dijon.

My husband even said he liked it.  So you know it was good.


Toddler corned beef, Mommy corned beef.

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