Best Corned Beef & Cabbage RecipeBy: Lisa Keating
Photo: Eve Ross
I just couldn’t wait for St. Patty’s Day this year. I’ve already made corned beef and eaten all of the left overs! (It’s great the next day for lunch and then as hash for breakfast again the day after that.) It’s so simple, and you can’t miss – if you know the secret ingredient. . .
What makes corned beef irresistibly delicious while it’s busy tenderizing the meat? Beer. Dark beer. Irish beer. Light beer. American, German, Dutch, Japanese; beer. It doesn’t matter. This year I even used Near Beer (a non-alcoholic brew) left in my fridge by some distant past party goer*. The result was still amazing.
Secret weapon number 2: crock pot. Okay, now you’re unstoppable! Put your corned beef into the crock pot with two quartered, peeled onions. I use yellow onions. Cover with BEER (not water). Turn the crock pot on high, throw in a bay leaf or two. Put a lid on it and go do something fun for yourself or useful if you must. This is free time. Everyone will think you were hard at work making dinner, so make the most of it.
Two hours later (longer if you need more time at the spa) add washed new potatoes (use the small ones whole – cut larger ones to make cooking time shorter) and beautiful peeled carrots. Cook until the potatoes are done, about 30 minutes. If you want to make cabbage, you can add 1/2 a head cut into quarters about 15 minutes before the end.
I move the meal to another dish, leaving the onion, beer and bay leaves behind. I serve it with pickles, rye bread, a variety of mustards and for the cabbage; butter, salt & pepper and a drizzle of balsalmic vinegar – the best.
* You know who you are. =D
Here’s a tip if even thinking of cutting onions makes your eyes water: light a candle! The thing that makes your eyes water is the gas released by the onion when you cut it. The candle burns up the gas and you remain dry-eyed. The truth is some of us have more sensitive eyes than others. I cried for years and years whenever I cut onions. It seems to bother me less now. Maybe it’s because I’m older, or taller or tougher. Who knows, really? Try the candle. It helped me. Hope it helps you, too!
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