Corned beef and cabbage is a pretty traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal – and a perfect midwinter feast, when there’s not much in season yet but there are still potatoes and carrots in cool storage. I had been noticing corned beef brisket in the meat section of the grocery store for years, idly thinking it would be something my Ukrainian (and carnivorously salt-loving) husband would like, but not really knowing what to do with it. It turned out to be brilliant for the slow cooker – all I did was upend the package into the pot, cover it with water, and set it for 6 hours. At that point we pulled the brisket out of its broth and set it aside, added some baby potatoes, chunked carrots and wedges of cabbage to the broth – this is also called New England Boiled Dinner – and cranked the slow cooker up to high to cook them. Alternatively you could cook the brisket on the stovetop, or pour the broth into a pot and do the same thing – you wind up with these fantastically salty, seasoned veg to go with the meat.
Corned Beef & Cabbage
2-3 lb corned beef brisket
4 large or 10 new potatoes, thin skinned, quartered if large
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small head cabbage, cut into small wedges
Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes per pound, or until tender. Alternatively, do the same on low in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours.
Add potatoes and carrots and cook until the vegetables are almost tender; add cabbage and cook for 10 more minutes, until everything is tender. (If you’re using a slow cooker, remove the meat and let it rest; add the vegetables to the broth, turn it up to high and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the veg are tender.) Pull the meat apart with forks or slice it across the grain; serve with the vegetables, covered in broth. Serves 8.