In Honor of St. Patty’s Day, A Traditional Irish Meal

A few years ago, my mother-in-law wanted to take her “girls” on a trip to New York. We all packed our bags, called a babysitter, and kissed our husbands goodbye before she had a chance to change her mind. As it turned out, my father-in-law wasn’t too sure about sending this particular group to New York on his credit card without supervision, and I mean, can you really blame him? We sort of have a history. So the girls and George took off for the Big Apple. The trip was fabulous!
As my good fortune would have it, we were there for my 35th birthday. My sweet in-laws made dinner reservations on my birthday (which, by the way is on St. Patrick’s Day) at Tavern on the Green. Of course, the dinner special that evening was the traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast of corned beef and cabbage. Now, corned beef is not a dish that I would normally order, but I guess I was feeling a little adventurous. Or maybe I was confused because I was so totally out of my element. But order it I did. I wish I could tell you that it was the most fabulous corned beef and cabbage I have ever had. But if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. (By the way, I have never understood the real meaning of that phrase, so perhaps I just committed a major faux pas by using it incorrectly. I mean, I think it fits here, but I cannot be sure. Someone please advise.) Alas, I must report that corned beef and cabbage is not, in fact, the best meal that Tavern on the Green has to offer. Or perhaps it is, and that is why they recently closed. Maybe I should have complained. It could have saved their business.
Anyhoo… every once in a while I think about that meal and wonder if I could do any better. Last night when Bitty and I were in Publix, they had a big St. Patty’s display, complete with corned beef and cabbage. My curiosity got the better of me. And so tonight, I bring you my recipe for what turned out to be a delightful meal.
Here is what you will need:
 1 corned beef brisket
Red or Irish potatoes
Baby carrots
A small onion
About 4-5 cloves of fresh garlic
A bottle of beer
A can of chicken broth
A whole lot of ground sea salt
A whole lot of fresh ground pepper
A whole lot of ground thyme
A whole lot of oregano
A drizzle of olive oil
Smash and mince the garlic. Spread it over the bottom of your Crockpot. Next, layer in the potatoes. If you use the reds, put them in whole. If you use Irish, cut them into large chunks. Next throw in the baby carrots. Next put your brisket in, fat side down. Sprinkle the heck out of the brisket with the salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme. Drizzle the olive oil over the top – just a tablespoon or so. Quarter the onion and put those on top. Pour the beer into the Crockpot, being careful not to wash all the spices off the top of the brisket. Just pour it around the sides. Do the same with the chicken broth. Add enough wated to cover the brisket, which, I guess washed all the spices off the brisket, making that last instruction totally pointless. Sue me. It’s late. Turn the crockpot on low for eight hours. When you are ready to serve it, I scrape the fat layer off of the bottom. That is probably one of the unpardonable sins of cooking, but it grosses me out. I can’t have it on my plate. 

I wanted a truly traditional feast, so I made cabbage to accompany the rest. For that you will need:
A head of cabbage
Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt
Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Pepper
Just get a big pot of water boiling. Throw in a lot of salt – maybe 1/4 cup. Cut the head of cabbage into roughly 1″ chunks. Throw the cabbage into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium and let it go for about 15-20 minutes. Don’t let it get too mushy. When you put it on the plate, sprinkle on the Jane’s Krazy salt and pepper. Sure, you can use regular salt and pepper, but why would you when you can use something as fun as Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up? It’s like a party in a canister.
Let me now if you make it and if you like it. Honestly, cooking it in the Crockpot is the way to go because it makes it so tender. Yum!

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