One of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day traditions is corned beef and cabbage.
Fun fact: It actually wasn’t even a tradition until the first large wave of Irish immigrants settled in America. Most of them were flat broke, living hand-to-mouth. Their traditional menu consisted of bacon and cabbage, but bacon was far too expensive. So they got a hint from their Jewish neighbors to try corned beef, a cheaper meat. The tradition stuck and spread to their Irish American descendants and then throughout all of America.
Personally, I find this hilarious. Corned beef used to be a “poor man’s meat”. Y’all, that’s the most expensive cheap meat I’ve ever eaten. It’s at least $5.99/pound all day long. So starting in mid-February, I start stalking sales at 6 different stores waiting until it goes on sale cheap enough that we can afford it. Sure enough, the first week of March, Aldi had their corned beef for $1.99/pound. We bought 3.
This is probably one of the most flavorful meals we eat all year, which is saying a lot since my cooking is far from bland. It’s usually so expensive that we usually only eat it once or twice a year. So when I cook it, I make sure it’s a right. It’s also really, stupidly simple and hard to screw up, and something that I can cook while I’m doing work around the house. Ah, the joys of having a slow cooker.
1 corned beef brisket, about 5-6 lbs.
1 carton beef broth
Pickling spices, at least 2 tbsp, or to taste
The patience of Job
Like I said, it’s stupidly simple. Put your brisket in your slow cooker. Poor in your carton of beef broth. Fill up with enough water to cover the brisket by 1″. It should be no fuller than 3/4 to leave room for all the cabbage and potatoes you’ll add later.
Dump in the pickling spices! Most of the time, you’ll get a cute little packet with your brisket. It’s not nearly enough for us, which is why I call it cute. If you’d like more than what you’re given, you can find pickling spices in the seasoning section of your grocery store. It’s the same exact thing, I promise. And we REALLY like the pickling spice, so we add 2 tbsp on top of the packet. Haha!! Now turn it on low and let it cook for about 4 hours.
This is where the patience of Job comes in. As it starts to cook, it really starts to smell up the house – in a good way!
After it’s cooked for 4 hours, it’s time to add the cabbage and potatoes. We had a HUMONGOUS cabbage, so I was only able to use half of it. I didn’t do a whole lot of chopping, just enough to make it small wedges. It’s a tight fit in the Crock Pot, but it cooks down.
We used red potatoes, but in the past we’ve used russet. Use whatever you have or whatever you like! You want about 1-1/2″ to 2″ chunks. Try to mix everything into the liquid as much as possible. Put the lid back on and let it cook another 4 hours, stirring about once every hour just so everything cooks evenly.
And then scoop out and enjoy!!!