March 14, 2014

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite holidays. It was always a big deal in my family growing up. If you are scratching your head, I'm adopted and my parents are of Irish/Italian ancestry.

My mom would make ham, cabbage and potatoes and my dad would make homemade soda bread. My dad would also let me sneak a few sips of Guinness :) As I got older and became more of a foodie, I started taking charge of the St. Patrick's Day dinner. I'd go all out with Irish butter, cheese, and even made a chocolate stout cake for dessert. 

Corned beef and cabbage is more of an Americanized St. Patrick's Day meal and the article
Corned Beef and Cabbage as Irish as Spaghetti and Meatballs explains that.
I want to share with you my go to recipe for corned beef. I found this recipe in
Real Simple many years ago. It is super easy and you can use whatever you want, really. I use whole Brussel sprouts, baby carrots, and fingerling potatoes. If you are going to be around, I'd suggest dumping in the sprouts, carrots, and potatoes in during the last hour of cooking. I'm usually not home for the last hour of cooking so I just dump all of the ingredients in before I leave the house. Yes, the veggies are a little mushy, but still taste yummy. For the beer, I usually have whatever light ale we have in the fridge (typically an IPA). It's the tarragon cream sauce that really makes it.


Ale-Braised Corned Beef, Brussels Sprouts, and Carrots
Quentin Bacon
Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 8hr 00m
Ingredients
  • 1  3-pound piece corned beef brisket (with spice packet, if included)
  • 1  pound  carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 1  12-ounce bottle amber ale
  • 3/4  pound  Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2  cup  sour cream
  • 2  tablespoons  whole-grain mustard
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh tarragon
Directions
1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, place the beef, the contents of the spice packet (if included), carrots, and ale. Cook, covered, until the beef is tender, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
2. Ten minutes before serving, thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. (This is easiest to do in a food processor with the slicing blade.)
3. Transfer the beef from the slow cooker to a cutting board; if the slow cooker is on the low setting, turn it to high. Add the Brussels sprouts to the carrots and liquid in the slow cooker. Cook, covered, until the Brussels sprouts are tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mustard, and tarragon.
5. Slice the beef. Serve with the vegetables and sour cream sauce.

  Over the weekend, I spotted these at Costco in Columbia. They are shamrock shaped
  ravioli filled with Irish cheddar cheese. How adorably delicious!! I believe the price
  was $9.69 If we weren't going to be away for St. Patrick's Day these would have been a
  perfect addition!
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