Even if you aren't lucky enough to be a wee bit Irish, corned beef and cabbage is a must this time of year. The meat department in the supermarket is fully stocked with beef briskets ready to be cooked into one of Ireland's most popular dishes. If you happen to celebrate Lent, congratulations! St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, however religious institutions have allowed a free pass to eat meat. Consider making this delicious meal in the crockpot on St. Paddy’s Day morning. You’ll have tasty leftovers to make into stews, corned beef scrambles, and much more while recovering from the Irish festivities and shenanigans all weekend long.
The grocery store is great and all, but our favorite place to go food shopping is the Orange Home Grown Farmers and Artisans Market. There’s something about cooking with fresh, local ingredients that makes everything healthier and taste a little better. We picked up our beef from the popular Buy Ranch Direct stand. They sell a wide variety of products specializing in beef, bison, and pork. Market goers line up every Saturday to get their hands on the delicious, high quality meats that they offer. No steroids, hormones, antibiotics, or injections of any kind are just some of the perks of buying your meat local. All of their animals are 100% grass-fed, grass-finished, while ranchers practice holistic methods of humane animal cultivation. After the dry-aging process, the meats are fresh and flash frozen for your cooking needs!
Slow cooking your meals is an easy and foolproof way to achieve the maximum flavor levels desired. After gathering all the ingredients in the crockpot, the party's just beginning. Since this recipe is so simple, we decided to pair it with a festive St. Patrick's day cocktail to accompany it.
Here's what you'll need:
2-3 pound beef or bison brisket (thawed, washed, and patted dry)
4 carrots (peeled and chopped)
1 head of cabbage (core removed and sliced)
3 stalks of celery (chopped)
1 red onion (chopped)
½ pound of red and yellow potatoes (cut in halves)
2-3 cups of beef broth or water
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
After preparing all of the ingredients, start placing the vegetables (except cabbage) into the slow cooker. Gently rub the pickling spices into the brisket and place on top. Pour the broth over the beef and allow it to soak into the pot. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours. Reserve adding cabbage until the last hour of cooking.
While that’s cooking, we can begin our shamrockin’ green Vodka Gimlet.
You will need:
1 1/2 ounce of Vodka
1 ounce of Simple Syrup
Green food coloring
To start off, we sugar coated the rim of our glasses with sugar dyed with green food coloring. This step is totally optional, but certainly adds a festive and colorful touch to the cocktail. After, we removed the sprigs we muddled the rosemary together with simple syrup. Although not required, it is an easy, impressive addition.
After, simply combine vodka, simple syrup, lime, and food coloring into a shaker. Shake for about 20 seconds. Strain, garnish, and enjoy!!
St. Patrick’s day marks a refreshing time when we begin to bid farewell to winter and start embracing the spring season ahead. Irish or not, shake up your shamrock with a home cooked meal with family and friends.
Eat, drink, and be Irish!