The Recipe: Perfect for St. Patrick's Day, the entire meal, corned beef slow-cooked on the stovetop, served with red potatoes, carrot chunks, cabbage wedges and at my house, a simple cheese sauce to pull it all together. This is meat 'n' potatoes man-pleasing menu!
Corned beef. You either love it or hate it. Or you like how it tastes but hate how it smells while cooking. This recipe has been tested on all three groups and passes with high marks. And in my book, it’s good enough to eat on any cold night when you crave simple, flavorful fare.
But if your house is home to leprechauns, try this for St. Patrick’s Day next week. It’s heavy on vegetables, which, along with the meat, are delicious topped with a simple cheese sauce.
CHEESE SAUCE Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Add about 1/4 cup finely chopped onion and sauté until soft. Add 2 tablespoons flour and blend well. A bit at a time, add about 2 cups milk (skim is fine but whole milk is less likely to break), blending well after each addition. Add about 8 ounces cheese such as American, cheddar, Velveeta (my guilty favorite) or a mixture of leftover cheeses, then stir until it melts.
CARAWAY CORNED BEEF
Stovetop time: 4 hours
- 3 pounds corned beef brisket
- Spice packet from corned beef
- 2 teaspoons caraway seed
- 1 orange stuck with 20 whole cloves
- Water to cover halfway
- 2 pounds red potatoes, skins on, halved or quartered
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced cross-wise in large chunks
- 2 teaspoons caraway seed
- 8 cabbage wedges
- Cheese sauce
- Good mustard
CORNED BEEF Cut fat away from the meat and discard. Place meat and contents of spice packet in a large Dutch oven. Add 2 teaspoons caraway seed and the orange, then add water reaching halfway up the side of the meat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer and cook for 4 hours. (Can be cooked ahead and reheated.)
VEGETABLES When meat has cooked for 3 hours, place potatoes, carrots and another 2 teaspoons caraway seed in a second large Dutch oven or kettle with water to cover. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes.
Add cabbage and cook another 6 – 8 minutes or until cabbage is fully cooked. Drain.
TO SERVE Drain meat (discarding the orange) and slice crosswise, removing any additional obvious fat. Serve with potatoes, carrots and cabbage topped with cheese sauce along with mustard on the side.
(2007) A butcher-cook recommended cooking the vegetables right in the meat rather than separately as here. In 2007, I tried both and much preferred the pure vegetable flavor when the cabbage, especially, is cooked separately.
(2007) This is an easy-easy meal, especially good for a 'meat and potatoes' crowd.
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