Project Weeknight: St. Paddy's Day Feast

I read somewhere along the way that corned beef isn't a traditional Irish dish. I was a little disappointed, but not enough to stop me from making it yesterday to acknowledge my teensy-tiny bit of Irish heritage. I haven't cooked any corned beefs for many, many years, but I remembered it would take several hours. I couldn't leave it on the stove or in the oven all day, so the crockpot seemed to be the way to go.

I chopped up an onion and a few garlic cloves the night before and stashed them in the fridge. Tuesday morn, I dumped those in the pot, added the corned beast (trimmed of some of the fat), the little seasoning packet that came with it (allspice? peppercorns?) and a couple of bay leaves. Finished it off with a cup of Guinness and some water, and let 'er rip. I kept in on high for the hour or so that I was home, turning it to low before I left.

I returned ten hours later, sniffing nervously for the scent of charred flesh, only to be greeted by the lovely aroma of a slow-cooked brisket. I was afraid that it might not have cooked long enough to fall apart but my SO discovered that wasn't a problem when he went to pull it out of the put and it broke in two. So I didn't screw it up after all!

Instead of the usual accompaniments, I got a wild notion to serve Colcannon, where the cabbage and potatoes and carrots are combined into one dish. We have it occasionally and I can't believe I haven't written it up for Project Weeknight, although I did mention it here and here. Go figure.

So here's my latest version of an old Irish dish.
St. Paddy's Day Colcannon
inspired by several recipes

Serves 3-4

4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/4-1/2 cabbage, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/4 tsp mace
butter, milk, salt, and pepper as needed

Put the potatoes on to cook in the usual manner for mashing.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tblsp oil or butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and a dash of salt and saute until onions are translucent. Add cabbage, carrots, mace, and another dash of salt. Stir until everything is coated with fat, then lower heat and cover, steaming for 5-10 minutes until carrots are cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Mash potatoes in the usual manner, stir in veggies. Check seasoning.

Serve, and be disappointed when there aren't enough leftovers to fry up in patties; only just enough for one lunch the next day.

The amount of cabbage is dependent on how much you like cabbage. I had a large cabbage and used only 1/4. But I was only serving three. I think we've decided we like the cabbage better than the kale. If I wasn't serving it with corned beef, I would have used a slice of bacon for flavor.

Dinner was on the table on time, and there was enough Guinness left for us each to have a small glass. And it was good.

I also made Irish soda bread but there was no way we'd have room to eat it with dinner so we had it for dessert, spread with butter and honey. It was just as good as it sounded.

A Project Weeknight-compliant St. Pat's Day feast! Who'd'a thunk it?

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