Hello to all my readers out there! I have been talking to many of you in person or via my facebook page about featuring you, on Fridays. I have so many talented friends and family members that such wonderful and creative meals. I want to feature you, on Friday’s, here at saminacooks.com. I know today is not Friday but I wanted to showcase this special St. Patrick’s Day recipe, from a good friend, fellow foodie and Home-Chef, Christine Cristiano-Herbert. I know you will enjoy her delicious recipe (I had a bit of it the other day…it is delicious!) Thank you Christine for being my first feature! I hope to see many of my friends, family and readers participate and share your wonderful talents. If you would like to be featured, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Even if you already have a blog). I am looking for features that have a little bit about the food (why you make it, what it is, what it means to you, funny stories), the recipe and pictures.
Happy Cooking Everyone and without further ado, I give you our first featured chef: Christine Cristiano-Herbert!!!
Slow Cooker Corned Beef
Beannachtaí agus bheannaigh Lá Fhéile Pádraig! And for the non-Gaelic speaking, Greetings & Happy St. Patrick’s day!
A few weeks back, our beloved Chef Samina approached me about featuring one of my recipes on her blog. Usually, I would be all over this in an instant but due to my intense school schedule, it had to be delayed until Spring Break. After much thought, I decided to go the American traditional route to a St. Patrick’s Day meal. Generally, corned beef would not be eaten in my house on this glorious day but, when in Rome…
Due to the long cooking process that is usually involved with making corned beef, I decided to try a new method, Slow Cooking the beast.
4 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Dill weed
1 tsp Celery seed
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 tbsp Black Peppercorns
1 ½ tbsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp & 1tsp of minced garlic
2 Medium- Large Onions, quartered
12 oz bottle of dark Beer (Yuengling, Guiness) – I used Legbiter Ale
1 cup of water
4 ½ lb Corned Beef
Baby Carrots, approximately 1 small bag, room temperature
First I like to simmer all ingredients, minus the corned beef and carrots for 15 minutes to bring out all the flavors of the spices. I also suggest pre-heating your slow cooker on High. While the spices are simmering, use this time to trim your corned beef. As a rule, fat means flavor in my book but unfortunately, this cut of meat is naturally over-fatty. There’s nothing worse than a tough corned beef than a fatty tough corned beef. There should be a spice packet included with your corned beef, cut open the packet and throw the spices into your pot. Irish/English food is pretty bland and in this case, there’s no such thing as too much spice.
Once your corned beef is trimmed and your spices have simmered, pour the spice mixture into the bottom of your slow cooker. Place your corned beef on top. More than likely, the liquid will only cover about half of your corned beef. Add just enough cool water to your slow cooker to cover the corned beef. Set your slow cooker to low and a timer for 9 hours. Yes, that may seem quite long. It is necessary. Most corned beefs take almost as long cooking on the stove. Using the slow cooker allows you to run errands if needed. I don’t advise “peeking” under the cover of your slow cooker too much as it will let heat escape and your corned beef will have to stay in its bath for an additional hour.
Around hour 7, toss in baby carrots.
I’m sure everyone is wondering, “Where’s the cabbage & potatoes??” Cabbage is not eaten in my house so you’ll never find it in the pot. If you want cabbage with your corned beef, quarter a medium-sized cabbage and place it in the bottom of your slow cooker before adding any of the liquid. Place the corned beef on top and follow the instructions above. As for potatoes, they have a tendency to get very mushy when cooked in the slow cooker, regardless of how late you put them in. I advise cooking them separately on the stove.
Lately, I’ve been trying to avoid white starches such as potatoes, pasta, bread, and just white flour in general. So, for the health conscious, here’s my recipe for Mock Mashed Potatoes:
Mock Garlic Mashed Potatoes
4- 16 oz bags of frozen Cauliflower
Salt, Pepper, minced garlic
Steam the Cauliflower in chicken stock until fork tender. Reserve the liquid. In a separate pot, combine the cauliflower and ½ cup of liquid. Puree the cauliflower with an immersion blender, until smooth or to the consistency you like your “potatoes”. If you don’t have an immersion blender, a regular blender or food processor will get the job done. If the mixture seems a bit dry, add chicken stock in tablespoon increments. The chicken stock eliminates your need to use milk and butter.
Season the mixture to your liking with Salt, Pepper and Garlic. Feel free to add any other seasonings. I’ve been known to fold in fat-free mozzarella or cheddar, fat-free sour cream, chopped up bacon, scallions, dill, rosemary and chives. It all depends on your preference.
Also, this is a good way to get kids to eat more veggies. They can hardly tell the difference if they’re heavily seasoned.