Sunday, March 16, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Menu

Since St. Patrick's Day falls on a Monday this year, we had our Irish feast on Sunday instead, so the corned beef stew could slow cook for several hours and we could savor the celebration a little bit longer. On our menu: Corned beef and cabbage stew and Leprechaun Floats (both explained below).

I used to always make something like a corned beef roast, slow cooking the meat all day. Last year, by mistake, I somehow ended up with too much liquid, and our roast turned out to be more of a stew. I liked it so much better and it also stretched the meat a lot further. Like I've mentioned before, I tend to not follow recipes, but here is a general idea of how mine came together this year.

Here's the brisket I picked out, still in the packaging.

Here it is on the bottom of my big soup pot, topped with the seasoning packet.

Covered with water, then brought to a boil.

I let it boil for about an hour before I cut up about 5 large potatoes and added them to the boiling water. I wanted them to get pretty cooked, to sort of melt down as a soup thickener. I use this method quite a bit actually. You don't necessarily taste the potato, but it adds to the texture and makes it a little more hearty.

After about 30 more minutes of boiling, I took out the meat and cut it into chunks. I added it back to the pan with about 3/4 head of cabbage, and continued to cook it over medium-high heat for about another 20ish minutes or so.

The end result was oh, so yummy. All the flavors melted together and there was little need for any spices except a little salt and pepper. Belly warming, hearty, corned beef and cabbage stew.

And then for dessert, Leprechaun Floats. Mmmm!

A scoop of lime sherbet.

Topped with lemon-lime soda.

Leprechaun floats! Not Irish, per se, but green and delicious. A great drink dessert after a hearty meal.

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