If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, dinner should be a no-brainer: corned beef and cabbage! It’s a comforting and hearty meal that produces some of the best leftovers the next day.
But, before you go down a rabbit hole of searching different recipes and techniques, here’s two super simple tricks that will make cooking corned beef and cabbage totally hassle-free.
Cook It Low and Slow
Your trusty slow cooker is the superhero of every comforting braise, stew, and even mac and cheese dish during the winter. Show it some more love by using it to cook your corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, too!
The low and slow cooking method allows for all of the ingredients to develop into a richer, more intense flavor. Plus, you can prep it in the morning, put everything in the slow cooker, and then enjoy the delicious smells wafting through your home as it cooks all day.
A general rule of thumb when braising cuts of meat in the slow cooker is that they’ll be fully cooked and tender after 4-5 hours on a high setting and 8-9 hours on low. To make sure that the cabbage doesn’t get super limp and mushy in the slow cooker, Allrecipes suggests adding it during the last hour of cooking. You can get their recipe for corned beef and cabbage in the video below.
Make a Spice Pouch
When you buy pre-packaged corned beef from the store, it’ll come with a bag of spices like peppercorns, mustard seeds, and bay leaves. Or you can make your own spice blend from scratch by gathering those up yourself. Either way, instead of sprinkling the seasonings directly in with your veggies and corned beef, try making a spice pouch.
This means when the corned beef and cabbage is finished cooking, you won’t have to fish the spices out of the liquid, pick them off the meat, or worse out of your teeth. No one wants to wants to bite into a peppercorn midway through the meal! Instead, you can just remove the spice pouch from the slow cooker in one go.
All you need is pair of scissors, a roll of cheesecloth (Buy at Walmart, $6.27), and some kitchen twine (Buy at Walmart, $8.87) Watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to easily make a spice pouch.
Also, if you want to get the most out of the seasoning mix, try blooming the spices before wrapping them in the cheesecloth by gently cooking them in a dry pan on a medium-low flame on the stove until they’re toasted. This only takes a few minutes, but it will deepen the flavors of the spices and make your corned beef and cabbage the best it’s ever tasted!
When it’s time for dinner, slice the meat and serve on a large platter with the rest of the vegetables. These simple tricks will not only ensure that your corned beef and cabbage tastes amazing, but also help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the St. Patrick’s Day festivities!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.
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