Dang! Did it sneak up on you, too? “Holidays” like St. Patrick’s Day always have a way of showing up on my calendar without much notice. This probably has something to do with the fact that I am not Irish, and as such, do not always have a big shindig to attend with green beer, colcannon, and pots of gold. No dancing a jig for me, so I regularly forget about it until it’s right in front of me!
One year we were lucky enough to have one of my cousins in town for the big beer-soaked day. He was traveling for work, and I knew that if he were home he’d be with family, wearing green and having a beer or two. See, this cousin is from the Irish side of the family (by marriage for me), so he grew up with all thing Irish, food included. I knew that he would likely be missing out, so I made sure to get him to my house for a home-cooked Irish meal.
Of course, given that whole “sneaking up on me” thing I mentioned above, there was no corned beef to be found at the local grocery stores by the time I got around to shopping just 2 days before St. Patrick’s Day! Crap. So I did the next best thing and made lamb with mint and other Irish-type menu items. It was a success, and we tipped a pint (or 3) together on the big day.
However, I am a bit of a purist and I was used to corned beef being served when the big green-wearing day came around. Traditional Jiggs Dinners were a-plenty given the dearth of Catholic churches in the area, so corned beef, cabbage and potatoes were available around every corner.
As I’ve grown older, and not a bit wiser I’m sure, I always have great intentions to have a traditional Corned Beef dinner for the big day, no matter which day of the week it falls on. Finally this year I was fortunate enough to get the star of the meal on my grocery list in time to grab up a couple of these beef cuts before the last-minute rush. And because I was so proud of myself for actually planning far enough ahead, I made one of those tasty cuts ahead of time too. Yay for Corned Beef on a regular old night!
While I would love to think that I also planned far enough ahead to make the whole thing from scratch, brining time included, I was obviously not THAT organized. Enter my trusty crock pot. If you’ve read other posts here at My Midlife Kitchen, it’s very possible you’ve heard me wax poetic about my love for the trusty crock pot in my kitchen. It’s so versatile that I decided to give it a shot with this meal as well. And lucky me, it served up the most juicy, flavorful and tasty Corned Beef I can remember having! Served with a side of my own twist on Colcannon (another traditional Irish dish), it was a feast for the two of us.
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