Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Enjoy an Irish Meal

I cook Corned Beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes every St. Patrick's Day! I don't use the packet of spices usually included with the corned beef because the spices make the broth and vegetables too spicy for my taste. Most supermarkets sell cured corned beef in a flat-cut beef brisket, usually 3-4 pounds each.

If you have a larger family or would like to have corned beef left over for sandwiches or corned beef hash you may want to cook two briskets.

I mix Watkins Chicken Soup and Gravy Base with the water to make a more flavorful broth. For tender corned beef, cook the brisket covered with broth in a Dutch Oven over low heat for 3-4 hours depending on the size of your roast. Cook until fork tender. Or cook the brisket in broth in the oven in a covered baking pan or dish at 300 degrees F for 3-5 hours depending on the size of the roast. Bake until a fork slips easily in and out of meat.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Use a flat-cut corned beef brisket, not a point-cut; it’s more uniform in shape and thus will cook more evenly. When slicing the raw cabbage into wedges, leave the core intact or the cabbage will fall apart during cooking.

(4- to 5-pound) corned beef brisket roast or 2 smaller roasts, rinsed, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick
4 cups chicken broth made from 4 cups boiling water and 3 tablespoons Watkins Chicken Soup and Gravy Base
4 cups water
12 carrots, peeled (3 chopped, 9 halved crosswise) or one large package of peeled mini carrots (Adjust the amount of carrots according to your family's tastes.)
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon Watkins Thyme
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes or peeled russet potatoes cut into large chunks
1 head green cabbage (2 pounds), cut into 8 (2-inch) wedges
Watkins Granulated Black Pepper

  1. Oven Cooking Method - Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine beef, broth, water, chopped carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme in a Dutch oven or large covered baking dish. Cover and bake until fork slips easily in and out of meat, 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Stove-Top Cooking Method - Combine beef, broth, water, chopped carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil watching so the pot does not boil over. Reduce heat to a simmer over low heat and cook for 3-5 hours depending on size of roast.
  2. When tender, transfer meat to a baking dish. Strain cooking liquid through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl, discard solids, and skim fat from liquid. Pour 1 cup cooking liquid over meat. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, return remaining cooking liquid to Dutch oven, add butter, and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Add more chicken broth if needed. Then add potatoes and carrots and simmer until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add cabbage to potatoes and carrots, cover, and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. When vegetables are fork tender transfer to a serving platter.
  4. Transfer beef to carving board and slice against grain into slices. Serve with vegetables. Serve with broth and mustard. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Irish Soda Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons Watkins Baking Powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup raisins
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon Watkins Original Grapeseed Oil or canola oil

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Stir in raisins. Set aside 1 tablespoon beaten egg. In a bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil and remaining eggs; stir into flour mixture just until moistened (dough will be sticky). Transfer to a greased 9-inch round baking pan; brush top with reserved egg.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool. Cut into wedges. Yield: 1 loaf (12 wedges).

Serve with Corned Beef and Cabbage for a complete meal. Or serve warm bread with butter and jam and a cup of coffee or tea. Bread also goes well with Irish Potato Soup or Beef Barley Soup.

Irish Cream Cake

1 cup chopped pecans
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup Watkins Original Grapeseed Oil or canola oil
3/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over bottom of pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in eggs, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup oil and 3/4 cup Irish cream liqueur. Beat for 2-3 minutes at high speed. Pour batter over nuts in pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto the serving dish. Prick top and sides of cake. Spoon glaze over top and brush onto sides of cake. Allow to absorb glaze repeat until all glaze is used up.
  4. To make the glaze In a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur. Gradually spoon over cake so the glaze is absorbed. Use a pastry brush to make sure all sides are covered.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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