Easy Recipes for Stay-at-Home-Dads: Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
In a previous post I extolled the slow cooker’s virtue as a medium to smooth the path of the stay-at-home-dad. For my part, I try to make one slow cooker meal a week for its time saving benefit as well as the leftovers for the next day’s lunch or dinner.
Here on Chicago’s NorthShore our “Slow Cooker Day” has traditionally been Thursday. If I am not toiling on a temporary contracting gig (let me know if you need any time-consuming legal research done; I can give you a great rate), sweating out some heavy-duty home improvement project (despite knowing nothing about construction I managed to redesign and reconstruct our flooded basement in three weeks), sweating in our backyard raised vegetable garden (a subject for a subsequent post) or writing the great American novel (after five tries), I early on designated Thursday as Volunteer Day. With my son now in school there are plenty of opportunities to feel like I am doing something to help out. So far I have served as a room parent (a rarity within the school: the Room Dad), a book discussion group leader, cafeteria worker (today’s task), trip chaperone, reading instructor, soccer coach and crossing guard. The tasks are also open-ended enough that I never really know when I am going to get home. Setting the timer on the slow cooker early in the morning erases, at least, one concern for the day allowing me to enjoy the task at hand.
With St. Patrick’s Day a week away I thought I would use this opportunity to give you the recipe I will actually be using on the 17th. Originally the cabbage was something my son turned his nose up at but, in the last year, he seems to have come around (or else he has been secretly feeding the dog the excess green stuff as the latter will eat just about anything).
The caveat on this one is the cooking time: if cooked slowly (which, to me, results in a tastier meal) the entire process will take about 12 hours. I, therefore, recommend all the items (with the exception of the cabbage) be combined the night before and placed in the refrigerator. First thing on the 17th you can put the refrigerated food in the cooker for 10 hours and forget about it until you have to add the cabbage. Ultimately, with a little practice with this (or any other slow cooker meal) you can play around with a combination of low and high temperatures to cut the total cooking time.
4 pound corned beef brisket (make sure you get the corned beef brisket, not a simple beef brisket as I did the first time, an event my wife still beings up)
3 onions quartered
3 full carrots cut into 3 inch pieces
½ ahead of cabbage cut into four wedges
4 potatoes halved
1 ½ cups of water
First, with the exception of the cabbage, place all the items in the slow cooker and cover.
Second, cook at low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.
Third, when the cooking time has expired add the cabbage by pushing in down into the liquid.
Fourth, cook 2 additional hours at high.
As I said, this meal has been a tradition for the holiday.
I hope you like it.