Corned Beef in the Crock Pot

Corned Beef in the Crock Pot

We had our St. Patrick’s Day dinner a little early because for some reason the school decided to schedule a roller skating party on the holiday. At least this might inspire some of you who are getting ready to make your corned beef to try it this way!

I like to slow cook it all day, and I actually cook the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots separately. (Do you see carrots in the photo? Neither do I. That’s because I forgot to cook them! There’s a huge bag sitting in my fridge feeling very slighted.) While normally I love to throw everything in the crock pot at once, I don’t care for the way the cabbage and other vegetables taste cooked with the corned beef. I prefer to roast them. You can prepare yours however you like, but I recommend roasting the cabbage if you’ve never tried it.

**Here is my post from last year on roasting cabbage. Give it a try! I’m not even a big fan of cabbage and this method is a game changer. This year I decided to adjust it a little bit. It came out even better! I used olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, and a little brown sugar sprinkled on each side and rubbed in. It was a perfect! **

As far as the corned beef goes, I have combined some recipes I’ve tried over the last few years. Here is recipe!

Corned Beef in the Crock Pot
by Zim on a Whim

3-4 lb. Corned Beef Brisket with seasoning packet (I buy the Flat Cut)
2 small or 1 large onion, cut up into small chunks
1 fennel bulb, sliced
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
Spice packet that comes with the meat
1 bottle of dark beer like Guinness

1. Rinse the meat and cut off excess fat. (I try to get most of it off except for a very thin layer.) Pat dry.
2. Place onions, fennel, and garlic into the bottom of the crock pot. Lay the meat on top of them, fat side up.
3. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, garlic, dijon mustard, soy sauce, and spice packet. Pour over the meat.
4. Add in 1 bottle of Guinness beer. (If you prefer not to use the beer, you can add beef broth instead.)
5. Cook on low for about 7 hours. Slice against the grain and enjoy!

Note: If you would rather cook your cabbage, potatoes, and carrots with the meat, then place the potatoes and carrots on the bottom with the onion and fennel. After you put the meat in, then place cabbage quarters around the meat before pouring the beer over everything. Like I said, I’m not a fan of the outcome, so I roast everything separately.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Breadstick Shamrocks

Breadstick Shamrocks | Zim on a Whim

Gather ’round me lads and lasses! I have such an easy treat for you to make just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. It is easy enough that even the kids can help. This comes from an old issue of Family Fun Magazine. Give it a try!

All you need is:
1 can Pillsbury Breadsticks dough (original) – 11 oz./12 breadsticks*
Green decorating sugar

*1 can of breadsticks makes 3 shamrocks, so if you need more buy accordingly.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment (preferred) or use a non-stick ungreased baking sheet.

Separate breadsticks. For each you will need 3  1/2 pieces.

Holding both ends of one piece, slightly stretch and twist. Form a heart shape.

Breadstick Shamrocks - Step 1

Make 3 hearts for each shamrock. Arrange on baking sheet to form the “leaves”, making sure to pinch together in the center to adhere to each other. Half of the sides of the hearts should touch. Take half of another breadstick and twist, forming the stem. Give it a little curve. Press the stem into the center of the hearts.

Breadstick Shamrocks - Step 2

Sprinkle some cinnamon on your shamrocks, and then the green sugar. Your sugar might not stick in some spots after the cinnamon, so you can dab a tiny bit of water in those areas as needed. Just use your finger so you don’t get too much water on there…you just want to dab or smooth it on.

Breadstick Shamrocks - Step 3

Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Check after 13 minutes…mine took about 15 to get nice and golden brown.

Let it cool before handling so it doesn’t come apart on you or you will have bad luck for 7 years! Just kidding. You’ll have a bunch of sad little green hearts.

If you’d like to see a couple more posts for St. Patrick’s Day, check out the Irish Beef Stew and my St. Patrick’s Day Ombre Cupcakes!

Erin Go Bragh!

Simple Roasted Cabbage

I never liked cooked cabbage. Growing up, we’d occasionally have stuffed cabbage and I’d usually ditch the soggy, slimy cabbage leaf wrapped around that meat goodness. As I got older I went from totally ditching it to reluctantly picking at it. It wasn’t until I made my corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day that I discovered a new way to prepare it…one that I actually like! I’m really starting to believe that the best way to enjoy fresh vegetables is to roast them. If your attitude toward cooked cabbage can be summed up by a “Meh.” than I recommend roasting it. What have you got to lose? Now if you fall below the “Meh.” opinion line and despise cabbage in all forms, just move along…I’m sure there’s a cupcake recipe around here…

For those of you who want to give it a go, (way to hang in there!) take a fresh head of cabbage and remove a few leaves from the outside. Just the big, loose ones that would have some dirt on them…about 2 or 3. Rinse the head of cabbage to wash off any remaining debris and pat dry. Grab a big baking sheet and set aside. Cut your cabbage into 1/2″ slices. Try to keep them all the same thickness for even roasting. Keep the core on top when slicing so that they don’t fall apart. The core will hold most slices together.

Arrange the slices on your baking sheet. Depending on the size of your head of cabbage you may need a second baking sheet. For a medium-sized head of cabbage, you need about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Liberally brush olive oil on one side and season with salt and pepper (I am generous with the seasoning, especially the pepper, and the olive oil should coat the whole slice.) Carefully turn over the slices and repeat with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. I use a silicone pastry brush for the olive oil, but you can drizzle it on and coat the slices with your hands.

Roast in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, then using tongs carefully flip the slices and roast for an additional 20 minutes for a total roasting time of 40-45 minutes.

Tip: Grab the end with the core when turning and removing from pan so they don’t fall apart.

The core is not good eatin’ so you can do one of two things: Either remove it before serving and not serve the slices intact, or tell your hungry cabbage participants to just cut it off if you want to serve it sliced.

Your challenge this week should you choose to accept it…is to try roasted cabbage! If you still don’t like it, then you’ve tried your best and you’ve done all you can do. I’ll never mention it again. (If you like roasted cabbage, let the skeptics know. The cabbage needs all the support it can get.)

Save the really brown and crispy pieces for me, ok? 🙂