Items you will need
- Bay leaves
- Minced garlic
- Beer, chicken broth or water
- Instant-read thermometer
- Slotted spoon
Corned beef is strongly associated with a certain Irish holiday, giving rise to the conclusion that it must be difficult to prepare if people turn to it only once a year. In fact, a flat-cut corned beef brisket is incredibly simple to prepare, especially if you put it in a slow cooker. Brisket comes from the chest, or underside, of a cow, so it's a tough piece of meat that needs slow, steady cooking to become tender. Make this dish once and you might be tempted to revel in your inner Irish on a regular basis.
Set the slow cooker on “low” while you prepare the meat and vegetables. Rinse the three-pound corned beef brisket and the vegetables and set them on paper towels. Turn to the traditional favorite of onion, carrots and potatoes, but with a twist: a combination of Russets, Yukon golds and red potatoes. Slice the vegetables into bite-size pieces.
Place the vegetables at the bottom of the slow cooker. Set the corned beef on top, then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. For seasoning, add several bay leaves, a dash of peppercorns and some minced garlic.
Learn how Irish you really are by adding enough liquid to cover the corned beef brisket, with a little room to spare. Irish beer is a natural choice, but try a nonalcoholic beer, if you like. Or use chicken broth or water. Cover the slow cooker and cook the corned beef for about eight hours. Check on it occasionally through the glass. If the liquid recedes, add more.
Cut up another natural addition – cabbage – and add it to the slow cooker about 30 minutes before the dish should be done. Submerge the cabbage in the liquid and turn the setting to “high.”
Remove the corned beef from the slow cooker and check its internal temperature, if you wish. It should read at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the corned beef against the grain – an important step that will ensure easy slicing. Remove the vegetables and potatoes with a slotted spoon and serve.
Spoil your guests with a side dish of fried, crumbled bacon pieces to top the cabbage.