Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: A St. Patrick's Day classic, minus the mush

By JANINE GILBERTSON March 13. 2018 11:53PM
All the flavor without the mush: Slow-cooked corned beef brisket, served with roasted carrots, potatoes and Brussels sprouts. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, which means beef briskets, cabbages, potatoes and carrots are piled high in the grocery, ready and waiting to be made into a boiled dinner.

Even though I’m part Irish, I’ve kind of broken up with the classic corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner. The blubbery, mushy brisket didn’t seem appealing to me and my kids didn’t like the soggy cabbage and potatoes, so it seemed a waste to make a dinner no one enjoyed.

What if there was another way to utilize the fixings for a corned beef and cabbage dinner without boiling everything together?

I thought about a sheet-pan meal. Maybe I could slice the uncooked brisket into pieces, then add it to a sheet pan with cut carrots, potatoes and onions and replace the cabbage with Brussels sprouts, and then roast it all.

I did a little reading and decided that while that approach would work for the veggies, the meat may not come out very well: Brisket needs a long time to cook in order for it to be fork tender.

Slow-cooker to the rescue.

I added the brisket to a slow-cooker, seasoned it and let it cook overnight. When it came close to dinner time, I roasted the veggies in a sheet pan lined with parchment. When they were done, I plated everything together, served it and waited to see what would happen.

This method produced delicious vegetables and a juicy, tender brisket. It had less fat too since the veggies were not floating around in the same water used to cook the meat. And since the traditional soggy cabbage had been replaced by roasted sprouts, there were no looks of displeasure at the table.

Definitely a winner.

The leftover brisket is perfect for an easy hash. You can cook up some shredded potatoes and chopped brisket, add some seasonings and you have a fast and hearty breakfast on a cold morning.

Of course, St. Patrick’s Day would not be complete without Irish soda bread. The leavening here is baking soda instead of yeast, and you can add raisins or currants as desired. Irish soda bread is excellent toasted and brushed with a little butter, then served with a hot cup of Irish tea for a quick snack.

Slow-Cooker Corned Beef Brisket

4 lb corned beef brisket, with seasoning packet

1 tsp black pepper

cooking spray

Remove the brisket from the package and rinse thoroughly. Spray a slow-cooker with cooking spray and set the brisket inside. 

Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat and cover with the lid. 

Set the cooker to low and cook overnight, or for at least 6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees. Remove from crockpot, then slice and serve.

Sheet Pan Veggies

1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, halved

4 or 5 carrots, peeled and sliced 

1 onion, roughly chopped

4 or 5 red potatoes, roughly chopped

2 tbsp olive oil 

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the vegetables on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Roast for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown. 

Remove from oven and serve.
Irish soda bread is an easy and easily adapted recipe. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Irish Soda Bread

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk (plus more if needed)

1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 425.

Add the flours, baking soda and salt to a large bowl. Gradually stir in 1 cup buttermilk, beating constantly, until dough is firm enough to be gathered into a ball. If the dough is crumbly, add up to 1/4 cup more buttermilk, 1 tbsp at a time, until it holds together. 

Fold in the raisins. 

Place the dough on a lightly floured board and pat into an 8-inch round loaf. Place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and slash a 1/2-inch deep “X” into the top of the dough with a small, sharp knife. 

Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden.

Leftover corned beef brisket combines with potatoes to make an easy hash. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Easy Hash

1 lb frozen shredded potatoes, thawed and drained

2 cups cooked corned beef, shredded

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet. 

Add the potatoes and cook for about 8 minutes, until they begin to brown. 

Add the beef and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, until the beef is heated throughout. 

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir well to combine, then remove from heat and serve.


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