For some All Saint's Day is full of religion, prayer and ritual. This is somewhat true at my home, somewhat. When my family speaks of All Saints Day, we are referring to November 1st, just as are all the rest but with a HUGE difference; we watch Boondock Saints I and II and eat great food and drink.
A few months ago I was watching this documentary about something (I watch documentaries quite a bit to learn and cannot always remember what they are titled or the main gist of it) Irish. There was a wonderful aged Irish woman who spoke a wonderful combination of Irish and English who was dishing out food onto plates for her family. One of those dishes was corned beef and cabbage. NOT an Irish dish (technically speaking) because looking back into history you will find that the Irish spent more time eating potatoes (or nothing) than beef and if beef were present more than likely used the beef to pay their landlords....it's a theory but a good one I just thought up at this very moment and NOT to be used as a true fact. I bet they did pay their rent in beef! Just sayin'.
Either way, salting the beef (or corned beef) in America is considered an Irish thing, and my family loves it. Apparently I've been serving it wrong all of these years but will NEVER do so again, I swear!
Well, the cooking process was correct, but the serving was wrong. The aged woman in the documentary had somehow shredded the cabbage (which I tried and that didn't go over so well) and mixed the shredded corned beef with the cooked cabbage, pepper, shredded carrots and shallots (green onion).
When I took a bite of this it was as if an entirely new world of delicious had been born in my mouth! My daughter doesn't usually go for seconds....SHE WAS ON ROUND THREE by the time I got to round 2! She was not having small portions either, these were HEAPING bowls of Deeee-vinity!
Here are the steps to achieving the most amazing thing I've ever put in my mouth:
1) Place corned beef in crock pot and fill with water to 1 inch from rim, cook on low. This can be started before you go to work in the morning. If someone is at home during the day, have them rotate the meat halfway through the day for more even cooking.
2) Use a grater to grate piles of carrots. I had a huge bag of baby carrots and still feel I didn't grate enough, there is no such thing as too many grated carrots, seriously NEVER too may carrots that are grated.
3) Grate or thinly chop up one head of cabbage per piece of corned beef. I might even say that however many pieces of corned beef you are cooking add one head of cabbage plus one more. Again you cannot have too much cabbage.
4) Shallots, or green onion, I used one bunch this time but if we were to add more cabbage as I have suggested then you might want two or three bunches.
5) Grind that pepper baby!!
6) When corned beef is cooked, remove the meat into a bowl to cool slightly, pour the liquid into a large pot and add the cabbage, carrots, shallots and pepper. There won't be enough liquid from the crock pot for this so you will have to add water to make sure the veggies are covered, but not drowning.
|Looks ready for a couple pieces of bread for a sandwich as well!|
Bring to a roiling boil for about five minutes. You want them not quite blanched or "al dente" but not over cooked, you know....just right and stuff.
While this miracle of boiling is happening, turn your attention back to the lovely corned beef and begin shredding it with forks. It's super easy because the meat is just begging to be shredded. Once you have it all shredded, add to the boiling wonder that is the cabbage, carrots, shallots and pepper.
Let the boil have it's way with your meat and veggies for a moment. Remove from heat, grasp your tongs firmly and tong servings of the most delicious corned beef and cabbage you will EVER eat into bowls.
Because this was so amazing, I didn't bother making soda bread or cornbread or whatever, this dish and Bushmills was sufficient. Yes, Bushmills is so very excellent with this and I recommend it. If you aren't into that, very strong tea would be awesome as well.
Did I mention it was All Saint's Day? Yes, the movies were excellent and fun. But for the 2013 All Saint's Day we really outdid ourselves. I'd love to hear if anyone else does this annual celebration and if so how do you celebrate? If you don't, will you please join my family in 2014?
Untill next time......Sláinte my people!!