A site for sore tastebuds and a woeful wallet

This Is The Stuff That Makes St. Patrick’s Day A Celebration

It’s the feast my family waits for every March 17th.  I have to make this a few other times in the year too.  It’s just too good not to have more than once a year.  I’ve done it so much it’s almost no effrort at all anymore.  The Crock Pot is this diva’s best friend when putting this meal together.  I almost need a bigger one!  I had a pretty good size brisket to begin.  I like to place the brisket fat side up in the crock.  For some reason the meat turns out a bit more tender and it doesn’t seem to shrink as much that way.  It tends to want to float in the stock better with the fat on top.  I add enough water to cover the meat but leave enough room for about a dozen and a half of quartered new potatoes.  The weight of the potatoes pushes down on the meat helping to submerge it a while longer.  The brisket comes with a little packet of herbs and spices; peppercorns, mustard seeds, thyme, corriander, even mint.  All this takes the dish to a higher level of flavor, so it is essential to add it even though they say the meat is already fully seasoned.   I set the heat on high at first for about an hour.  When steam collects in the lid and fat and albumin rise to the top, I turn it down to low.  Now there’s about six hours to get other things done. 

After six hours, it’s time to address the cabbage.  I chop that into wedges and place them into another pot on the stove.  I’ve borrowed some stock from the crock pot to steam the cabbage with all the same mouth-watering flavors of the brisket and potatoes.  Something I’ve done since I was a little girl watching my grandma  and mother cook, is cut up the core of the cabbage into thin slices, salt them and eat them like chips.  My girls now do the same thing.  Funny.  It’s hard not to nibble on something after smelling this delicious food for six hours!  It’s got to be healthy.  The cabbage needs a little bit more liquid so I put in about a cup and a half of plain water and bring it back to a boil with the lid on.  So while the cabbage steams, it’s time to get the brisket on a plate to rest.  About 20 minutes is  a good amount of time to allow the juices to redistribute within.  The cabbage is almost done so I turn the flame way down while I turn to the other counter and trim the fat away from the meat.  There is quite a bit of fat!  But once I get rid of it, what is left is a lean and juicy thing.  This gets sliced across the grain into 1/8 inch slices.  Just look how tender it is!  I want to keep it that way so I pour some juice from the pot over it.  It’s time to assemble this platter now so I fish out all the potatoes and put them on one side, I use a slotted spoon to scoop up the cabbage and put it on the other side of the platter.  Last but not least the brisket goes neatly down the middle and I ladle on some more juice, sprinkle it with some parsley and pepper, and now we are ready to celebrate the Feast of  St. Patrick.  Bless these gifts of our Lord’s bounty!


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