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Archive for March 17th, 2012

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It’s funny, I’ve been doing this blog for a while and not gotten much notice, far as I can tell. Then on a lark I do a post about a recipe with pictures. Hey presto, attention! So lemme continue on with that and do and even more painfully detailed recipe.

I started the corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot some time ago, so whilst that’s doing it’s thing, I’ll give you the story so far. Actually there’s no cabbage, because there wasn’t room. I can hear Mom in my head telling me I went overboard again. With love, though. And yeah, I did. I’m going to check every hour or so, and maybe if it cooks down enough I can add the cabbage. Or I can do it separately, which mightn’t be a bad idea, as it’ll retain more texture that way.

So, the recipe I started with was this one. But I did some fiddling as usual. And since I figured out how the slideshow works, I’m using that instead of pictures at each stage. Hope that works for y’all. 🙂

My crockpot corned beef and cabbage

Ingredients:
• 3 medium onions, peeled and quartered
• 1 roughly cut leek
• 1 lb roughly cut carrot
• 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
• 4 cloves of garlic

• salt (or salt substitute if on low sodium regimen)
• pepper
• dried garlic flakes
• parsley
• thyme
• pickling spice
• 1 bay leaf
• cardamom (eighth to quarter of a teaspoon)

• 2 chicken bouillon packets

• 3-4 lbs corned beef brisket, with pickling spice
• 4 strips of bacon, cut in half across

• 1 pint of beer
• Some shakes of Worcestershire sauce

• 1 small cabbage, cut in wedges (optional)

Directions:
Cut up the onions, leeks, carrots, potatoes and garlic. Put in the crockpot and mix them up a bit so they’re distributed.

Add spices. I used dried. If you want to use fresh parsley, rough chop and throw in. And for thyme, I’d just throw in a couple of sprigs/stems whole, then fish them out before eating. I didn’t have bay leaf handy, so didn’t add it. Several recipes I’ve seen, though, recommend it. The cardamom was a whim, since pickling spice has coriander and ginger and allspice and other sweet spices, and I thought I’d give it a go.

I had a couple of low sodium packets, so I added them. Not necessary, though.

Maybe I should have trimmed off the excess fat from brisket, but I figured I could skim it off later. Fat is flavor, after all. But if you want to remove it beforehand, be my guest.

Take the pickling spice packet that comes with the corned beef and throw the contents into the crockpot. Then put the brisket on top of the vegetables. Put the bacon strips across the brisket. Only added the bacon ’cause I’d opened the packet a while back, and had the four strips left. Decided to use it now, because otherwise I’d likely forget and they might go bad.

Pour the beer over the whole lot. Add water to cover. If you want to use broth instead, that’s fine.

Because I went crazy with the vegetables, the liquid doesn’t completely cover the brisket. I’m hoping it’ll be OK. Maybe I’ll flip it over in a while.

As far as the vegetables, you might want to use half as much. The original recipe called for about a cup of each vegetable, and I added more like a pound each. But I like to fill up the crockpot, and get as many meals out of it in each go. Change it around if you like. I’ve seen recipes that have turnips or rutabagas. I’m not fond of them, but if you are, one or two would probably work instead of, say, carrots.

As I mentioned before, and you can see from the pictures, I couldn’t fit the cabbage. It’s a pain to cut, even with the big knife. But I have a big head of it, and it’ll get used one way or another.

I put the crockpot on high, and will check it after about 4 to 5 hours. If you use the low setting, double the cooking time.

I’ll inform you of the results when the polls close. 🙂

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The Jungle Trail is on Orchid Island, about 10 miles north of Vero Beach, in the southeastern part of the state.

It was created in the 1920’s, to speed the movement of citrus to mainland packinghouses. Part of it goes through the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, which was the first national wildlife refuge created in the United States. It is also a National Historic Landmark. President Theodore Roosevelt established it on March 14, 1903. Both the Jungle Trail and the Refuge are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See more photos here.

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