Posts Tagged ‘cabbage’

Colcannon and soup

So when I made my corned beef and cabbage, I added so many other veggies to the crockpot that I had no room for the cabbage. Therefore the head I bought sat in the fridge unused for many days. I stumbled on the recipe for Colcannon, and being an Irish boy and never having made it, I went for it.

I started with this recipe as a base. I had to up the quantities, since I went with half the head to use it up. I could have used more, but I didn’t know how much I’d like it, so didn’t want to make that much.

As it turned out, I did rather like it. The most expensive bit is the butter, but for the amount you use versus the total amount of food that you get, it’s not bad at all. I managed to fill a 9×13 pan, and ate it on and off for days afterwards. I know, though, for next time to chop the cabbage more finely, like cole slaw. I was lazy, and wound up with large shreds. I think it’ll be better with the potatoes and cabbage more evenly distributed.

The other half of the cabbage. Well, it sat in the fridge even longer. I finally realized I needed to do something with it, since parts were going black. So I did a cream of various vegetables soup. Cut off the black bits, chopped up the cabbage, then some other vegetables, sauteed them a bit, made a roux, added the veggies and some spices, added beef stock and water to cover, then the milk to make it creamy. I’d not made a cream soup in a while, and wanted something different than your standard clear soup.

Result? A very large pot of soup of which I still have some frozen servings. You might want to take some Beano before eating a large amount of cabbage, by the way. Your loved ones will thank you.

Sorry for not giving a recipe for the soup, but there wasn’t one. I’ve made various types of soup so often, I don’t really need one. For a specialized soup like French Onion, yeah, but  a generic soup like what I made, not so much. Soup is one of my go-to foods for refrigerator cleanout. Whatever you have in the fridge that you’re afraid might go bad soon, chop it up and throw it in a pot with some spices and water and/or stock (and maybe some wine), cook for a while and you have soup. If you want, there’s a gazillion recipes you can find on the web. But making soup isn’t advanced calculus.

If you don’t already, try making it on a semi-regular basis. Depending on what you use, it can provide many inexpensive and nutrituous and filling meals. Or occasionally expensive, if you want to go fancy now and then.

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The verdict is in and the jury says… OK.

First problem is I don’t think I had it on high setting initially, so it took longer to cook than I thought. When it was done finally, I tasted it and it wasn’t bad. Not as fantastic as I thought it would be, but pretty good. Way better than the crockpot baked bean fiasco, that’s for sure. Perhaps it was because I had so many vegetables, so I had to add lots of water, and it diluted the flavor. I should have cut the potatoes into smaller chunks. Everything got cooked alright, the potatoes should just have been in more bite sized pieces.

The corned beef was cooked through, but cut better after it had cooled some. It does shrink, so I’ll get a larger one next time. Might use it to make corned beef hash and sandwiches later on in the week.

Still, I got 7 20-oz tupperware containers full, not including the corned beef. And then there’s still an entire head of cabbage I didn’t use. Maybe I’ll give colcannon a shot, I’ve got plenty of other potatoes.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

• 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)

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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