Growing up, I always looked forward to having corned beef and cabbage for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It was one of those staple meals I could count on my grandmother to make. I think I only really started to appreciate it (and miss it) as I got older. I went off to college and then began working full-time and it wasn’t until 2013 that I realized it had been about a decade since I had ate corned beef and cabbage.
St. Patrick’s Day Dinner
On a whim shopping trip that year I saw corned beef was on special. I grabbed a pack and a head of cabbage and decided on the spot I would make my own corned beef and cabbage (or sometimes as we called it ‘Jiggs Dinner’) for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve kept the tradition every year since, this year being no exception.
In addition to the corned beef, you only need a few other ingredients: a head of cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Cabbage is super cheap, especially around St. Patrick’s day. Last year I bought one head of cabbage for less than $1. You can buy baby carrots or regular carrots and chop them up. For the potatoes, I prefer to buy Yukon Gold Potatoes and chop each one into four equal pieces.
The seasoning packet is key. I wanted to recreate grandma’s recipe, but you see hers was more based on memory. I asked her around 2012 for the recipe and she didn’t have an actual recipe in her recipe box. Her advice was to just cook the corned beef with the seasonings in a pan and add some vegetables later. I was worried I was going to mess that up.
St. Patrick’s Day Dinner
I searched online for a way to make corned beef and cabbage in a crock pot. Martha Stewart had a simple recipe, so I used that, with the inspiration of Grandma’s meal to guide me. About five hours later we enjoyed the delicacy. Overall, I was really pleased with how it came out the first year I made it. I have made corned beef and cabbage in a slow cooker every year since.
Each year I pair the meal with some of Cleveland’s own – Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Conway’s Irish Ale – which is quite fitting. I have enough leftover meals for several days, and for once, I actually look forward to eating leftovers. It’s so nice to carry on this St. Patrick’s Day tradition. Someday I hope our daughter, too, will appreciate this meal for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner.
Do you have a special food you eat for St. Patrick’s Day dinner?
*This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.