St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and it seems that most holidays are synonymous with food. Turkey dominates Thanksgiving, ham is usually served on Easter, and St. Patrick’s Day conjures up visions of deliciously seasoned corned beef and boiled cabbage. Some also equate “kegs and eggs” with St. Patrick’s Day fare, especially if you are an all-day party animal and St. Patrick’s Day is your jam.
Now, I don’t know about you, but before kids, St. Patrick’s Day meant pub crawling until the wee hours of the morning. Fast forward eight years or so and the only things I am doing in the wee hours of the morning are sleeping or lying in bed listening to little footsteps heading toward my bedroom, praying that they will turn back around and go back to their own room so Mommy can get a few more hours of sleep without someone’s foot in her rib cage.
At any rate, people need to eat. If you are a Mom, you know this because your children are constantly asking you for snacks. But really, what better way to introduce your kids to different cultures than through the foods they eat and some of the fun traditions around the holiday?
For St. Patrick’s Day, we like to wear green, listen to Irish music, watch an Irish dance performance, and eat corned beef and cabbage. Taking part in the food culture of the holiday is not only a great way to celebrate our differences, but it also shows our little ones that there is more to life than chicken fingers and hot dogs.
The recipe below tends to find its way onto my table more than once a year and the kids gobble it up. It calls for limited ingredients, is really quick and easy to put together, and the kids actually eat it — which is a rarity in my house as my 3-year old comes to the table on any given day, looks at his plate and says, “I don’t like it” and walks away. I even changed my own Mother’s mind about cabbage with this recipe. She happened to be over one night when I was making it as a side dish and wrinkled her nose at first, but told me she would try it. When she tasted it she admitted that she did, in fact, like it.
The fun part about the cabbage is that purple cabbage is called for and it is an unexpected surprise when it arrives on the table. Your kids will wonder how on earth cabbage ever got to be purple (the topic tends to dominate our dinner conversation along with the fun way you get to eat it).
A quick word about the recipe as it is written for the crockpot: If you are a little gun-shy about using the crockpot due to the recent episode you watched of “This Is Us,” you can also just make the same recipe on the stovetop in a big pot, though you may have to add some liquid as it cooks down.
If you make the recipe, please leave a comment. I would love to hear how your family felt about it and how easy/hard/time-consuming you found it.
- 1 corned beef brisket (I prefer flat cut as it is less fatty than point cut)
- ½ spice packet that the brisket comes with
- 1 bottle of your favorite beer (you can substitute beef broth for beer)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ bulb garlic cloves peeled
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns (optional)
- Put all of the above ingredients into the crockpot and add enough water to cover the meat. Cover the crockpot, set it to Low/10 hrs and let everything cook. Serve when ready! This recipe can easily be doubled.
- I like to serve this with Irish Soda bread and the cabbage recipe below.
- 1 head purple cabbage
- Cooking spray
- Garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the outer leafs of the cabbage and cut the stem off. Slice the cabbage into circles or discs (aka: the shape of a hockey puck). Prepare a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray (I use olive oil spray). Place the discs on the sprayed surface. Spray the disc that is face up and then season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cabbage is done when it is golden brown and a fork comes out easily. Use a spatula to serve as it will fall apart. To eat, twirl from the center like you would when eating spaghetti. The kids love to eat it this way!