Sunday, March 18, 2007

Nothing Fancy Here

Just a St. Patrick's Day dinner that will put a smile on your face and a 'Holy crap, that was good!' kind of feeling in your gut.

Step 1: In a piece of cheesecloth, put a couple dozen peppercorns, a bulb of garlic that's been cut in half horizontally (the cheesecloth keeps the skin from going all over the place), and a couple bay leaves. And, no, I don't think the bay leaves add any flavor. It's all a scam cooked up by the bay leaf industry. Still...why risk it? Tie it all up with a piece of twine.

Step 2: Throw your corned beef (or boilable meat of your choosing) into a large pot. Cover with water. Throw in the aforementioned cheesecloth bag. and bring it all to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Or until it's cooked...duh.

Step 3: In a large baking dish, put a bunch of carrots, cut into what I call bite-sized pieces (see photo), some butter potatoes (cut in half), and one large, roughly chopped onion. Drizzle with olive oil. Season to taste with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and thyme.

Step 4: Throw the vegetables into a 400 degree oven when you've got about an hour or so left on the meat.

Step 5: Fifteen minutes before the meat is done, toss is some cabbage. One quarter head per person should suffice (depends how much you all like cabbage, I guess). Make sure you cut through the middle of the stem (or whatever the stalky stem-like thing on a head of cabbage is called), so it can hold the leaves together.

Step 6: When the meat is done cooking, slice it across the grain. Chop up some cabbage. Scoop out some veggies. Malt vinegar on the cabbage is a must. As is the pint of Guinness to wash it all down with.

Step 7: Eat. Drink. Be merry.

And, yeah, the kids had macaroni and cheese. Sue me.