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Slow cooker corned beef dinner: The easiest St. Patrick's Day meal ever

Mariko has been married for 28 years to master carpenter "Bob the Builder", who she brags "really can fix anything". She home-schooled three kids K-12 and is now mother-in-law to two more, with one incredibly adorable grandson. They all ...

Throw the corned beef, cabbage and veggies into the slow cooker for a traditional feast that takes minutes to prep

There's nothing better than coming home to a dinner that's ready to eat and the house smelling like heaven. This traditional St. Paddy's Day recipe is pretty enough for company and so delicious you will be craving it year-round.

There are some kitchen appliances a busy family just can’t do without, and a slow cooker is probably at the top of that list. There’s nothing better than popping in a few ingredients before leaving for the day, then coming home to a house filled with the wonderful scent of dinner, all ready to feast on. And if you have a memory like mine (meaning a lack of one), nine times out of 10 I don’t remember I even put dinner in until I walk in the door and the house smells like heaven. It’s always a nice surprise.

When it comes to kitchen appliances, I have had some good luck and some bad. I’ve owned my $19 rice cooker since I moved into my first apartment at the tender age of 19. It’s still going strong more than 30 years later — actually 32, to be exact.

Same goes with my trusted slow cooker. Some generous wedding guests gifted us a high-quality slow cooker 30 years ago, and even though there was nothing wrong with it, I decided it was looking a little worn out and a little too “vintage” to be sitting on my counter, so I recently re-gifted it to the thrift store.

Throw the corned beef, cabbage and veggies into the slow cooker for a traditional feast that takes minutes to prep
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

After saying my goodbyes, I paid a visit to my neighborhood Sur La Table store to take a peek at what I would buy next and almost fainted when I read the price tags. When I recovered my senses, I simply walked out. I naively thought I could just pop over to my local Tar-jay, get a cheap slow cooker and at the very least get 10 years out of it. Boy, was I wrong! Inexpensive rice cookers may outlive you, but I was soon to discover slow cookers were a whole different animal.

I couldn’t be more disappointed in that cheap little slow cooker. It’s already packed up and ready for the next thrift shop drop-off. The parts are made of cheap plastic, the hinges are already loosening up after just a few uses, and every time I lift the lid, I feel like it’s going to fall off. Taking my experience into consideration, I have to conclude that a quality slow cooker is one of those kitchen appliances you should look at as an investment, sort of like an oven or dishwasher.

Throw the corned beef, cabbage and veggies into the slow cooker for a traditional feast that takes minutes to prep
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

Now that we've got that sorted out, let's get on with the meal. Break out that slow cooker, because this corned beef, cabbage and vegetable dinner cooks all together for one of the easiest St. Paddy's Day meals ever. And it's one of our family’s all-time favorites.

The meat is so juicy and tender it literally feels like it's melting in your mouth. Serve it on your prettiest dishes for a holiday meal, or enjoy it reheated the next day for lunch. We rarely have leftovers, and when we do, it's amazing in the morning with eggs.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do and turn it into a St. Patrick’s Day family tradition!

Throw the corned beef, cabbage and veggies into the slow cooker for a traditional feast that takes minutes to prep
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

Cooking notes: Corned beef typically comes packaged with a spice packet, which I have tried using just once. My family doesn’t prefer the strong taste of this packet, so I don’t use it. I find that the meat has a rich and complex flavor with no need for any other spices (not even salt and pepper), and slow-cooking creates a rich broth. This tasty broth will saturate the vegetables, so again, no seasonings required. I promise you will be amazed at how much flavor the meat infuses into this whole dish.

For morning people, I recommend starting no later than 6 a.m., adding the veggies at 4 p.m., which means you will be serving around 6 p.m. However if, like me, you are a night owl, then start before bed (11 p.m.), add the veggies around 9 a.m., and turn off the cooker around 11 a.m. to transfer to a platter to save for an early afternoon dinner.

Throw the corned beef, cabbage and veggies into the slow cooker for a traditional feast that takes minutes to prep
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

Slow cooker corned beef and cabbage with vegetables recipe

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 12 hours | Total time: 12 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large corned beef (brisket or round)
  • Enough water to cover the corned beef
  • 1 cup white wine or 1 bottle beer
  • 8 small or 6 large red potatoes
  • 8 small or 4 large carrots
  • 1 medium head cabbage

Directions:

  1. Place your corned beef into a large slow cooker. Pour in the wine (or beer), and cover with water. Cover, and cook on low for 10 hours.
  2. Halve small potatoes or quarter large ones, chop carrots into large chunks, and slice cabbage into wedges so that each slice has some of the stem end remaining. This will help each cabbage wedge stay together for serving. Add the veggies, pushing them into the liquid as much as possible, then cook another 2 hours.
  3. To serve, transfer the meat to a cutting surface, and slice thinly across the grain. Separate the vegetables, and arrange them on a platter around the meat. Add a simple salad, and dinner is served.

More St. Patrick's Day recipes

Vegan shamrock shake lets the dairy-free get in on a yearly tradition
How to make Irish coffee the authentic and easy way
The easiest no-bake St. Patrick's Day cake you'll ever make

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