Monday, March 15, 2010

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

Fake St. Patrick's day was celebrated this weekend across the United States by people drinking tons of cheap beer dyed green and shots of poor quality Irish Whiskey. Whether or not you chose to participate in such a debacle is your own business but for real St. Patrick's Day, which is celebrated March 17, you might want to consider celebrating by coming home to a hot pot of corned beef stew.

The great thing about corned beef is you can cook the bojangles out of it and it's still good.The meat just gets more and more tender as it goes on. This stew is prepared from a store-bought corned beef but I suppose you could corn your own if you got the time and salt. Here is what you will need for mine:

1 corned beef of whatever size
4-6 potatoes peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1-2 onions peeled and halved
1 can beer

First thing you wanna do is open the bag of corned beef and drain off all the salty liquid in there. Some people rinse it too but I fear losing too much salty goodness. I chuck that in my slow cooker along w/ the seasoning packet of spices that comes w/ it. My quantities on the veggies is a little vague because I basically just peel and chop until I have the rest of the pot full.

Good times! But we're not done yet. There is one more critical ingredient:

It doesn't have to be Hamm's but it has to be beer. Some people use Guinness, operating under the erroneous assumption that it is good beer and that it is Irish. Well, some of it is Irish, the extra stout and that is a good beer but a bit too bitter to be used for cooking in my opinion. The stuff that comes in cans and bottles w/ the little widget to make that thick white head is made in Canada and tastes like Budweiser mixed w/ coffee and vomitus. Avoid! I think cheap, tasty beer like Hamm's, Stroh's or Pabst works well in this situation. Nice mild beer flavor to compliment the meat. So just let your corned beef chill w/ a can of brew.

So here is where we get to the extremely difficult part: you have to turn your slow cooker on low and let it sit for about six or so hours while you go ahead and do whatever else you do. Corned beef is kind of like pulled pork where you actually want to overcook it to make it tender and, like pulled pork, it should be shredable once finished. A lot of people say that it's more tender if you cook, let it sit overnight and reheat for the next day and, it's true that corned beef makes for some of the best left overs in the world, but the real reason it's better is that the process of reheating further overcooks the meat and let's it get super tender. The only thing you want to avoid is cooking the potatoes until they turn into complete mush.

Serve it up on a plate and reserve any left over juices to use as a base for another stew or another corned beef sometime. A lot of times the corned beef will just tear into pieces w/o even having to use a knife:

If you are a fan of black Budweiser that smells faintly of vomit and think such a thing is authentically Irish, let me know about it in the comments!


  1. remember when I left the seasonings in the packet and it "cooked" in the crock pot?

  2. I want to eat corned beef, but I don't know of anywhere to get one here. I do have time and salt, so I guess I could try to corn one myself. But I don't have a big chunk of beef!