With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, corned beef and cabbage are a must-have for Friday’s dinner.

Courtesy photo

However, weeknights often are busy, and coming home to cook a complex meal at the end of a marathon week is not something most people relish.

This is where my good friend, the slow cooker, comes in. Anyone who knows me very well also knows I like to expound on the wonders of the crock pot.

I can drop the ingredients in before work and come home eight hours later to a healthy, ready-to-eat meal. Say what?!

A perfect use for a slow cooker — this week, in particular — is corned beef and cabbage.

Ingredients

  • Corned beef
  • 1 seasoning packet (it usually comes with the corned beef)
  • 4 liters of Coke, Dr. Pepper or Pepsi (I use Diet Coke)
  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped into chunks or strips

Instructions

Place the corned beef into the slow cooker and rub in the seasoning packet.

Pour your choice of soda over the top of the meat. Hold it down with a pair of tongs to make sure the pop covers it by 1 inch or more.

Cook the corned beef on low for 12 hours. One hour before dinner, add cabbage to the slow cooker.

I put my cabbage in about 45 minutes before I served it, because I don’t care for soft cabbage, but it’s really all about personal taste.

You might have to shove the cabbage down under the corned beef if your slow cooker is not very large.

The great thing about this recipe is that it is adaptable. One can add carrots and drop the cabbage, or include both.

If you’re feeling really energetic, make some fried potatoes and beer bread to serve on the side.

Speaking of beer, I am told you can use beer instead of soda in this recipe. I’ve never tried it, but I am told it is amazing.

So if you are able to consume hops and feel so inclined, go ahead and give that variation a try.

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