Are you looking for a recipe idea or two for St. Patrick's Day? Here are a few of our favorites. These run the gamut from the classic corned beef and cabbage, dessert (or pre-dinner) mint brownies, and a recipe from Elaine Revelle for Mulligan's Stew and Irish Soda Bread.
How to make delicious corned beef and cabbage in an Instant Pot in about an hour
When the kids were young, a pressure cooker allowed me to get dinner on the table in quick order. They’d pull up little chairs and watch as the shiny pot rattled, sizzled and hissed on the stove. Opening the pot called for oohs and aahs. Soon tender stews, brothy soups and hearty chili graced the family table.
Truth be told, I was always a little nervous as the hot pressure rendered beef and pork into tender bits. Family stories of mashed potatoes plastered on the ceiling (when the pot was opened before the pressure dropped) didn’t ease my mind. When the seal on the pot cracked, I pitched the whole thing.
This year a 6-quart Instant Pot joined the family. This multipurpose electric appliance proves far easier to use than my old stovetop pressure cooker. It could also replace my rice cooker and my slow cooker, but it’s the tenderizing qualities of cooking under pressure that interest me. Suddenly, the relatively inexpensive, but long-cooking, pot roasts and stews beckoned.
How about a red wine pot roast to nourish us through the last days of winter? Then, my husband reminded me that we used to cook our St. Patrick’s Day corned beef in the old pressure cooker. Perfectly tender beef ready in about 1 hour for serving thinly sliced with vegetables cooked in the delicious pot juices.
Cooking both the corned beef and the pot roast in the pressure cooker saves nearly 2 hours of time versus cooking in the oven. Even more if compared with a slow cooker. The results are equally delicious. The only limitation comes from the size of the pressure cooker — the 6-quart version holds a 3 to 3 1/4 pound roast serving six.
When my daughter mentioned rice pudding, I immediately started experimenting on recipes for the Instant Pot. A batch takes a mere 10 minutes — 3 of those under pressure — and yields perfectly tender, not mushy grains of rice. Too good, really. My refrigerator now holds several containers of tempting pudding.
Cooking under pressure is not magic — you still need to apply the rules of good cooking: First, read the owners manual and safety tips. Don’t overfill the pot. Be careful that the cord is out of reach of small hands and the dog. Always check the steam release valve and the sealing ring to be sure they are in working order. Then, read the recipe through thoroughly before starting.
For deep flavor, such as for meats and onions, allow time to develop the browning. You can do this in your pot with a saute function or use a skillet on the stovetop.
The pressure cooker will not replace my beautiful gas range or my supply of heavy cast-iron pots and Dutch ovens. But, when the new grandbaby or the bicycle beckon, it’s good to know a comforting one-pot meal is no pressure at all.
No pressure cooker? No problem! I’m including oven and stovetop directions, too.
SWEET MUSTARD-GLAZED CORNED BEEF SUPPER
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 1/4 hours
Makes: 6 servings
3 cups low-sodium beef broth or water
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons whole grain or Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon each, dried: thyme, rosemary
1 corned beef brisket, about 3 1/2 pounds
1 large yellow onion, halved, thickly sliced
1 pound small new potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 pound skinny carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch lengths
1/2 medium head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch wedges
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1. Mix broth, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the mustard, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary in the insert pot of a pressure cooker. Add corned beef, fat side up; top with onion.
2. Close and lock the lid. Be sure to seal the pressure valve. Use manual pressure cooking setting to cook on high pressure, 55 minutes. Let pressure drop naturally by following the pot instructions; don’t quick release.
3. When the pressure has dropped, open the pot and add potatoes and carrots. Close and lock the lid; set to cook on high, 8 minutes. Then use the quick release function to drop the pressure. Add the cabbage. Close and lock the lid; set to cook on high, 1 minute. Then use the quick release function to drop the pressure.
4. Heat broiler in oven. Use a slotted spoon to transfer vegetables to a deep serving platter. Put corned beef on a baking sheet. Mix brown sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon mustard in small dish. Spread over top of corned beef. Broil 6 inches from heat source, until glazed, about 2 minutes.
5. Transfer corned beef to a cutting board. Slice very thinly across the grain. Spoon a ladleful of the hot cooking liquid over the vegetables. Arrange sliced beef on the platter with the vegetables. Serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 680 calories, 40 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 145 mg cholesterol, 34 g carbohydrates, 12 g sugar, 43 g protein, 3,529 mg sodium, 6 g fiber
Oven method: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Increase broth by 1 cup in step 1 above, and place it with the mustard and other seasonings in a large Dutch oven. Add meat and onion. Cover tightly and bake, turning meat occasionally, until nearly tender when pierced with a fork, about 2 1/2 hours. Add potatoes and carrots; cook until fork-tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add cabbage; cook until crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Finish recipe as directed in steps 4 and 5.
Heloise's Kitcheneering: Corned Beef Recipe -
Dear Heloise: Please advise me how to COOK CORNED BEEF -- roast or boil? Thank you for your informative column. Your soup recipe was enjoyed by my friends. -- Cynthia, via email
Cynthia, one of my favorite ways of cooking corned beef is in a slow cooker. A 4-pound brisket takes about five hours, on high, to cook until it's tender. If you're adding cabbage, carrots and potatoes, put them in during the last hour.
Readers have suggested adding a spice packet (specific for corned beef) or even a can of beer for extra flavoring. -- Heloise
Get out the greens, St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon. But you’ll have to be content with my family’s aptly named but not-so-Irish dish.
Mulligan stew is my family’s traditional what-should-we-have-for-dinner dish. It’s tasty, hardy, quick, easy and inexpensive. Or, maybe I should be totally honest — downright cheap. On top of aforementioned quick and easy, none of the ingredients need refrigeration.
Mulligan stew, according to various dictionaries, is a composite dish of several different meats, vegetables or fish and, apparently, was named for an Irish family.
My family’s Mulligan stew probably has no right to be named Mulligan, but after three generations of being called Mulligan stew, Mulligan stew it remains.
Also, this is a great dish for Boy and Girl Scout cookouts or for letting the kids take over your kitchen.
Not as good for hikers or backpackers. The meat ingredient is canned corn beef, which is pretty heavy to pack around for one meal and potatoes, another must-have, are also a little hefty to tote over hill and dale.
The amount of ingredients is flexible. You can vary the quantities of potatoes, macaroni, meat, etc., to suit the budget and appetite.
Just take along a big pot the next time you camp out, try this recipe, you’ll like the results.
bouillon cubes (chicken)
corned beef (canned)
Peel the potatoes and onions, cut into bite-sized pieces and cover with water in a large pot. Add garlic to taste and about three bouillon cubes per quart of water and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add macaroni, about the same amount as potatoes. Continue cooking until macaroni is done. Do not overcook at this point. By the time the macaroni is at dente, the corned beef will have broken up.
This should be fairly soupy. Serve in bowls with French bread and a green salad.
Now, if you really want to wow your family with this simple dish, make some homemade bread. Here’s where my family goes to the head of the class. My mother’s simple, no-knead, no-fail bread recipe can’t be beat. Add this one to your repertoire. It’s terrific.
IRISH SODA BREAD
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/4 cup sugar, optional
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or coriander, optional
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl and cut butter or margarine. Beat egg with buttermilk and add to dry ingredients. Stir until well blended. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth, three to four minutes. Divide dough in half and shape each into a round loaf. Place each loaf in an eight-inch greased and floured cake or pie pan and press down until dough fills the pan. With a sharp knife, cut crosses on tops of loaves, about 1/2-inch deep in middle, and bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
The Kitchn: Festive brownies fit for your St. Patrick's Day celebration
I used to think there was nothing better than a tray of dense, rich, fudgy brownies. But I proved myself wrong when I topped that tray of brownies with a pillowy mint buttercream and a blanket of dark chocolate ganache.
Of course, the festive green color makes these brownies a natural fit for St. Patrick's Day celebrations, but I encourage you to make this crowd-pleasing dessert all year long.
Because each layer needs to cool and/or chill before you add the next, these triple-decker brownies require some time and a little planning. I find it helpful to make and cool the brownie base the day before you want to serve them, then frost them with buttercream and add the ganache the day you plan to eat them.
Makes 16 brownies
For the brownies:
Cooking spray or butter, for greasing the pan
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons green creme de menthe liquor
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Pinch kosher salt
2 cups powdered sugar
For the ganache:
6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
Make the brownies
1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350 F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over two sides of the pan. Lightly grease the pan and parchment with cooking spray or butter.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla until no lumps remain. Let sit for 5 minutes so the cocoa powder can bloom.
3. Whisk the eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour and salt and fold in with a rubber spatula.
4. Transfer to the prepared baking pan and spread in an even layer. Bake until set, 23 to 25 minutes. Cool completely in the pan.
Make the buttercream:
1. Place the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the crème de menthe, peppermint extract and salt.
2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the sugar. Once incorporated, increase the speed to medium-low and mix until smooth and fluffy.
3. Spread in an even layer over the brownies. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the ganache.
Make the ganache:
1. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat until bubbling round the edges, then pour it over the chocolate mixture.
2. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then stir with a spatula until completely smooth. Let it cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then use it as soon as it starts to thicken up.
3. Remove the brownies from the refrigerator and spread the ganache in an even layer over the buttercream with an offset spatula or knife. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing and
Recipe notes: The brownies can be baked a day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Creme de menthe alternative: To make the brownies without creme de menthe, use 2 teaspoons peppermint extract and green food coloring.
Whiskey pork, lentils perfect for St. Patrick’s Day (or any day)
Whiskey lends a subtle, intriguing flavor to boneless pork chops. It’s a quick dinner that is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or for any day. With very little fat and no bone, the chops can become dry. A secret to keeping the pork juicy is to brown the meat on both sides, lower the heat and let the pork cook, covered. Brown sugar and mustard add a sweet and tangy finish.
The rosemary lentils calls for canned lentils, which work well here. Steamed lentils in a vacuum pack are now available in some stores. These are not packed in sauce and have a firmer texture than canned. Try these lentils if your store carries them.
Any type of pork chop can be used. Be sure a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.
Any type of whiskey can be used.
Apple juice can be substituted for whiskey.
Make pork chops.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.
To buy: Two 6-ounce boneless, pork loin chops, 1 small bottle whiskey, 1 jar Dijon mustard, 1 small bunch parsley (optional), 1 bottle dried rosemary and 1 can lentils.
Staples: Vegetable oil spray, brown sugar, garlic, salt and black peppercorns
Yields 2 servings
Two 6-oz. boneless, pork loin chops
Vegetable oil spray
¼ c. whiskey
½ c. water
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim visible fat from pork. Heat a nonstick skillet just large enough to fit the chops over medium-high heat. Spray with vegetable oil spray. Add pork chops and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Lower heat to medium and add whiskey. Cover with a lid and cook the chops 5 to 7 minutes or until the chops are cooked through. A meat thermometer will read 145 degrees. Remove chops to a plate and add water, sugar and mustard to the skillet. Blend well and raise the heat to high. Reduce to a smooth sauce. It will thicken as it reduces, about 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over chops.
Nutritional information per serving: 328 calories (21 percent from fat), 7.7 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 3.1 g monounsaturated), 96 mg cholesterol, 40.9 g protein, 7.3 g carbohydrates, 0.3 g fiber, 234 mg sodium.
Yields 2 servings
¼ c. water
1½ c. canned, rinsed and drained lentils
1 medium garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp. dried rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Place water, lentils, garlic and rosemary in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Nutritional information per serving: 179 calories (4 percent from fat), 0.7 g fat (0.2 g saturated, 0.1 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 13.6 g protein, 31.2 g carbohydrates, 12.2 g fiber, 6 mg sodium.