Corned Beef & Cabbage

   Most of you have made corned beef and cabbage, and know how to make it, and how it tastes. We made it the other day, and I wanted to try to improve on the standard. With a few simple additions, we have revolutionized (in my mind) the standard, at least in this house. Although the changes were my idea, I give Lorraine credit because she helped.

  We peeled and cut up the potatoes, and cut up the corned beef the night before. We put them in the crock pot, potatoes on the bottom, nearly covered it with water, and set the crock pot at 150°. There was a packet of coriander and white pepper that came with the corned beef, so we ground that and put that in, and went to bed.

   The next morning I went to the supermarket to pick up the rest of the ingredients: cabbage and carrots. We cut those up and added them into the pot along with some purple onions and added more water. So far, everything is standard.

   Tasting along the way, and tasting what I expected, I wanted to change it up a bit. I decided to add three dried Pasilla chili peppers, cut up with scissors. I also suggested some star anise, so we added 3 stars, and also a bit of black peppercorns, ground.

   Lorraine decided to turn the heat up a bit, which disintegrated some of the potatoes. We ended up turning it back down. Although this lessened the potato content, it made for a thicker gravy, which isn't bad.

   When the cabbage and carrots were was cooked (with a little bit of bite to them) we shut off the pot and allowed it to cool. Meanwhile, we both scooped out bowls for ourselves. The coriander, peppers and espceially the star anise completely changed the flavor, and we were no longer eating corned beef and cabbage, but indulging in a delicious corned beef and cabbage stew!

   We make corned beef and cabbage about once a year, but this little twist will insert it into the menu more often, for sure!