SIMPLE CORNED BEEF 2
6 russet potatoes
3 large carrots
1 large white onion
1 4- pound ready-to-cook corned beef brisket
½ head cabbage
Serves 6. Takes 8 hours using low setting on crock pot and 14 hours using high setting.
Clean potatoes and carrots. Cut potatoes in two. Cut carrots and onion into slices no thicker than ½”. Add potato, carrots, onion, and corned beef to crock pot. You may need to cut the corned beef into smaller pieces depending on the size of your crock pot. Add water to crock pot until it covers the corned beef. If using low setting on crock pot, cook for 12 hours, possibly overnight. If using high setting, cook for 8 hours (or 2 hours per pound.) Either way, cook until brisket is tender.
Now that you have lots of time, let’s play tic-tac-toe.
45 minutes before corned beef is ready, cut cabbage into slices no thicker than ½”. (1 hour 30 minutes before if using low heat.) Add cabbage to crock pot. Add water until it covers the cabbage. Cook on high setting for about 45 minutes or on low setting for 1 hour 30 minutes or until everything is tender. Serve to adoring guests.
Tell your spellbound guests corned-beef takes 10 days to prepare. This, of course, is the do-it-yourself corned-beef version. You used ready-to-eat corned beef brisket. But you needn’t tell them that.
1) Potatoes make great French fries.
2) They’re nutritious and a great source of calories too.
3) They grow in the ground where they can’t be seen by hungry, foraging armies marching back and forth across peasants’ fields.
4) On July 14, 1689 Madame Farine du Blé of Poulet sur Marne noticed invading Bavarians ransacking the granary of her neighbors, the Herbes, while leaving her own field of potatoes untouched.
5) This fact kinda excited the peasantry of France who relied almost exclusively on food for eating.
6) Frederick the Great of Prussia noticed this fact as well. He insisted that all the Prussian peasants plant potatoes.
7) And boy, those peasants were glad they did. Massive French, Austrian, and Russian armies crisscrossed the Prussian kingdom from 1756 to 1763 carting off all the wheat they could find. But the Prussian peasants didn’t starve.
8) Why? These farmers simply waited for the invading soldiers to leave, dug up their potatoes, and cooked them. And if the peasants also had the proper spices and deep fryers, they dined on papas rellena, Peruvian stuffed potatoes.
9) When individual peasants don’t starve, the country as a whole doesn’t starve. A well-fed nation can afford to feed its armies in the field. And those Prussian armies did really well earning both victory and survival at the end of the Seven Years War.
10) Prussia united Germany in 1871. A united Germany caused World War I. A united Germany caused World War II. Both wars were unarguably unpleasant.
11) So think about that when you are asked, “Do you want fries with that?”
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.