This could possibly be my fathers last St Paddy’s day on this planet. At least if you asked him he would definitely tell you that. He is 80 years old, and growing more ill but he managed to put it together to come out to the farm for one more Nanna Irish St. Patricks day dinner, and I wanted this one to be special. I got a few ideas from some boys up North in Seattle that I purchased one of my Sous Vide machines from. I highly recommend their product, Joule Sous Vide. I like what they got going on up there so I borrowed some of their ideas and tossed a little of HC flare into the dish. I was really happy how it turned out, I think we all were and we enjoyed a beautiful meal together.
Heat the water bath to 155 F using your Sous Vide machine, then set the timer for 24 hours. Do this the night before.
2-3 lb. of prepared corned beef (or as big as you can fit in your largest sous vide bag). Take out of the bag, wash off meat. Then prepare your dry rub.
Use a spice grinder or blender and grind for about 6-10 seconds. Rub the meat all over and throw into the plastic bag. Seal it in your van packer and throw into the water bath for 24 hours.
You can use half head of red cabbage, one half of green cabbage for color. I used one red cabbage cut in half.
Add all the ingredients and cabbage to the bag and add a spoon to the bag so it will sit at the bottom of the water. Even when you vac pack the bag it will fill with gasses and rise to the top. I do one half of the the red cabbage to the ingredients above, twice so I have two bags.
Fill a large pot of water and bring to boil and toss both cabbage bags into the boiling pot of water and set timer to 90 minutes.
If I didn’t serve potatoes at our house for St. Paddy’s my father who is a little weak would have mustered the strength to kick my fanny. I used a mixed bag of baby potatoes, the kind that has multiple colors. You can use small baby potatoes or fingerlings if you want.
Add all of the ingredients to the bag, seal it and throw it in the same water you have the cabbage in. Set another timer for 20 minutes.
Once the potatoes have cooked for 20 minutes, remove from bag. Get a pan, I am fond of the cast iron pan for this operation. Put three tablespoons of olive oil, and over medium high heat. Gently take a four and smash the potato down in the pan and fry to get a nice crusty brown. Take a nice cookie pan, spray it with pam and flip the non crusted brown side up until all of them are on the cookie sheet and put in oven at 200 degrees to keep warm.
Carrots two ways (mixed for serving and for the puree.
Take the carrots and butter and seal in vac pack bag with a spoon. Throw in the same boiling pot of water you have all the veggies in for 60 minutes. I hope you have a big pot.
I have all the veggies cooking away in this pot. When there is 30 minutes remaining cooking for red cabbage I put the mixed carrots in pot.
Mixed colored carrots
Seal all ingredients in bag, and throw in the pot.
The meat can still be cooking in sous vide bath. You cannot over cook it so keep it in the bath until you are ready to plate. Remove the orange carrots when there is about 20 minutes left to cook the cabbage. You can put them in your food processor and the remaining ingredients. The olive oil, sugar, and sea salt. When you are getting close, puree the carrots until they are mixed so well they have a smooth but rustic look to them. We are Irish for gosh sakes, not French.
Now the Seattle boys up North fried their parsley, and I got to tell you I loved it. It gives the dish a little crunch and a little taste. You do not have to do this, but I loved the texture.
Bring the oil to high heat. I used the same cast iron pan I used for my taters. Get ready, the oil is gonna get pretty active when you throw your parsley in. Its gonna jump, spit, kick, and blow up. Have a cover in your other hand to protect you. Toss in parsley, cover, then scoop the parsley out and on to a plate with paper towels. Then hit it them with some sea salt.
It is time to get this party rooollling. Take the meat out of the bath and dry off with a paper towel.
It is time to start plating this masterpiece. The kitchen is full of laughs, and I get a glimpse of dad looking at me so I stop what I was doing and looked at him. He was sitting at the table smiling. He asked me “Shay you think you are ever going to open a resteraunt?” If I had a quarter for every time he asked me that I think I could afford to open one in New York City.
Take the potatoes out of the oven, get the red cabbage and the mixed carrots out of the boiling water. Cut the cabbage into 1 inch squares. Cut the meat about the same, the reason for this is that you do not want the meat drying out.
Doesn’t that just look beautiful? Lay some potatoes down on the bottom of the bowl, a few carrots, and pieces of cabbage. Then add a few dollops of the puree, then meat, then top with a few more pieces of tater, cabbage, and meat. Add a few more dollops, then sprinkle the fried parsley.
It seems simple, and it is. Serve it with some warm bread and watch what happens. Everybody smiles, then devours the plate. The pickled cabbage goes elegantly with the meat, and the pureed carrots have a bit of sweetness to the dish that brings it all together.
He couldn’t eat the whole bowl, but he ate what he could. My sister and mother made sure they finished his off for him. My wife, Stephanie who I couldn’t get to eat corned beef enjoyed the dish as well. I know it takes a little work, but it pays off in dividends at the family table. These are the moments, I will never forget. Sitting at the table, laughing with the family, telling stories with my dad, and eating a wonderful Irish meal.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
The Hunting Chef