Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Day!

Today is March 18. Yesterday was St Patrick's day tomorrow is St Joseph's day.

While I am not at all Irish but I am very Italian, I ironically found myself only baking/cooking for St Partick's day this year.

I made an amazing Boiled Dinner.  This was not only my first time making a corned beef dinner, but I also took it a step further and made it in the pressure cooker.  Once again, it came delicious.  Here's what I did:

  • In the pressure cooker, place the corned beef with the fattiest side facing up, pour in a bottle of Guinness, enough water to cover the top of the meat, and the seasoning packet (I used about a 2.5 lb piece of meat).
  • Secure on the lid, and place the pot on the stove on high-heat.
  • When the pop comes up to pressure, lower the heat to as low as it can go while maintaining the pressure.  Let the pot sit like this for 50 minutes.
  • At the end of the 50 minutes, let the pot depressurize naturally by removing it from the heat and waiting patiently for the pressure to come down (this takes about 15 minutes).
  • Once the pot is depressurized, remove the lid, and transfer the corned beef to a cutting board, wrap it in foil, and cover it with a towel to keep in the heat.  This allows the juices to redistribute through the meat.
  • Pour out about half of the liquid from the pot, and add in the vegetables (I used potatoes, carrots, onion, and cabbage).
  • Secure the lid back on, move it again to high heat, and as soon as it comes up to pressure, lower the heat again and maintain pressure for 6 minutes.  
  • Slice the meat against the grain, and place everything in your serving platter!
My first attempt at a Boiled Dinner - SUCCESS!!
SO easy!  And from start to finish (including any prep time), this only took 2 hours!  If I had cooked this in a regular pot, I would have been in the kitchen for probably closer to 4 hours.  (Note:  The package on the corned beef said to cook the meat for 50 minutes for each pound of meat.  This means that I would have had to boil my piece of meat for 125 minutes, never mind the time to get up to a boil, and then the cooking time of the vegetables, which would have probably been about 20 minutes).  Pressure Cookers are awesome!

Serve with some mustard, and you've got yourself a feast!!
I also made an amazing (if I do say so myself) Irish Soda Bread.  I haven't made it in years, but I was pleasantly surprised with the results.  It's an incredibly easy recipe that my mom got from a friend of hers long ago, and I haven't made it any other way.
Irish Soda Bread, made from scratch, sliced, and ready to be eaten!!

So now that St. Patrick's day is over, and the non-Irish in me has celebrated, it's time to make some Zeppole and celebrate St. Joseph's Day!!!

Homemade Zeppole that I made a few years ago....It's time for another batch!!

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