I was raised in the south and I like most southern cooking; but I must admit that southern cooks tend to cook their vegetables until they surrender. I have seen mustard greens cooked all day with a dash of sugar and some bacon or salt pork, and other vegetables cooked until they are mushy.
I don’t care to cooking meat and vegetables in the slow cooker together, for when the meat is done the vegetables will be overdone. Also, when meat and vegetables are slow cooked together everything comes out tasting the same. If you didn’t know what you were eating you couldn’t tell the difference between carrots and potatoes, and except for texture any of the other vegetables cooked at the same are bland.
So, I cook my meats in the slow cooker, but I steam my vegetables separately – it only takes about fifteen minutes.
Here is a corned beef recipe I am cooking today:
· I thoroughly rinse the corned beef in cold water and pat it dry.
· I put a few onions slices and celery stalk in the bottom of the slow cooker to keep the meat off the bottom.
· I put the corned beef in the slow cooker and cover it with the spices included in the package.
· I add four cups of water; 2 tbsp of sugar; 2 tbsp cider vinegar; 3 minced garlic cloves; ½ tsp pepper and 2 bay leaves.
· I cook it on high for at least six hours (eight today.)
I dice a half a head of cabbage into postage size pieces and add that to the slow cooker about an hour and a half before the meat is done. I like the cabbage cooked in the slow cooker as it takes on the spicy flavor of the corned beef liquid.
In my steamer I put carrots and potatoes in the bottom and cover with water. In the steam top I dice onions. Bring this to a boil and cook for fifteen minutes until potatoes are done.
To night we are doing corned beef with cabbage, potatoes and onions; not because we are celebrating the Irish, but because this time of year corned beef is on sell, and we are between snow storms.