Every good Thanksgiving dinner consists of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and something else–and it is the “something else” that defines a family tradition. At my grandmother’s it was an assortment of Eastern European classics: brisket, kasha varnishkes, noodle kugel, stuffed cabbage, and of course kaposzta haluska, the traditional Hungarian dish of egg noodles with caramelized onions and cabbage. In my mind Thanksgiving is America at its best, with families of all different backgrounds contributing their own traditional dishes to the great American turkey dinner.
Another great thing about traditions is that they evolve and, these days at my sister-in-law’s place, corned beef has become a Thanksgiving fixture. It is at once a tribute to the brisket our grandmothers made and to her husband’s Irish heritage. It is also simple to make with a slow cooker and some pre-seasoned corned beef from the butcher. Slicked thick against the grain, it comes out tender and juicy.
Corned beef made in the slow cooker
- 1 pre-seasoned corned beef
- 1 bag mini-carrots
- 1/2 head cabbage
Roughly chop the cabbage and place it in the slow cooker with the carrots. Place the corned beef on top and fill the slow cooker with water until the corned beef is covered. If you want, you can add beer or stock. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
Remove the corned beef and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then slice it against the grain, as you would slice a good steak. Serve the sliced corned beef with the cabbage and carrots.