So, if you’re like many people, you may have cooked corned beef for St. Patrick’s day. And, like many people, you may have some leftovers. This meal plan starts with a traditional meal of corned beef, cabbage, and carrots (with mashed cauliflower—yummy!) and translates the leftovers into several additional meals.
And don’t for one minute think that you can only serve corned beef once a year in March! If you like it, there’s no reason not to serve it any time of year.
Day 1: Corned Beef with Cabbage and Carrots
My favorite way to do corned beef is in the slow cooker. Put the brisket with all the brining spices with the carrots (and some onions—pearl are nice—and a parsnip if you like) in the slow cooker with 3 cups of broth or water and cook for 4 hours on high. Then, add 1 head of cabbage, quartered, and cook for about an hour more.
I like to serve this with garlic mashed cauliflower or red potatoes (throw them in the slow cooker with the carrots and meat).
Package the leftovers.
Day 2: Meatloaf Cupcakes with Cauliflower or Mashed Potato “Frosting”
Usually (at my house, anyway) we have the largest amount of leftover cabbage after we do corned beef, and for years, I didn’t know what to do with leftover cooked cabbage, but I’ve since discovered that it makes an excellent addition to meatloaf, adding veggies and keeping the meat really moist.
Use your own favorite meatloaf recipe or this one from my friend Toni, and add about one cup of finely chopped (you can do this in the food processor) leftover cabbage per 1 pound of meat. I always use oatmeal instead of bread crumbs, making this dish gluten-free (assuming you have GF oats).
You can cook this in a regular loaf pan, but putting the meatloaf in muffin tins makes it cook SO much faster—usually in half an hour or less. Top with warmed leftover cauliflower mash or make mashed potatoes from your leftovers from day 1. So cute to “frost” these meatloaf cupcakes—your kids will love it. Put a ketchup “cherry” on top for bonus points. 😉
Day 3: Reubens
The classic reuben starts with rye bread and layers on thinly sliced corned beef, thousand island or Russian dressing, sauerkraut and and Swiss cheese before being grilled and served warm. Dress it up with bacon if you want, or serve it classic. If you have family members who aren’t thrilled with some of the ingredients, do a build-your-own sandwich night. Hey, the worst they could end up with is grilled cheese, right?
Day 4: Cabbage Spring Rolls
If you have any cabbage left, this is a really fun way to finish it up without your family complaining about all the cabbage they’re eating.
Brown some ground turkey and chopped onion together and remove from the heat—be sure to break up the meat as finely as possible. Finely chop your leftover cabbage and carrots in a food processor. You can also add finely shredded celery and/or vermicelli or bean thread noodles to make this go farther.
When the meat has cooled enough to handle, mix it with the veggies. Carefully separate your store-bought spring roll wrappers (egg roll wrappers work too) and set them aside under a damp kitchen towel.
Place a cooling rack on a jelly roll pan and spray with oil. Wrap the spring rolls. Pierce each roll with a skewer in a few places to keep it from exploding and place on the rack. Spray the spring rolls with oil, or brush lightly with a mixture of vegetable oil and sesame oil (for flavor)
Bake about 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then flip and bake an additional 8–10 minutes, or until brown and crispy.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauces. You could also serve with stir-fried (or steamed) veggies on the side, fried rice, or a bowl of wonton soup or hot and sour soup.