Monday, March 7, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Corned Beef-less Tips & Cabbage

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Ugly? Fair enough.
I recently decided to never watch the movie Short Circuit ever again. I'll give you all a moment to recover.

Now before you all assume that I was afraid of the sentient robot who was originally built to be the ultimate weapon... that's not it. It's because I love this movie and I'm afraid it might not live up to my very kind memories. Also I have come to terms with the fact that Ally Sheedy might not actually be a very good actress and she already ruined WarGames for me last summer.

Now you're probably wondering what this has to do with this pretty traditional Irish American meal that is also known as The New England Dinner in Betty's cookbook. Well, back when I was a little meaty eater, I loved this dinner. This was a Betty recipe I both looked forward to and dreaded because I had such fond memories of this meal - I worried it would be impossible to veganize this recipe in any meaningful way. I mean we're making corned beef - that's salt cured beef if you're not familiar. This could have gone very wrong but it didn't. In fact it was a nice reminder of a dish I haven't had in like 20 years. Does it taste just like the meaty version? I would say 70% - which is enough to capture the spirit of this dish and make it a great dinner this St. Patrick's day. I mean this really made me happy and I'm kinda tough on myself - so that's saying something. I figure I got lucky with this one, why test my luck with a beloved robot movie. I mean didn't Short Circuit 2 do enough damage?*

Before we start marinading some Gardein, I want to make sure you remember to enter the latest Meet The Shannons Contest and check out The Official Shannon Family Desert Island Food List on one of my very favorite blogs : The Laziest Vegans in the World. We put a lot of thought into it and feel pretty good about our choices.What's on your list?

Corned Beef-Less Tips & Cabbage 
  • 1 Package Gardein Beef-less Tips
  • 1 Tablespoon White Wine
  • 3 Teaspoon Braggs
  • 1 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dill Pickle Brine (that's the juice in the pickle jar) 
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • Dash of Liquid Smoke
  • 4 Tablespoon Pickling Spices (we had a bunch leftover from when we made Borscht)
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil 
  • 1 Red Onion (sliced) 
  • 1 Head of Cabbage (cut into 4)
  • 6 Red Potatoes (cut in half) 
  • 6 Cups Better Than Bouillon - Vegan Beef ( made per instructions on the package)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste for the Cabbage and Potatoes
  • Malt or Balsamic Vinegar to add a little bite to the Cabbage and Potatoes

Put the Gardein, White Wine, 1 Tablespoon Braggs, Dill Pickle Brine, Liquid Smoke, Garlic, Onion Powder, 2 Tablespoons of Pickling Spices and Olive Oil in an airtight container and shake to mix. Then put it into the fridge and let it marinate for 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Put the Bouillon in a large stew pot and heat on high. Once it begins to boil, toss in Cabbage, Potatoes, 1/2 of the Red Onion, 2 Tablespoons of Pickling Spices and 2 Tablespoons of Braggs. Cover and let boil till the Potatoes are tender.

While they are boiling, place your pickled Gardein in a glass dish with the marinade and put the leftover 1/2 of Red Onion over the top. Then bake the Gardein and Red Onions for 10 minutes. Then very carefully, take the glass dish from the oven and pour the marinade out of the dish. Then put the dish back in the oven and bake another 20 minutes. You want to remove it when the Gardein and Onions have been browned the desired amount - so keep an eye on them.

The smaller pickling spices are going to bake into the Gardein - so don't brush those off or worry if that happens.
 Serve your Potatoes and Cabbage with a slotted spoon from the stew pot with some salt, pepper and some Malt or Balsamic vinegar... and maybe one of these beers with a few drops of green food coloring in them. But don't be surprised if that beer turns your teeth green. Everything comes with a price.

*I like that he has a Save Animals Don't Eat Them bumper sticker. Oh Johnny 5 - What'd they do to you buddy?


  1. I was just telling my roommate how I missed my Mother's corned beef and cabbage and this recipe pops up. Now if I could get past my ultra-lazy mode enough to make it! Looks SO good!

  2. Hey Laser Lips! Your mama was a snowblower!

  3. Do you think it would be possible to convert this into a slow-cooker recipe, or would it cook away into soggy nothingness? I want to make it so bad, but my landlady hasn't repaired my oven (broken over a year now) T^T

  4. Hmmm. You know I think it might be a shot... I would set the slow cooker at the highest setting.

    Let me know if you try it and if it works out. I would love to know!

  5. I made this in a slow cooker just yesterday and can I just say?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? it ROCKED MY WORLD LIKE NO OTHER RECIPE.

    I cooked the "beef" in the marinade in a frying pan on a simmer for 10-20(?) min or so, (I added some broth and white wine so there was more liquid) and then drained the liquid and fried it a little margarine to brown.
    Did the veggies in the crockpot with some of the brine/marinade to make them a little "pickled"-tasting too, 'cause that's how I liked them... (Yes, I basically grew up vegetarian, but a friend's Mom made the real stuff when I was in college and I LOVED the vegetables from the corned beef pan - apparently it didn't occur to me back then that cooking it WITH the beef pretty much made it NOT vegetarian... hahaha!)
    This was spot on PERFECT - though I admit I was really skeptical about the "dill pickle brine" in the recipe, I'm SO glad I added it, it totally worked!!

  6. I'm making this tonight- very excited to try it! Corned beef was one of my favorite meals back in my omni days ;)
    It says 3 TEASPOONS of Braggs is needed, but in the directions it refers to tablespoons. I used tablespoons; hopefully it turns out! :)