It has not been a typical year, and once again the excitement and the traditional activities of St. Patrick’s Day have been put on hold.

So why not put a twist in your typical corned beef and cabbage meal?

Looking for a hearty soup to top off a day of drinking green beer? This Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup is a rich soup full of vegetables. It can be put together early in the day and then left to cook while you are out celebrating with friends. Letting the soup cook slowly will ensure it is packed full of flavor and the vegetables become tender and sweet.

If you want to customize the soup to your liking, you can add mushrooms, peas or green beans; and if you want your soup to have a bit of spice, add ½ teaspoon hot sauce toward the end of the cooking time.

For those who are cooking the traditional corned beef, Corned Beef Roll-Ups are a fun and tasty way to use leftovers. The roll-ups can be made with either cabbage or lettuce leaves.

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Not in the mood for a cabbage or lettuce leaf roll-up? You can substitute flour tortillas for the leafy vegetables.

Don’t let a crazy year dampen your St. Patrick’s Day spirit. Treat your family and friends to a spectacular holiday meal. To make it festive, put a few drops of green food coloring into your beer. Happy Eating.

Slow cooker corned beef and cabbage soup
Slow cooker corned beef and cabbage soupPhoto illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef Stew

Adapted from bowl-me-over.com

  • 1- to 1 1/2-pound corned beef roast
  • ½ head of cabbage, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into diagonal pieces
  • 1 12- to 16-ounce bottle of beer, a dark beer works best
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon parsley

Remove as much fat as possible from the beef and cut it into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, add the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix well. Add the meat and toss until the meat is coated with the flour.

Place 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan. Bring to medium heat and add the beef. Cook it for approximately 3 minutes. Stir and cook another 3-4 minutes on the other side. The meat should be nicely browned and have a crust on it.

Remove the meat from the pan and place it into a slow cooker.

Add the other spoonful of oil to the frying pan. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, just until the vegetables are slightly softened. Place the vegetables into the slow cooker, making sure to scrape the pan to get the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and into the slow cooker.

Add the potatoes to the slow cooker. Add the beer, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf to the mix. Cook on low heat for 7 hours. Add the cabbage and cook for an additional hour. Test the meat for tenderness. If it's not tender, cook for an additional 30 minutes to an hour. You can cook on high and add the cabbage after 5 hours. If cooking on high, the soup should be done in 6 hours.

Spoon into bowls and sprinkle parsley on top of each bowl.

Corned beef in green, spinach tortilla wraps with cabbage and corn.
Corned beef in green, spinach tortilla wraps with cabbage and corn.Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

Corned Beef Roll-Ups

  • 6 large cabbage or lettuce leaves
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ pound corned beef, cut into strips
  • 2 slices rye bread, cut into strips, optional
  • 10-12 dill pickle slices, optional
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain or Dijon mustard

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the cabbage or lettuce leaves and cook just until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water and then pat dry with paper towels.

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, parsley , dill, salt and pepper. Mix well. Spread onto the cabbage/lettuce leaves. Place the corned beef strips on top and drizzle some mustard across the top of the meat. If desired, add the bread and pickle slices on top of the meat. Roll up the leaves and slice in half. Serve with additional mustard.