Shop Cheap

Sharing the best prices on groceries and other stuff in the Sacramento region.

March 11, 2009
Easy meals for St. Patrick's Day

The aroma of corned beef was everywhere in the Shop Cheap kitchen this week. Bee researcher Sheila Kern offers up three tasty recipes. My favorite is the crock pot recipe because it tastes great and it cooks while you are at work.


Crock Pot Apple and Brown Sugar Corned Beef


Serves 6


1 corned beef brisket

1 quart apple juice

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

8 small red potatoes

2 medium carrots, pared, and cut into chunks

1 onion, peeled, and cut into eighths

1/2 head cabbage, cut into chunks


1. Place all ingredients in a large crock pot (cut meat in half if necessary); stir to mix.

2. Cook on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours or on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.

3. Remove meat and vegetables and some of the cooking liquid.

4. Slice meat thinly across the grain.

5. Serve with vegetables and some of the liquid.

Guinness Corned Beef


Servings: 16


4 pounds corned beef brisket

1 cup brown sugar

1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Irish stout beer (e.g. Guinness)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Rinse the beef completely and pat dry.

Place the brisket on rack in a roasting pan or Dutch oven. Rub the brown sugar on the corned beef to coat entire beef, including the bottom. Pour the bottle of stout beer around, and gently over the beef to wet the sugar.

Cover, and place in preheated oven. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Editor's Note: During the last hour, you may put vegetables in the roasting pan as well. Try a wedge of cabbage, new potatoes, onion, carrots, etc. You may need to add a little more beer with your vegetables.

Corned Beef and Cabbage in Guinness Stout



4 pounds flat cut corned beef briskets

1 (12 ounce) bottle Guinness Stout

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 head cabbage, cut into wedges, rinsed and drained

6 medium white potatoes, peeled and quartered

1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces


Rinse corned beef under cold water, and pat dry. In a Dutch oven, or other large pot with a cover, brown corned beef well on all sides over high heat. Pour Guinness over the meat, and add enough water to just cover the brisket. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and pepper to the pot. Bring pot to a boil and skim off any foam. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer for 3 hours. Add carrots, then potatoes and then the cabbage wedges to the pot. Cover pot, and continue cooking until meat and vegetables are tender (about 20-30 minutes). Remove meat and vegetables to warm serving platter/dishes, leaving the cooking liquid/sauce in the pot. Over high heat, bring the cooking liquid to a boil, and cook until the amount of liquid is reduced by half (about 10 minutes). Slice the corned beef across the grain; serve with the vegetables and the sauce on the side.

We are already seeing strawberries in the supermarket. Either of these would be delicious this weekend.

Strawberry and Spinach Salad


Makes 8 servings

1 pint fresh strawberries

2 bunches fresh spinach

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons minced green onion

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup balsamic or cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1. Wash strawberries under cool running water. Remove caps and set aside to drain.

2. Wash spinach and remove large tough stems. Tear large leaves into small pieces. Drain.

3. In a medium bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk together.

4. Slice strawberries into halves or quarters and place in a large bowl. Add dry spinach.

5. Pour dressing over all and toss.

Strawberry Salsa

This recipe would be perfect with the chicken breasts on sale at Raley's


Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup coarsely chopped strawberries

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 green onion, finely chopped, top included

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons dried currants

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Chill, serve with grilled chicken or fish.

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About Shop Cheap

Pam Dinsmore is The Bee's Community Affairs Director. When she's not working, she's shopping. The goal of this blog is to help you save time and money at the grocery store. She's pretty good at it but she can't do it alone. That's where you come in, sharing your tips and secret methods for saving money. You can either respond to the blog or email her at

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