I didn't plan a theme dinner but I couldn't resist the deals at the market. I have Sunday Suppers at Luques from the library so used that a bit to help, and a little more help came from chowhound reading.
Corned Beef - very tender and tasty. I used Goin's method (start on stovetop, braise in oven) but added some beer and a little vinegar to the water as well as the additional spices. I poached it a long time for tenderness then removed from the liquid and let roast a bit in the oven to further melt and crisp up the fat. Great tip that she uses with many braised dishes. Thanks also to whoever posted here that the cheaper fattier cut is tastier. I bought the point instead of the more expensive flat and that was such a deal. Everyone commented that it was not too fatty seeming.
Parsley-Mustard Sauce - a thick viniagrette to be drizzled on the beef. It was good and cut the richness a bit. She says leftovers are good on sandwiches, but I'm sure to find more uses.
Whipped cream blended with horseradish
World's Best Braised Cabbage - and it is with all those caramelized bits. Also has some carrots and onion. Handy because it needs the same temp as the corned beef.
So much better than boiled cabbage for small effort. From All About Braising by Molly Stevens and mentioned here many times. Thanks folks, this is a keeper.
Red Potatoes - simmered in the beef liquid.
Chocolate-Stout Cake - from Luques, though I didn't make the Guiness ice cream that is meant to go with it. Done in a bundt pan, it does not need to be frosted, but serving it with whipped cream kind of 'made it.' You could plate it with spiced applesauce or carmel sauce. I thought it was not going to be so good but it is truly growing on me. I think this (like most cakes) would improve in moistness if sealed airtight overnight, however, the spicing (it is a spice cake), is just right and the flavor carries on and on in the mouth. I'll make this again. It stuck inside the bundt pan, so next time I will heavily grease and be sure to flour, and cool it longer than the 30 minutes recco'd before unmolding.
Overall a pretty easy dinner and the extra care made it a bit better than my usual corned beef plate. I've got to remember to make this more than once a year.
Anyone else happy with their results?