66. Heinen’s Sunday Supper: Corned Beef, Cabbage & Saint Patrick’s Day Blessings

4 mins read

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this week, we’ve been fielding a lot of questions from our three young kids about leprechauns, rainbows and pots of gold. Though I wanted to put on my favorite green shirt and head to Chicago’s St. Pat’s Day Parade this weekend, the days of our celebrating with adults over green beer are long gone. So I brought one of my little leprechauns shopping at Heinen’s Grocery instead.

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My daughter Grace is in Kindergarten and our two boys are in preschool. That little voice inside me has been whispering a lot lately about how work sometimes interferes with spending more time with the kids. Little did I know that the cure to my good old Irish Catholic guilt is as close as our family’s next Heinen’s Sunday Supper.

This week, I’m trying to perfect a dish that’s simple but has been somewhat tricky for me to master… the classic St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef & Cabbage. The recipe I found calls for a bottle of Irish beer and Guinness was one of the first things we found on display at Heinen’s this week.  Usually not in the mood to be photographed by her camera-crazy mom, this time Grace was game from the get-go and stepped into the frame before I even said a word.

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In the bakery, Heinen’s Irish Soda Bread was ready and waiting for our Saint Patrick’s Day feast.

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We grabbed our bread and, when Grace turned her head, her Irish eyes were smiling when she spotted Heinen’s bright green St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes right next to the shamrock cookies.

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We lingered in the bakery and were treated to a taste of Heinen’s Irish Cream Cake before moving on to pick up the rest of our groceries.

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For a split second I considered changing course and buying our corned beef & cabbage dinner, fully prepared and waiting for me to reheat from Heinen’s Prepared foods counter.  It would have been a simple solution for this week’s Sunday’s dinner, but I decided to stick to Plan A and give my homemade meal a shot.

Post - Heinen's Corned Beef and Cabbage

A quick spin through the store and we were ready to check out, head home and get cooking!

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This year I opted to cook our corned beef in a dutch oven instead of the slow cooker to see if that would keep the meat from getting mushy.  I added a bottle of Guinness and the spice packet that accompanied Heinen’s corned beef brisket.

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Within minutes, the main ingredient was simmering away and I started to prepare the veggies.

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For this year’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner, I found a recipe at Food.com called N.Y.C. Corned Beef and Cabbage.  Here’s what it boils down to…



  • 1 (2 -6 lb) corned beef brisket
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 -3 head fresh cabbage
  • 1 -12 medium red potatoes
  • 1 (1 lb) bag fresh carrot
  • fresh parsley
  • real butter
  • 1 fresh garlic clove
  • 1 medium fresh sweet onion
  • yellow mustard
  • Irish soda bread
  • Harp (lager) or Guinness (drought) beer optional


  • In a large Dutch oven or stock pot that will hold everything at once, place the brisket (best side up) in the bottom of the pot.  Add the spice packet or a teaspoonful of peppercorns and two bay leaves.  Cover the brisket generously with water and a bottle of beer (optional – adds flavor and is a tenderizer).  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  • Scrub and rinse the new red potatoes, leaving as much of the peel as you can. Quarter them (halve or whole if tiny) and cover with water until ready for them.  Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage until the leaves are entirely light green, rinse and cut it into quarters through the spine so they stay together.  Set aside.  Peel one carrot and cut it into quarters. Set aside.  Peel the onion and cut it into eighths. Set aside.  Rinse the bunch of fresh parsley and chop up just the tops into very tiny pieces.
  • After two hours add the potatoes on top of the brisket.  Add water to cover everything and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the cabbage on top of the potatoes and add onion and carrot on top of the cabbage.  Add water to cover everything.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Check the cabbage to see if it is tender.  If not, simmer another 5 minutes.
  • When done, in a large serving bowl where you can stir the potatoes, crush the garlic clove and rub the inside of the bowl with it.  Place the potatoes in the bowl while still piping hot and add (at least) a quarter pound of butter and add a handful (more is better than less) of chopped fresh parsley.  Gently stir until butter is melted, it coats all the potato pieces and the parsley is evenly distributed.  Put the rest of the parsley into a tiny serving bowl for those who want to add more to their potatoes.
  • Slice the brisket cross grain and serve.


Room for improvement: I tried to squeeze too many vegetables into our Dutch oven and ran out of space so I pulled out a second pot to hold the rest of the potatoes, carrots and cabbage.  The potatoes were pretty soft by the end and my presentation could use some serious help. But, with an early bath time on this particular night, the kids were squeaky clean and my husband, Bill was quick with his compliments saying, “Wow, this is the best corned beef & cabbage I’ve ever tasted, Liz, and these potatoes are delicious!”  Isn’t he a charmer?  OK, here it is.  Promise me you won’t laugh 😉 …

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Our sons took a closer look and, as usual, wouldn’t eat the meat without ketchup.

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And, after watching me take pictures of food all day, Grace was a little more interested in photographing her dinner than eating it.

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But no one said Sunday Suppers have to be prepared to perfection, right???  In our home, it’s a chance to sit down as a family and talk about the week that was, the adventures ahead and the blessings that we share.  Mostly, it’s a lot of talk about legos, toys and superheroes, but it’s the act of coming together that counts.

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Thank you to Heinen’s Grocery for always inspiring us to feed our families meals that nourish, in more ways than one. It’s fun to shop with you for the holidays, year after year.

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And to all of you who follow our Heinen’s Sunday Supper series at 365Barrington.com, here is a St. Patrick’s Day toast from our family to yours…

Post - Saint Patrick's Day CloverMay love and laughter light your days
and warm your heart and home.

May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.

May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.

May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!


Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meathead’s) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit Heinens.com.

Heinen's Grocery Store in Barrington, Illinois
Heinen’s Grocery Store in Barrington, Illinois

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