MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - March 15, 2010) - (Family Features) St. Patrick's Day celebrations are filled with dancing, green decorations, and Irish food and beer. This year, try something new and save a pint for the kitchen.

Traditional St. Paddy's Day favorites, like Irish stout and corned beef and cabbage, can be combined to make a delicious dish even better. Because beer pairs so well with beef, it's only natural to cook with beer.

"Beer adds great flavor to the corned beef brisket, and can be used in other slow-cooked or braised dishes also," says Dave Zino, executive chef for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Braising and stewing are excellent cooking methods when preparing beef such as pot roast, brisket and beef for stew. Typically, you'll want to start by browning the meat in a bit of oil to caramelize and bring out rich beef flavors. However, corned beef brisket does not require browning.

Braising is used with large cuts of beef that are cooked whole, like corned beef brisket. When braising, the meat is simmered slowly in 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid such as beer or water to ensure moist and fork-tender results, for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the roast.

Stewing works best with cubes of beef. When stewing, the cubed meat is simmered for about 1 3/4 hours to 2 1/4 hours in enough liquid to cover the meat and other ingredients such as vegetables, resulting in fork-tender meat and a delicious broth.

Chef Dave also notes beer can serve as a substitute in many recipes. "Beer can also be used in place of wine in recipes and is especially good in beef stews and chilis," he says.

For mealtime inspiration and more beef cooking techniques, flavor pairings, storage guidelines and cooking tips, visit BeefItsWhatsforDinner.com.

Corned Beef with Red Currant-Mustard Sauce

Total recipe time: 6 to 10 hours

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 boneless corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
  (2-1/2 to 3 pounds)
3 ribs celery, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 medium onions, cut into quarters
2-1/2 cups water, divided
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
1 pound green cabbage, cut into thin wedges
1 pound red-skinned potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 to 8 baby carrots, trimmed, or 4 medium carrots, cut crosswise
  into thirds
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Red Currant-Mustard Sauce

1 jar (12 ounces) red currant jelly
3 tablespoons country Dijon-style mustard

1. Place celery and onions in 4-1/2- to 5-1/2-quart slow cooker; top with corned beef brisket. Sprinkle contents of seasoning packet over brisket. Add 2 cups water and one bottle of beer. Cover; cook on HIGH 6 to 7 hours, or on LOW 9 to 10 hours, or until brisket is fork-tender. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.)

2. Meanwhile, place cabbage, potatoes and carrots in 2-1/2-quart microwave-safe dish; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover; microwave on HIGH 15 to 18 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring or rearranging once. Drain; remove and discard cores from cabbage wedges. Add butter; season with salt and pepper, as desired. Toss to coat; keep warm.

3. Prepare Red Currant-Mustard Sauce. Place jelly in medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover; microwave on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Whisk in mustard. Cover; microwave on HIGH 30 seconds. Stir; keep warm.

4. Remove brisket and carve diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with vegetables and sauce. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Courtesy of The Beef Checkoff