OK - So here's the recipe for today's corned beef - As improvised from the posts above -
I browned the corned beef in the cast iron skillet with a little olive oil
put the corned beef in the crock pot
Sauteed one large sweet onion in the pan drippings, added it to the corned beef in the crock pot with just a little extra water, maybe 1/2 cup or so
added two stalks celery, chopped
added two tablespoons hickory liquid smoke
Cooked 4-5 hours on high in crock pot.
Removed corned beef from crock pot
Peeled and cut 5 potatoes, boiled in saucepan until done with the potliquor from the crockpot
added course ground black pepper to taste
Added frozen peas and carrots to the potatoes for just the last few minutes
served corned beef with peas/carrots/potatoes like a pot roast/stew
Received rave reviews from sweet wife, kids liked it, too. No corned beef leftover!
Also made fresh bread in the bread machine to go with it.
Improvised a cold tomato salad with three fresh tomatoes (diced), 1/2 stalk celery (chopped), 1/4 sweet onion (chopped), about 1/4th box rotatini whole wheat pasta, some dried basil, mixed generously with bottled Italian dressing, then chilled in refrigerator.
Served with iced green tea!