Right around the middle of February, I start chopping at the bits for some corned beef and cabbage. We traditionally make this for St. Patrick’s Day but I’ve been known to toss a corned beef in a crockpot in summer don’t let corned beef be something you only make once a year! I know tossing a packaged corned beef into a crockpot is so easy but if you do just a couple things the amount of flavor you add is outstanding. Ditch the crockpot for a Dutch oven, add the little seasoning packet plus much much more spices and toast those spices, and add beer instead of water. I would suggest getting a center cut over a corner or tip cut, my reasoning is it’ll cook a little more even also don’t be afraid of fat. Fat is flavor and when your braising meat you want more fat so it’ll keep your meat moist and tender.
Now I know Corned beef isn’t exactly Irish, it’s much more of a hybrid of Jewish brisket and an old way of curing meats (corned). Much like myself, pork was more favorable meat than beef in Ireland but in the States at the beef was cheaper, add in some cheap vegetables like cabbage you have a dish that is reminiscent of home. If you want to go above and beyond you can always cure your own brisket but honestly, I haven’t done that since Culinary school there are some packaged corned beef that are great. When buying a corned beef you should keep in mind that 1/2 to 1/3rd of the weight will cook away, especially if you get a fattier piece. So if you get a 3-pound brisket you’ll end up with 1 1/2 – 2 pounds of cooked meat. Plan on buying a pound of uncooked corned beef per person, plus an extra pound or so for leftovers.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Yield 5 servings
6-7 pound Corned Beef
1 large Onion, sliced into thick rings
8 Carrots, peeled and chopped into 3in long pieces
2 Parsnips, peeled and chopped into 3in long pieces
1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes, chopped into wedges roughly the same size as the other root vegetables
1 medium Green Cabbage, sliced into 8 wedges with the core still on
3 Bay Leaves
1t White Pepper
1t Mustard Seeds
1t granulated Onion
1t granulated Garlic
1/2t Celery Seed
1t Mustard powder
2 All Spice pods
The little Seasoning packet that comes with store-bought corned beef
1 16oz bottle of Guinness
To Start: Rinse the brisket off of any of the brine, completely dry off the roast and preheat your oven to 325º.
Step One: In a dutch oven add oil and brown the meat one every side on medium-high heat until it is golden brown. Remove from pan lay the onion rings on the bottom of the pot before placing the corned beef back on top of the onions. Add the whole (ish you will know if a sip or so is missing?) bottle of Guinness, and all the seasonings place the lid on and place in the oven for 3 hours.
Step Two: Pull the roast out and place all the veggies in the liquid, there should be more liquid than when you started making sure the veggies are fully covered. Place the corned beef on top of the veggies with the fat side up. place back in the oven for 30 minutes, covered. After 30 minutes take the lid off and cook for another 30 minutes checking the liquid every once in a while to make sure the liquid doesn’t get too low.
Finishing: Once the vegetables are cooked through and the meat is tender and falling apart, removed everything from the pot and let cool for a few. Slice the corned beef making sure to cut against the grain to avoid getting stringy meat. I always serve my corned beef with my favorite spicy mustard.