Friday, March 22, 2013

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I have to admit, I had never made corned beef and cabbage before last weekend.  I knew I liked it, but usually made Ruebens for St Patrick's Day.  I was always afraid that cooking the corned beef would make a lot more than I wanted to eat.  I'm so glad I finally made it! This recipe was ridiculously easy and really darn tasty.  It uses Guinness as the cooking liquid instead of water and I highly recommend trying it.  And guess what? It didn't make too much!  I had a 3 lb flat and got 5-6 servings out of it.

Excellent pour by Kevin

Cook's Notes:
If you use a smaller brisket like I did, make sure you reduce the cooking time. 
We paired our Irish dinner with a Half and Half (Irish are offended if you call it a Black and Tan).

Corned Beef and Cabbage
Adapted From Steamy Kitchen
Yield: 6-8 servings

For the Corned Beef:
2 bottles Guinness beer (or other dark beer)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3.5 lb corned beef brisket flat, rinsed well, patted dry
1 Tbsp pickling spice (or the spice packet that comes with the beef)
1/2 onion
1 head garlic, halved

For the Vegetables:
1 head cabbage
1 big spoonful of bacon drippings (can substitute cooking oil)
a few carrots, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 pound of red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Preheat oven to 300 F. In a large pot or dutch oven, whisk together the beer and brown sugar. Add the beef, it should almost be completely covered by the beer (I added about 2 cups of water to get the liquid higher). Add the pickling spice, onion and the garlic. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, uncovered is best so you can keep an eye on it. Boiled-over beer is no fun to clean.

Once it begins simmering, cover the pot and place in oven to roast for 3-5 hours, flipping meat once during halfway point (reduce cooking time if using a smaller brisket). Remove from oven. Spoon out 2 cups of the corned beef braising liquid to cook the cabbage.

To make the vegetables:
Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. In a separate large, wide pot, heat up the bacon drippings/oil on medium-high heat. When hot, swirl the pan around to get the fat to evenly coat the pan. Add the cabbage wedges, cook until browned and turn to brown the other side. 

Add the carrots and potatoes and pour in the reserved corned beef cooking liquid, bring to a simmer and cover the pot. Turn the heat to low and let cook for 10-15 minutes. Use tongs or a large spoon to carefully remove the cabbage and set aside. Continue cooking the carrots and potatoes another 5-7 minutes or until cooked though (pierce with fork to check doneness). Sprinkle with parsley.

Slice the corned beef across the grain and serve with the cabbage and vegetables. Pour a bit of the sauce over the corned beef just before serving.


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