Corned Beef and Cabbage Made Easy
By Morgan Lehman
With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, your menu is sure to include a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage. But why not try a twist on a classic?
Here are some ideas to spice up a holiday favorite:
6 carrots, cut into chunks
2 onions, chopped
2-3 lb. corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
12 oz. can beer (non alcoholic is fine)
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
8 wedges cabbage
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 11 hours (660 minutes)
Total Time: 11 hours & 25 minutes (685 minutes)
Yield: 8 servings
In a 4-6 quart crock-pot, combine carrots and onions. Place corned beef in crock-pot and sprinkle with contents of seasoning mix. Pour beer over brisket and spread mustard on brisket. In small bowl mix brown sugar with water and pour over brisket. Cover crock-pot and cook on low setting for 10-12 hours.
Remove corned beef from crock-pot and cover with foil, then put into 200 degrees F oven to keep warm. Add cabbage wedges to vegetables and liquid in crock-pot. Cover crock-pot and cook on high for an additional 30-40 minutes or until cabbage is crisp tender.
To serve, cut corned beef across grain into thin slices. Remove vegetables from slow cooker with slotted spoon and serve with corned beef. Serve cooking juices over the food, if desired. Offer additional mustard on the side; I prefer honey mustard.
If you have a newer, hotter cooking crock-pot you might want to check it after 8 or 9 hours. Although, with this much liquid, there shouldn’t be much problem with anything burning.
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE SOUP
2 to 2 1/2 pound Corned-Beef Brisket*, recipe follows
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 pound diced carrots, approximately 4 small
1/2 pound diced onions, approximately 2 small
1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped, approximately 3 medium
1/4 pound diced celery, approximately 2 stalks
1 small head cabbage, chopped, approximately 2 pounds
2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons saltpeter
1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
12 whole juniper berries
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds ice
1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
1 small onion, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
*Cook’s note: Brisket should be prepared through the brining stage, but not cooked.
Place the corned beef, pepper, allspice, bay leaves and salt into a large 8-quart pot along with 3 quarts of water. Cover and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to low and cook at a low simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 1/2 hours add the carrots, onions, potatoes and celery. Return to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the cabbage and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes and cabbage are tender. Remove the bay leaves and serve immediately.
Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, saltpeter, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir until the ice has melted. If necessary, place the brine in the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees F. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon zip top bag and add the brine. Seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 days. Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine.
After 10 days, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cover with water by 1-inch. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: approximately 3 hours
Inactive Prep Time: 10 days
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007
To complete your dinner party, make sure to serve up your creation with a dark, stout beer. Enjoy!