In this traditional recipe popular for St. Patrick’s Day, corned beef is slowly cooked with cabbage, carrots and red potatoes until tender and then served sliced with the vegetables on the side.
In this traditional recipe popular for St. Patrick’s Day, corned beef is slowly cooked with cabbage, carrots and red potatoes until tender and then served sliced with the vegetables on the side. This dish is much more Irish-American than Irish. Beef traditionally wasn’t actually all that available in Ireland – in Gaelic Ireland cows were a sign of wealth and were considered sacred.
What gives corned beef it’s red color?
The sodium nitrate (curing salt) used in the brining process gives corned beef it’s red color. The addition helps to preserve the meat by fighting harmful bacteria while it keeps the color bright rather than a grey. It’s a controversial ingredient and can easily be omitted in this recipe.
When should I add the vegetables?
Add the potatoes, carrots and cabbage towards the end of the cooking process, after the meat is tender, so they don’t overcook. Cooking the vegetables in the meat-flavored cooking liquid will give it the great flavor that comes from the spices.
What is a flat-cut brisket?
Brisket comes from the lower chest of the cow. Since it is a weight bearing area of the cow the connective tissue is tough which makes it a great cut for slow cooking or smoking. The flat, also called the first cut, lays flat with a fat cap on top (hence the name). It is a leaner cut and slices well which makes it a great cut for this recipe.
1tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon pink curing salt (Sodium nitrate)
4poundflat-cut beef brisket,fat trimmed
2 (12-ounce) bottles lager beer
1½poundred potatoes,halved or quartered
1small bunch carrots,trimmed and peeled if needed
1medium head green cabbage,core left intact and cut into 4 wedges
To brine the brisket bring a large pot of water over medium heat and stir in both salts, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, cloves, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, and allspice, stirring until the mixture is warm and the salt and sugar is completely dissolved.
Let the brine come to room temperature then add to a container large enough to fit the brine and the brisket. Add the brisket and weight the meat down with something heavy like a plate. Cover and refrigerate for 5 days, turning once a day.
When ready to cook the brisket, or if using a store bought packaged corned beef brisket, remove it from the brine and rinse it completely.
Heat oven to 300ºF. Place the brisket in a Dutch oven or baking dish large enough to hold the brisket.
Pour the beer over the top. Add just enough water until the brisket is covered. Tightly cover with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Let cook for 2½ hours.
Add the potatoes and carrots into the liquid around the beef then add the cabbage over the top. Cover and cook until the brisket is tender enough that a fork can easily be inserted into the meat, about an additional hour.
Let cool then remove to a cutting board and thinly slice the meat against the grain into ½” slices and serve with the potatoes, carrots and cabbage.
Keep the meat in the cooking liquid until ready to use, for up to 3 days.
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