Friday, March 16, 2012

Week 12 - Corned Beef

Happy St. Patrick's Day! This week I tackled iconic St. Patrick's day fare, corned beef and cabbage. The cabbage part had me cringing as well, but have no fear it is beyond tasty. If you are wanting to make corned beef tomorrow then this is not the recipe for you. We get to start all the way from the beginning. With the brisket and some brine.

First You'll need:
2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
 2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds ice

Combine everything except the ice in a stock pot over medium heat. (If you want to have pink corned beef also add 2 Tbsp salt peter. I couldn't find any in time) Stir and simmer until all the sugar and salt have dissolved. Then pour over ice into a large bowl and stir until all the ice has melted. Put your brine in the fridge and then trim the fat off of a 4-5lb brisket while that cools even more.

Put your brisket in a large container and cover fully with the brine. Alternatively put it all in a large zip-top bag. Put in the fridge and let brine for 7-10 days. Check on your beef daily to make sure it stays covered with the brine, turn it if it floats slightly. This way the brine will be evenly distributed.

Then You'll Need:
Your Cured Meat
1 Large Onion Cut in Half then Sliced Thin
2 Carrots Chopped
1 Rib Celery Chopped
1/3 Head of Cabbage Sliced into Shreds

Remove your meat from the brine and rinse well under cold water. Place your meat in the bottom of a large stock pot. Add in your onion, carrots, celery, and cabbage. Then cover with water. (My water didn't make it over the cabbage. I need a bigger pot.)

Bring water to a rapid boil then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 hours. Remove the meat, let it rest, then cut portions against the grain.

This meal takes some forethought and prep work but it is definitely worth it. Even my picky little sister cleared her plate!

Happy Eating!

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