Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patty's Day!

It's been a little while since I've posted last, but fear not! I've been saving myself for a good recipe! I decided earlier this year that this St. Patty's Day I was going to make a completely homemade corned beef. The whole shebang! High quality brisket, brining, cooking... and I chronicled the whole process.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I initially browsed through a myriad of recipes, finally going with a combo of the one on Robb Wolf's website and the one on Caveman Bistro. I then set off on my corned beef journey with a grass fed brisket, cut in half. I think mine was 4-5 pounds weight-wise. 

I stuck it in a large stock pot and poured in my brine (recipe to follow). I then covered it with a heavy lid and stuck it in the fridge to sit for 7 days. Trust me, this is worth the wait...

Seven days later, I pulled out the brisket, drained the pot of the brine and rinsed off the meat. It's going to look somewhat gray. I know it looks a little gross, but I want to stress again that it's worth it.

I put the meat back in the pot with some fresh water, carrots and onions. Brought everything to a boil, reduced the heat and let it simmer for 2 hours.

After the two hours, I added the chopped cabbage and returned the mix to a simmer and let it cook for an additional 30 minutes. I added a little extra seasoning, to taste, and voila!

Corned Beef & Cabbage!

  • 1 4-5 lb grass fed brisket, cut in half
  • 2 + 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 TBS whole peppercorns
  • 1 TBS whole mustard seeds
  • 1 TBS whole all spice
  • 1 1/2  tsp whole cloves
  • 1 head cabbage, outer leaves removed and cut into eighths
  • 6 whole carrots (I guessed on this as my carrots were rather funny looking and all different shapes)
  • 2 onions, cut into large chunks
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder/cinnamon/cloves/ground mustard seeds, to taste (and if you think necessary)
  • In a large stock pot, add the water, vinegar, garlic, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seeds, whole all spice, and whole cloves, over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and allow the brine mixture to cook to room temperature.
  • Add the brisket to the pot and push it down so that it's submerged in the liquid. Cover the pot with a heavy lid and place it in the fridge. Leave it for 5-7 days. (I covered my pot with plastic wrap first and then a lid, as the cast iron lid I was using wasn't a snug fit. I let my brisket sit for the full 7 days.)
  • After done brining, remove the brisket and rinse it. Drain the pot of everything.
  • Pour another 2 quarts of water to the pot and add the brisket, carrots and onions, over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let cook for 2 hours.
  • Add the cabbage to the pot. Bring back to a simmer and let it cook for 30 minutes. Taste, adjust with the additional seasoning, if need be.
  • Take the pot off the heat and remove the brisket to a plate. Slice the meat against the grain in thin slices. 
  • Serve the sliced meat on plates with the chopped cabbage, carrots and onions. 
  • Enjoy!
This recipe takes a fair amount of patience and planning to pull off well. However, the flavors that come from this absolutely ROCK! I don't know if I can go back to eating other corned beef again... The meat was melt in your mouth tender and the cabbage perfectly cooked! Serve this up with a pint o' Guinness or cider and you'll be a very satisfied eater. (Plus, you can totally use the leftovers to make corned beef hash, reubens, or corned beef stew!)


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