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Corned Beef and Cabbage

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Serves 4 - 6

  • by Juli Roberts from Fine Cooking
    Issue 115

In this take on the classic Irish-American boiled dinner, the vegetables are drizzled with garlic butter and broiled for added flavor. Pickling spice is a blend of cardamom, bay leaves, ginger, peppercorns, and other flavorings; look for it in the spice aisle of your grocery store.

  • 5 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 large sprigs fresh thyme  
  • 3 Tbs. pickling spice
  • 2 dried bay leaves  
  • 1 Tbs. black peppercorns 
  • 1 4- to 5-lb. corned beef brisket 
  • 4 medium red potatoes (about 1-1/2 lb.), scrubbed and quartered
  • 4 large carrots (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths  
  • 2 large yellow onions (about 1 lb.), quartered 
  • 2 large celery stalks, cut into 2-inch lengths 
  • 1 large head green cabbage (about 3 lb.), outer leaves discarded, quartered 
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Malt vinegar, for drizzling (optional) 

Cut a 5-inch square of cheese cloth and lay it on a flat work surface. Put 4 of the garlic cloves, the thyme, pickling spice, bay leaves, and peppercorns in the center of the cloth. Tie the opposite corners together, creating a pouch.

Put the brisket and the spice pouch in a 12-quart stock pot and add enough cold water to cover the brisket by 4 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the beef is nearly fork-tender, about 3-1/2 hours. 

Add the potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, and cabbage. Simmer until the meat is fork-tender and the vegetables are just tender, about 30 minutes more. With tongs, transfer the meat to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes. 

Using a wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a foil-lined baking sheet. Reserve the cooking liquid and discard the spice pouch. 

In a 1-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and add the remaining garlic clove. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Discard the garlic.

Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the broiler on high. Drizzle the butter over the vegetables and broil until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. 

Slice the corned beef and arrange on a serving platter, surrounded by the vegetables. Drizzle some of the cooking liquid over the meat and pass the remaining liquid and malt vinegar (if using) on the side. Serve hot.

Serving Suggestions

Go all out for this fun holiday. Finish off your St. Patrick's Day meal with this stunning Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 910; Fat (g): 53; Fat Calories (kcal): 470; Saturated Fat (g): 23; Protein (g): 62; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21; Carbohydrates (g): 45; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 560; Cholesterol (mg): 40; Fiber (g): 11;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Delicious!

Just average for flavour. Vegetables do not cook evenly.

Excellent!!!! Followed directions to the T and it turned out perfectly. Best corned beef and cabbage recipe ever!!!

Best ever Corned Beef recipe!

Why do I not have to de-salt the corned brisket in this recipe? My best recipe advises changing up the water a couple times before adding other ingredients for the final cook. Indeed, I skipped that step once and learned just how important it is. That brisket was way too salty in the eating. I gave this recipe 3 stars only because of the lack of instructions on the pre-cooking preparation.

Juli Roberts! You have outed my secret recipe that has taken me years to perfect! How *did* you come to have such a recipe? I would suggest one additional procedure: add one or two teaspoons of beef broth concentrate to the boiling liquid. This will bring up the beefy taste quite nicely. When you skim off the foam shortly after boiling commences, it should taste like a weak bouillon (it will become stronger and into balance as the water boils away). Add water from time to time if required to keep meat covered. Turn meat over once or twice during boiling. When the meat has cooked to tenderness, it will taste great. I boil only all my vegetables. I add carrots first, 10 minutes later the celery, and and 15 minutes later the red potatoes, so as to have all cooked tender at the same time. Remove all from the pot (except the broth) and cover to keep warm. Add the cabbage to the broth and boil until tender. Boil the onions in a separate pan of weak beef broth. They will take about 35 minutes or so. If cooked with the main ingredients, they will add too much an onion flavor to the whole pot, overpowering it. It's a Great Recipe.

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