Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Though not readily found in Ireland, corned beef and cabbage is unquestionably the dish most often associated with Irish cuisine.  My Irish/American mother made it for us every year on St. Patrick's Day, and I followed suit with my own family.

In later years, Mother found a recipe for a sweet mustard glaze, that she added just before serving.  I've included that here, as well as instructions for cooking the cabbage.  Serve with any left-over glaze, mustard, and/or prepared horse radish.

1 corned beef brisket, packaged in brine (available in any supermarket in March - select one that is lean and flat)
1 large head of cabbage, cored and quartered
1 small bunch of carrots, peeled and cut into pieces (optional)
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters (optional)
1 large turnip, cut into 2 inch cubes (optional)
water to cover
salt and pepper

Sweet Mustard Glaze
1/2 cup yellow mustard
brown sugar

Open brisket package, carefully remove meat (don't rinse), and the seasoning packet, if one is inside.  Place meat along with brine and seasonings, in large Dutch oven.  Cover with water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and seal with a lid. Simmer on the stove top for about 3 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.

Remove brisket from liquid, cover with tin-foil, and set-aside.  Add the cabbage, and any optional vegetables, to the brine inside the Dutch oven.  Taste to make sure the water is salty enough. Bring to a boil, and cook on medium high until the potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, mix the mustard with enough brown sugar to make a sweet glaze.  Cook until the sugar is dissolved.

When the vegetables are cooked, drain well and transfer to a serving platter (I usually place the cabbage in its own deep, serving vessel, but plate the potatoes, carrots and turnip with my sliced corned beef).  Spread the mustard glaze on the entire brisket.  Place under the broiler and watch.  Remove when the glaze starts to bubble and caramelize.  Thinly slice the brisket, across the grain, and serve with the root vegetables, and any left-over glaze.

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