It is tradition to wear green on March 17th every year to avoid being pinched. However, there are some who don’t so they CAN be pinched, but I digress. It is also tradition to eat and drink certain things. What is more traditional than the classic corned beef and cabbage dish.
The following recipe is quite simple and requires minimal work. A lot of it is just waiting…and waiting…and waiting…Let’s begin shall we?
Ingredients are simple:
1 package of already seasoned corned beef brisket with pickling spices, I got one that is about 3 pounds.
1 medium head of cabbage
6 red potatoes
Seriously, that’s it!
Put the corned beef brisket and pickling spices in a large pot and fill it up with water. Make sure that the brisket is totally submerged in the water. Bring the water to a boil, then bring the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot. After a while, fat will float to the top and you would need to skim this off. We want to keep the water as clear as possible. Simmer for about 3 hours. Yes, we have to wait! (hungry)
Beef brisket is a tough piece of meat and it needs time to be softened and tenderized. In this case, water is the element that helps break down the meat which is why water needs to cover all of the surface area. Otherwise, the meat that is exposed to the air will be super tough!
As you can see in the picture, I left the fat on to flavor the water. After the meat is done, this same water will be used to cook our vegetables.
While we wait for the beef, we can make a sauce for this meat. Normally, some type of mustard sauce will compliment the corned beef, but I found a horseradish sauce that goes well with beef.
For the sauce, we need:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons jarred grated horseradish
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
And we wait..and wait some more. However, when the 3 hours are almost up, we can start to prep the vegetables.
Cut the head of cabbage into 8 wedges.
You can see from the front wedge that I left the core intact. The reason for this is so the wedge can survive the boiling and simmering process. We want the wedge to be cooked and in one piece to present it nicely later.
When the 3 hours are up, remove the brisket from the water and place it on top of a large piece of foil. The brisket should now to be tender enough that it can be pulled up with a fork. This is what is called “fork-tender”
Use the foil to wrap the brisket to keep warm while we wait for the vegetables to cook.
Add the cabbage and the potatoes to the brisket water and bring it back up to a boil. When it starts boiling, bring the heat back down to a simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Unwrap the brisket and place on a cutting board. Slice the brisket against the grain. What this means is to cut perpendicular to the long muscle fibers. It keeps the slices of the meat tender.
Plate it up with a mustard sauce and the horseradish sauce.
And enjoy with a cold bottle of Guinness – A popular Irish dry stout beer.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Drink responsibly and stay safe!
The horseradish sauce recipe courtesy of the Food Network. Recipe here.