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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Corned Beef, Cabbage & Irish Bread for a Traditional St. Patrick's Day

Beef brisket makes corned beef by being salt and pickle cured. Beef brisket can come packed in a brine and with a small pickling spice packet. Remove the thick brine and rinse the brisket. A brisket can be used; however, if you use Corned beef, you will want to add a few extra steps. Corned beef is cured in a salt mixture, so it can be very salty. Bring the corned beef to a boil in plain water, discarding the water; you may want to do this 3 times before proceeding with the Guinness beer to cook it. Serve this dish with horseradish and Irish Soda Bread (*See recipe at the end).
Corned Beef, Cabbage & Irish Bread
For the Corned Beef:
3 1/2 Lbs Uncooked brisket for corned beef
2 bottles Guinness beer (or any dark beer)
10 whole cloves
1/4 C hot sweet honey mustard
2 Tbl dark brown sugar
1 Tbl pickling spice in a cheeseclothe, end tied
1 onion
1 halved head garlic
2 Bay Leaves

For the Vegetables:1 head cabbage
4 Tbls cooking oil, bacon grease or lard
5 carrots, cut into thick sliced chunks
10 small red potatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley at the end for color
1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2.Prepare brisket by washing well as stated above; Insert the cloves into the top of the slab of beef, evenly spaced. Spread the top with the hot sweet honey mustard. Sprinkle 1 Tbls brown sugar over the top of meat.

3. In a large pot, whisk together the beer and the other Tbls brown sugar. Snuggle in the brisket, it should almost be completely covered by the beer. Add the pickling spice cheeseclothe bundle, onion and the garlic.
4. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, uncovered is best so you can keep an eye on it. Boiled-over beer is no fun to clean.
5. Once it begins simmering, cover the pot and place in oven to roast for 4-6 hours, flipping meat once during halfway point. Remove from oven.
6. Spoon out 2 cups of the corned beef braising liquid to cook the cabbage.
7. While the meat is roasting, cut up the vegetables, cut the cabbage into 8 wedges.
8. In a separate large, wide pot, heat up the lard/bacon drippings/oil on medium-high heat. When hot, swirl the pan around to get the fat to evenly coat the pan.
9. Add the cabbage wedges, carrots and potatoes and cook until browned, about a 3-4 minutes. Turn to brown the other side. Take the cabbage out with tongs and set aside.
10. Pour in the reserved corned beef cooking liquid, bring to a simmer and cover the pot. Turn the heat to low and let cook for 5 minutes. Continue cooking all the vegetables, add the cabbage back in, another 10-15 minutes or cooked though (pierce with fork to check doneness). *Note the cabbage cooks quicker than the carrots and potatoes.

11. Slice up the corned beef against the grain and serve with the cabbage and vegetables. Garnish with a sprinkling of parsley. Pour a bit of the sauce over the corned beef just before serving. Serve the extra sauce on the side with the dish so more can be added, if desired.

Rustic Irish Soda Bread:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour & 2 Cups wheat flour (or you can just use 4 C's all purpose)
  • 4 Tbl white sugar
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 Tbl baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 c margarine, softened
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • 1/4 c buttermilk
1.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2.     In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
3.     Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

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