The Complete Idiot's Guide to: Corned Beef and Cabbage
St. Patrick's Day has got to be one of my favorite food holidays of the year. I'm not quite sure if it's frowned upon, but it's tradition for us non-Irish Jews to gather around my Grandma's dinner table and stuff our faces with her homemade corned beef and cabbage.
I'm the self-proclaimed Grandma's girl. I will eat whatever she cooks. Like this homemade mac and cheese that could be some of the best comfort food I've ever put in my mouth. Here's to hoping Saint Patrick and the Irish understand my lust for their delicious meal. They're all invited to dinner on Wednesday evening. If they decide against it, here's a recipe they (and everyone else) can try themselves.
For the corned beef, we get the cryovaced with the seasonings inside. You're more than welcome to brine the brisket yourself.
For about four people, place a 2 ½ - 3 pound corned beef in a stock pot, cover entirely with water, put in all of the spices from the bag, add 5-6 whole black peppers, and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the water simmers, and keep covered. Skim foam from top and cook for 2 ½ - 3 hours or until tender, which means the meat should fall right off a fork.
Remove from the water and let it sit for no less than 15 minutes, then slice thin. For our family, we usually cook 10-12 pounds for about 6 hours. We're hungry.
For the cabbage, remove the large outer leaves and then cut the head in half. Remove the core and then cut into wedges. Cover with cold, salted water and then bring to a boil. Lower the heat and then simmer until soft, which is usually about 10-15 minutes, and then drain. For more people, use 1-2 heads of cabbage.
Feel free to use carrots, but we use potatoes to go along with our meal. Peel and cut 8 medium-sized potatoes into quarters, or halves if they are small potatoes. Cover with salted cold water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. For our family, we use a 5-pound bag following the same recipe.
Traditionally, the sliced corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes are all served on separate platters with sour pickles and mustard. It's also usually followed by a nap.
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