Corned Beef Love
So, I’m a bit late with the St. Patty’s recipes, whatever. Some families celebrate all month, right? Birthdays, too. Corned beef was actually English first, then popularized by the Irish. Don’t be intimidated by this long list of spices or the long process. You can use crushed instead of whole spices, and dig down for patience while the beef brines for 5 days. It’s so worth the wait. I omitted the curing salt, which turns the meat pink.
I cooked the corned beef in the Instant Pot, but I have brief instructions for the oven. Lance and I ate off of a 2-pound brisked for 4 meals, reducing the following recipe by about half. Now I’m wishing I had cooked more! As a bonus, you have to use some of the corned beef for reuben sandwiches. They have dubious beginnings, possibly in Omaha by Reuben Kulakofsky, a Jewish Lithuanian-born grocer in Omaha. Or maybe It was Arnold Reuben, the German-Jewish owner of Reuben’s Delicatessen in NYC. Either way, they are so dang tasty. Recipe at the very end.
Corned Beef and Vegetables
(You can skip the “whole” thing and used crushed)
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
2 teaspoons whole juniper berries
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
2 teaspoons whole yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons whole cloves
8 whole cardamom pods
4 large bay leaves, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 5-6 pound flat beef brisket
1 ½ cups Kosher salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons pink curing salt (optional) or ½ cup beet juice
1 cinnamon stick broken into several pieces
1 gallon water
2-3 cups unsalted beef broth, more or less as needed
8 ounces pearl onions, peeled or largely chopped whole onions
1 ½ -2 pounds medium carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
1 ½ -2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2-2 inch wedges)
1/2 head green or red cabbage, cut into ½ inch slices
Thousand Island dressing
PREPARE PICKLING SPICES
Add pickling spices up through cardamon pods to a medium frying pan. Toast over medium heat just until fragrant, about 3 minutes (Don’t burn!).
Transfer spices to a mortar or medium bowl. Use a pestle, meat mallet or side of a knife or can to coarsely crush the spices. Stir in the crumbled bay leaves, ground ginger and garlic powder.
(If using crushed, you can add spices immediately to brine after saving reserved)
Remove 1 ½ tablespoons pickling spices to an airtight container/sandwich bag to store for later (you will use these when roasting). Add remaining pickling spices to a large Dutch oven. Add Kosher salt, brown sugar, pink curing salt, cinnamon and a gallon of water.
Cover to bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate until chilled (cooling can take several hours).
Once the brine is chilled, add the brisket. Weigh the brisket down so it's completely submerged in the brine with a bowl filled with pie weights or cans. Cover and brine the brisket in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
Remove brisket from brine; discard brine. To rinse, add brisket back to the pot and cover with water. Repeat 3-4 times to remove excess salt.
COOK IT IN THE INSTANT POT
Transfer the corned beef to the Instant Pot, and add 6 cups of unsalted beef broth. Stir in 1 ½ tablespoons reserved seasonings. Seal the lid and select the Meat/Stew or Manual setting on your pressure cooker. Set the cooking time for 45 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 20 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program starts.)
When the cooking ends, let the pressure release naturally completely. This will take about 40 minutes. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and tent it with foil. If adding vegetables: wear heat-resistant oven mitts, and carefully lift out the inner pot and pour out all but 1 cup of the cooking liquid (or 1 ½ cups if using an 8-quart IP) and return the pot.
Place a wire mesh steamer basket inside the pot. Place the carrots and potatoes in the steamer basket, and layer the cabbage on top. It’s okay if the vegetables are slightly above the 2/3 “max fill” marking, but they should not be above the rim of the pot where they could block the pressure valve mechanisms in the pressure cooker lid. Secure the lid and set the pressure release valve to its sealing position. Cancel the cooking program, then select the Steam program for 4 minutes at high pressure.
The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program starts.
When the cooking program ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure release valve to its venting position right away, taking care not to get burned by the steam.
COOK IT IN THE OVEN:
A good rule of thumb is to cook corned beef brisket for 60 minutes per pound of meat at 350 degrees in the oven. For this recipe, the time is broken up: the first half the corned beef cooks alone, the second half the vegetables are added. If you’d like, add a glaze of Dijon mustard and brown sugar to the top of the beef when you add the vegetables.
-adapted from Simply Recipes and Carlsbad Cravings
Gather corned beef (sliced or shredded), rye or marbled rye, sliced swiss, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, and a pat of butter. All ingredients are store-bought with exception of corned beef. Spread dressing on insides of bread. Add cheese to both slices. Add corned beef to one slice, then more dressing, then finally kraut. Close sandwich and press with your palm. Heat the pat of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Cook sandwich, about 2 minutes on each side, pressing with a spatula. Cut in half and serve with more dressing and potato chips.