It’s feeling a lot like the holidays outside and all I’ve been drinking, besides wine, is Guinness draft. And what else matches with a full-bodied glass of Guinness? Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes! (Besides oysters, of course.) This recipe involves a lot of planning. In my case, I made sure I went straight home after work on the 10th day so that the brisket wasn’t going to sit in brine another day. But once you start cooking, it’s really a no-brainer. I set the timer of the stove an hour at a time once I started to slow-cook the brisket to remind me to check. After three hours, the vegetables took another half an hour.
If you can’t find ready-made pickling spices, you can easily combine the following and make your own:
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
1 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tsps black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp powder ginger
4 dried bay leaves
1 fresh beef brisket, about 4 pounds
1 small head of cabbage, cut in small wedges
6 medium red potatoes, halved
3 ribs celery, cut in 2-inch pieces
2 cups of baby carrots
2 large onions, cut in wedges
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps whole grain mustard
3 tablespoons pickling spices
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1. Using a large Dutch oven, make the corned beef brine. Combine about 10 cups of water, salt, sugar, mustard, spices, and 3 cloves minced garlic. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. When cool enough, add the brisket. If necessary, add more cold water to cover the beef. Using a heavy bowl, weigh the brisket down so it will stay submerged in the water. Cover the pan and refrigerate for up to 10 days in the refrigerator.
2. When ready to cook, discard the brine and rinse the brisket well with cold water. Return to the Dutch oven and cover with cold water. Add the celery, onions and the remaining garlic. Bring to a boil and skim off impurities. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 3 hours.
3. Add the potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Continue to cook in medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more.
4. To serve, remove corned beef from liquid and slice in small chunks. Add cabbage, potatoes and carrots on the side. Drizzle some of the liquid on top of the corned beef and all over vegetables.
Cold weather also reminds me of oxtails and wine