I have always been fascinated by the making of corned beef and pastrami. When I first found this recipe for corned beef, I thought since Emeril Lagasse made it, it had to work. So out I went and bought several briskets which we trimmed and proceeded to brine as instructed. You can’t imagine my joy when the 10 days was finally over. We rinsed the beef, put it in large pots with the vegetables and cooked for 3 to 4 hours. When the time was up the meat was fork tender with a taste far superior to the cherry red corned beef in the stores. I was absolutely smug about our achievement. Not to mention the customers buying up every scrape by the end of the day. We made this once a year for St. Patrick’s Day along with the Soda Bread in small loaves so each person could have one.
The beef itself, is amazingly easy to make. It’s the combination of spices in whole seed form, salt and sugar along with garlic and bay leaves that give the beef it’s unique flavor. The use of whole seeds flavors the meat without a hint they were there as would ground spices. They leave behind only their flavor after the meat is rinsed and cooked.
Because I tend to forget turning the meat from the morning to the evening, nevermind day to day, I make a little chart which I keep handy. Everytime I turn it, I mark it off. At the shop, I had large pots and could just lay the meat in, but at home I find it necessary to cut the meat to fit it into my dutch oven.
Make sure the beef is well trimmed of fat so that you can use the amazing broth with it. My favorite way of serving it is to place it in a bowl, surrounded by cabbage and vegetables with the clear broth. If the meat is too fat, the broth seems to have a heavy, greasy taste even after removing the fat. Ask your butcher to remove as much of the fat as possible. My husband prefers his meat served dry so he can use the orange mustard sauce with it. However, the meat can be cut up in the bowl and dipped in a small bowl of mustard if you are like me and like it with the hot, steamy broth.
I like to marinate the meat for 10 days and on the 11th cook it as called for. I then cool it and store it for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. I skim the fat from the top, remove the meat and vegetables, reserving the broth and the meat. After 3 to 4 hours of cooking, the vegetables have given up most of their taste. So I discard those and start with fresh. I also add potatoes to complete the meal in a bowl. Served with soda bread flavored with caraway seed, this is an unbelievably easy dinner to celebrate a special holiday in Ireland.
Traditionally associated with St. Patrick’s Day and corned beef and cabbage is Soda Bread, named thus because it is leavened with baking soda which makes it much faster and easier than yeast raised breads. The first soda bread I made was very, dense and dry. But my husband loved it anyway. This one is much lighter and more moist. He loves this one also.
I’ve also included that great Reuban sandwich with Russian Dressing for your enjoyment. It’ll never taste better than with your homemade corned beef.
2 quarts cold water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorn, whole
1 1/2 tablespoons allspice, whole
1 1/2 tablespoons corrinder, whole
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, sliced
5 to 5/2 pounds beef brisket
2 1/2 quart zip lock bag
2 large carrots
2 stalks celery
Whisk all together except brisket and zip lock bag. Let sit for about 5 minutes until sugar and salt have dissolved. Rinse the brisket under cold running water. Pierce the brisket all over and place in the zip lock bag. Pour the liquid into the bag and press as much air from the bag as possible. This step is easier if someone helps by holding the bag open. Place the sealed bag in a pan large enough to hold it
and refrigerate. Turn the bag in the morning and in the evening for 10 days.
After the 10 days have passed, remove the meat from the bag and rinse well under cold water. Cut the brisket in half if necessary to fit closely in a dutch oven or other heavy pot. Add the onion, cut into large pieces, the carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces, and the celery cut into 1 inch pieces. Cover with 1 inch of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 3 hours or until very tender. Chill overnight or for several days.
1 small cabbage
4 to 5 carrots, peeled and cut
3 to 4 red potatoes, peeled and cut
3 to 4 stalks of celery, peeled and cut
Remove the meat from the pot. Reserve. Strain the veggies out of the broth. Return the broth to the pot.
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and cut into quarters. Core the quarters. Place the cabbage and uncooked carrots, potatoes and celery into the broth. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the meat and cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through.
Slice the meat against the grain. Serve the meat and vegetables with the Orange Honey Mustard Sauce.
Orange Honey Mustard Sauce
This sauce can be adjusted as desired – add more orange zest or honey as desired.
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons orange zest
Whisk all together. Serve with the hot brisket.
1/4 cup catsup or chili sauce
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish with juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise or miracle whip
Corned beef from above
Layer the corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on the rye bread.
Brush bread with oil and toast in a frying pan or grill on each side. Serve hot.
This is a messy sandwich to eat but worth every napkin.
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour (525 grams or 19 2/3 ounces)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 1/2 cup buttermilk*
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it. Set aside.
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix. Place the butter in a circle over the dry ingredients. Pulse to cut in about the size of peas. Add the caraway seeds. Pour the buttermilk down the feedtube with the motor running and mix just until the dough is evenly moistened and forms a ball.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven until golden brown and bottoms sound hollow when tapped, about 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
*1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vinegar added to 1 1/2 cups milk can be substituted for the buttermilk. Let the combination sit for about 5 minutes before using.