Corned Beef and Cabbage

I vaguely remember my mom attempting to make this St. Patrick’s Day classic one time during my childhood.  As I remember, it involved braising the corned beef by itself in beef broth in the slow cooker, all while every burner on the stove was taken up cooking each ingredient – carrots, potatoes, cabbage, onions – separately.  The process took hours, and the results were okay.  Most of the recipes I’ve found for this dish recommend doing the same thing and then assembling the final dish at the end.  A lot of work for an okay result.

Then, one St. Patrick’s Day while I was at work, my friend Kim brought in her version of the dish to share with everyone.  She offered me a plate, and in an attempt not to be rude, I took a small helping.  As soon as I put it in my mouth, I was rewarded with the tastiest, savoriest, tenderest beef and cabbage I’d ever had.

“Oh my God, Kim!” I exclaimed, “How did you do this?  I must have the recipe.”

“Oh nothing special,” she replied nonchalantly, “You just throw it all in the oven at like 250°F for like 8-10 hours, and then it’s done.”

I couldn’t believe my ears, but I had to try it for myself.  And she was right.  Without further ado, here’s the easy way to do corned beef and cabbage that will yield an exceptional result.

This recipe is courtesy of my friend Kim K. – a great cook, a great friend, and an all around wonderful person.  I am grateful for her friendship.

Note:  Prep this dish in its entirety the night before if fridge space allows – or at least prep all the veggies – and you can throw this in the oven in the morning before you leave for work, leave it to cook all day, and have dinner ready when you get home.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Corned Beef Brisket, 4-5lbs
  2. 1 large head cabbage, cut into large wedges
  3. About 1 lb small red or yellow roasting potatoes
  4. 2 large onions, cut into large wedges
  5. 5-6 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into 2 inch pieces
  6. 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced

Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F
  2. Remove corned beef from packaging (do this in the sink).  Allow juices from bag to drain, discard spice packet if included.  Rinse corned beef and pat dry.  Place in the bottom of a large roasting pan.
  3. Arrange cabbage wedges evenly around roast
  4. Arrange potatoes around roast
  5. Arrange onions around roast
  6. Arrange carrots around roast*
  7. Sprinkle minced garlic over everything
  8. Cover roasting pan tightly with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, crimping around the edges, making sure everything is well sealed and there aren’t any holes for steam to escape during the cooking process.

Cook:

  1. Place roasting pan in 250°F oven, on the center rack, and allow to cook for 8-10 hours.  After a few hours, your home will be filled with the maddeningly delicious scent of slow-braising beef and vegetables.
  2. Remove roasting pan 30 minutes before serving and allow to rest.
  3. Remove aluminum foil and transfer corned beef to a carving board.  Slice across the grain and serve with vegetables and accumulated juices.

Irish Soda Bread or any rustic loaf of bread to mop up the juices as well as a bit of horseradish are traditional sides.

*It’s okay to arrange some of the vegetables on top of the roast if you start to run out of room, as long as they don’t begin to pile higher than the rim of the roasting pan.

 

 

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