Friday, March 20, 2009

Corned Beef

I'm still alive, if anyone was worried. Just, well, busy and therefore not cooking, knitting, or doing anything else worth posting about and thus, no posts. However, since St Patrick's day was this week, I threw a party last Saturday. Lots of beer, car bombs, and food. Corned beef and cabbage, to be specific, and here's the recipe I made up that day.

Now, this recipe uses the prepackaged, already-brined corned beef brisket. I still haven't tried corning my own, and since I was going to be making at least 10 lbs of the stuff, I went with what I've done before. I did the corned beef, potatoes and cabbage, and served it with roasted carrots and parsnips with onion, and soda bread. The soda bread recipe I got off of Food Network's website, from an episode of Sara's Secrets. I didn't use loaf pans, just formed the dough into two rough balls and put them on a half-sheet pan. I'll warn you - the recipe is really sticky and moist, so your two balls will run together if you do it this way, and if you don't use a pan with edges, might slide right off. However, this bread has great flavor and moisture. Instead of raisins, I used one cup of dried currants (which are really just tiny raisins, they're not actual currants, in case anyone wanted to know).

This is what I did for the party; you can scale it down as needed, it won't change the recipe.

Corned Beef, Potatoes, and Cabbage
Serves 15-20

12 lbs corned beef point cut (packaged in juices)
Spice packet from corned beef (mustard seeds, allspice, peppercorns, bay leaf, and coriander)
7 lb red potatoes, small ones halved, larger ones quartered
2 heads cabbage, quartered, cored, then each quarter sliced into thirds

For roasted parsnips and carrots:
2 lbs baby carrots
2 lbs parsnips, peeled and cut into pieces
1 onion, peeled, quartered, then each quarter cut into thirds
Olive oil, salt, and pepper

Preheat oven to 300. In a large roasting pan, put beef and spices. Add water to about halfway up the beef, bring to a boil on the stovetop, then cover with foil and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 3 hours. When there's about one hour left, mix the carrots, parsnips, and onion with olive oil, salt, and pepper in an ovenproof dish, and put into the same oven.

When the beef is done, pull it out of the juices and let it rest on a cutting board. Put the potatoes into the juices and put back into the oven for about 30 minutes, then add the cabbage, cover, and cook another 10-15 minutes. I like my cabbage relatively crisp, so if you like yours completely cooked, put the cabbage in earlier.

Slice the corned beef across the grain and serve with the veggies and soda bread. Mmmmm . . .

I love how easy this recipe is; it's technically time-consuming, but it's nearly all just down time. You can probably also do this in a crockpot, but the potatoes and cabbage will probably have to be added with the beef at some point, and I've always just done it in the oven.

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