Cooking the corned beef

It’s the day before St Patricks Day and you are getting a little apprehensive about cooking the corned beef. I mean the corned beef your aunt Susie cooked was tough and salty and made you wish you had a dog under the table. So a couple of suggestions to make cooking the corn beef an easy and delicious event.

cooking the corned beef

Either use the search bubble at the top of the page or check the links to these post as they give the in-depth step by step instructions for how one should go about cooking the corned beef. From what type of cut to the simplest of steps

how too cook corned beef

History of corned beef and cooking 

If you follow the steps to cooking the corned beef you will not only have a delicious tender slightly salty piece of meat buy great veggies too, not too squishy from being overcooked. If you checkout both links then you will also be armed with the evolution of the corned beef dinner in America and why it is so dear.

But be it the delicious meal or the history of cooking the corned beef, the intention of the day is  friends and family paying Homage to the Patron Saint of Ireland. Singing a few of the old songs or listening to some great reels and jigs and a slow air or two.

Don’t forget to get a round or two of good Irish bread and good Irish butter to slab it with. There is nothing like good Irish butter, Kerrygold is whats available in my part of the world. Then you have a feast fit for a king or a Saint and a Happy ST. Paddy’s day to all.

Oh and if you decide to forgo the above linked instructions and cook your corned beef on your own there is one more thing you could do to help your guests out

buy a dog.

Cheers.

Corned beef dinner

How to cook the best corned beef dinner;

  1. The most important step in cooking a corned beef dinner is simmering the meat until the meat is fork tender. By simmering I mean just barely bubbling not a full boil. If the meat is cook on a full boil all the moisture of the meat is squeezed out and you are left with a tough tasteless hockey puck.
  2. So you take a large pot that allows enough room for the meat to be surrounded by your simmering liquid, anything from a soup pot to a lobster pot will do depending on the amount you are cooking. fill the pot with water and any residue liquid from the corned beef packaging to cover the corned beef by an inch or two. the water should be cold and the meat and water should be brought to a boil. ONCE THE LIQUID COMES TO A BOIL TURN DOWN THE HEAT to a simmer. Also during the first ten minutes or so make sure the meat doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot by stirring the corned beef briskets. The corned beef will tend to stick to the hot bottom of the pan and will burn if not stirred, once the pot has come to temperature the meat shrinks some and floats off the bottom.
  3. Check the pot from time to time to see if the pot is simmering, adjust to what you see, if it is boiling a bit then turn down the heat, if it isn’t breaking the surface with the low bubbles of a simmer, turn it up slightly. After 3 hours or so you’ll poke the corned beef with a fork and be amazed that it is still tough, another half hour you’ll be amazed at how soft and tender it is. I plan on four hours to cook the meat, knowing it will probably be less than four but there is no way to quicken the process so for planning purposes err on the longer time.
  4. Once the corned beef is cooked I remove it from the pot to a casserole dish or some container that it will fit snugly  into, cover with some of the broth and put top on dish, with the remaining broth in the pot I add my vegetables. Potatoes, carrots, turnip, are the usuals, but why stop there, you can add any you like cauliflower, green beens, broccoli, depends on your tastes and the amount of people who’ll be eating.
  5. I know cabbage. I cook a lot of cabbage at my St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage feast but I like to cook it separate from the main pot. If you are having more than ten people over you will most likely have 2 or more pots of corned beef going at a time. Use one of these pots for cabbage only. Why?. Because cabbage can be cooked to different consistencies, some like it  just wilted while others like it boiled to death. Also cabbage gives of gasses that can sour your leftovers, and expand in the container used to store it.
Helpful hints on making the best Corned beef and cabbage dinner for a crowd.
  1. Use the flat cut of corned beef brisket-Corned beef comes in flat and point cut,the flat is less fatty and easier to cut for guests.
  2. Red or grey? Red orJewish style corned beef is less salty and (comes in cryovacked  packages in the super market) Grey is New England style much saltier usually prepared by local butchers. (some of the salt needs to be soak out for liquid to be used later for veggies) Most people will prefer the red but some love the grey,- solution cook both in separate pots and use the red broth for veggies.
  3. Cook vegetable for proper doneness, potatoes, carrots, turnip can go in together in that order, rough cut not too small. Potatoes maybe quartered, carrots in thirds, turnip slightly smaller,  after ten minutes of boiling these veggies add the quicker cooking ones, green beens, cauliflower, broccoli, whatever you like.
  4. When ready to serve get a large platter, add meat back to the hot pot of cooked veggies, in separate pot boil some cabbage. Remove a piece of corned beef from the pot to a cutting board, scrape off the remaining fat off the top of the flat brisket. Cut across the grain of the brisket in nice thick slice and place in middle of platter. Surround corned beef with veggies and serve with cabbage on the side.
Recap.
  • Buy flat cut corned beef brisket.
  • place in cold water that covers the meat by 1 to 2 inches.
  • simmer for 3.5 to 4.0 hours or until tender.
  • When meat is cooked remove to a container and cook potatoes, carrots, turnip, and your favorite vegetables in cooking liquid.
  • warm corned beef up by placing back in pot with cooked veggies, cook cabbage separately.
  • Remove excess fat from corned beef slice across grain, serve with veggies.
  • Red corned beef makes a nicer broth , Grey is saltier and needs to be rinsed or diluted.
Every year I cook enough corned beef and cabbage to feed 75 people, My main pot is a large lobster pot but I have three other pots going at the same time.We rotate Platters so the food is always hot and served buffet style. I’ve had plenty of Irish friends (from Ireland) who have scoffed at the idea of connecting corned beef and cabbage with St. Paddy’s Day but after being served corned beef cooked correctly are my best supporters.
Cheers