Oven Braised Corned Beef with Irish Beer and Irish Whiskey

I know we all have heard the phrase “Erin go Bragh” when St. Patrick’s Day is approaching.  And I know that many us that are Irish on that one day only have no idea what it means.  Here is the definition and pronunciation of that famous phrase:

Erin go Bragh is the anglicisation of an Irish language phrase, Éirinn go Brách, and is used to express allegiance to Ireland.

So Erin go Bragh to all of my true Irish friends and all of us wannabes.

I will be cooking my traditional Oven Braised Corned Beef with Irish Beer and Irish Whiskey on St. Paddy’s Day along with the best Irish Soda Bread ever and if you click on the links you will go directly to the recipes.  This year I am going to cook my cabbage a few of different ways just to shake it up a bit and keep things interesting.  I am going to cook the cabbage traditionally with the corned beef and I will also be roasting and sautéing cabbage as well. 

Oven Braised Corned Beef with Irish Beer and Irish Whiskey

When buying the corned beef be sure to buy the flat end.  This is the largest part of the brisket, the most evenly marbled and the tenderest.  The tip end is stringy and not very flavorful.  I had to look really hard through the meat section to find a large piece like I use in this recipe.  There seemed to be only two to three pound pieces and that, to me, is hardly worth the effort.  Besides, the shrinkage factor is crazy.  You can buy your corned beef a week in advance as there will be a better selection in size and, as long as you keep it in the bag it comes in, it will fine.  This size corned beef will serve six but there will not be any left over.

You might think that with all of the beer and whiskey in the recipe it will have a strong alcohol flavor.  But it doesn’t.  In fact there is no beer or whiskey flavor at all.  The beer does wonders for the taste and texture of the corned beef and the whiskey mellows the taste even more giving it a subtle sweetness.  If you prefer not to use beer or whiskey you can substitute homemade chicken stock or low sodium canned chicken broth.  My result was a delicious, melt in your mouth corned beef.

If there is a packet of seasoning in the bag the corned beef comes in, use it.  You can never add too much flavor.  Don’t use any salt as the corned beef has enough in the brine to flavor everything in the pan.

Corned Beef Nestled In The Pot
Serves 6

1        4 ½ to 5 Pound Corned Beef Brisket, Flat End

6        Garlic Cloves, Smashed

2        Large Onions, Thickly Sliced

2        Tablespoons Pickling Spice

2      Bay Leaves

2      12 Ounce Bottles of Beer (Not Light Beer) Such as Harps Lager

1/2  Cup Irish Whiskey

12    Medium Size Carrots, Peeled, Cut Crosswise on an Angle Into 1″ Pieces

6        Medium Size Yukon Gold Potatoes, Unpeeled and Cut Into Quarters

1       Pound Boiler Onions, Peeled and Left Whole with Root End Attached

1      Large Head Savoy Cabbage, Cut Into Six Wedges with Core Left Intact (Leaving the core intact keeps the cabbage leaves together making it easier to handle and it looks good as well.)

Preheat the oven to 325º F.

Rinse the corned beef with cold water to remove all of the brine the meat has been sitting in.  Place the corned beef into a large Dutch Oven. Add the garlic, onions, pickling spice, bay leaves, beer and whiskey. On the stove top bring the liquid to a boil.  (It is always good to put a hot pan into the oven when cooking something such as this.  It removes all of the time in the oven being wasted to get the pan and its contents hot.)  Cover with a lid and place in the oven. Braise 3 hours, turning the meat in the pan half way through the cooking time.

At the end of the 3 hours, remove the pan from the oven, turn the meat again, add the carrots and potatoes, scattering them around the meat. Replace the lid and place back in the oven for an additional hour. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the meat to a platter. Cover with foil to keep warm (if you have a warming oven or warming draw place the corned beef there on medium low). Keep the carrots and potatoes in the pan with all of the liquid and add the onions and the cabbage to the pan, being sure to nestle the cabbage in the liquid and spoon some of the liquid over each wedge.  Bring the liquid back to boil. Replace the lid, place back in the oven and braise for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cabbage is cooked and tender. Remove the pan from the oven.

Trim off some of the fat from the corned beef.  Slice the meat against the grain and decoratively arrange meat and vegetables on a large platter.  Drizzle some of the pan juices over the meat and vegetables.

Serve with prepared horseradish and coarse whole-grain mustard.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Makes 1 Loaf

4          Cups All Purpose Flour

 1/3       Cup Granulated Sugar

 1          Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt

 2          Teaspoons Baking Powder

 1          Tablespoon Caraway Seeds, Optional

 4          Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Preferably Irish Butter), Cold and Cut into 8 Pieces

 2          Cups Golden or Dark Raisins,  Soaked in Whiskey  (Optional.  In a small bowl, pour 1/4 Cup Whiskey over the raisins and let them soak for a few minutes.  Drain well before using.)

1 ½     Cups Buttermilk

1          Large Egg

1          Teaspoon Baking Soda

1          Large Egg Yolk (For the Glaze)

1          Tablespoon Heavy Cream (For the Glaze)

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and the optional caraway seeds.

Cut in the butter with your finger tips or a pastry cutter.  (Using your fingers is the most efficient way to cut in the butter.  Just be sure the butter is super cold.)  Add the raisins and stir until evenly distributed.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with a fork and add the buttermilk.  Add the baking soda and stir to combine.  Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture all at once and combine with a fork until all of the liquid is absorbed and the mixture starts to hold together.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until the dough comes together.  Don’t over work it or it will be a tough bread.

Form the dough into a round, domed shape 7 to 8 inches in diameter.  Place on prepared sheet pan.

In a small bowl mix together the egg yolk and cream and brush the top of the bread all over with the egg wash.  Cut a cross into the top of the bread about half an inch deep.

Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake the bread for 60 to 70 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the baking time.  Bake until the bread is golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack.  Cool completely before cutting.

Roasted Cabbage

Roasted Cabbage

Serves 4 to 6

1          Medium Size Head Green Cabbage, Cut into  1”  Thick Slices

1          Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

1          Teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt

½         Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

¼         Teaspoon Caraway Seeds

½         Teaspoon Garlic Powder

2          Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Preferably Irish Butter), Cut into Bits

1     Cup Corned Beef Cooking Liquid, Homemade Chicken Stock or Low Sodium Canned Chicken Broth

Preheat oven to 400°.

Line a sheet pan with heavy duty foil and spray with cooking spray such as Pam Original.

Place the slices of cabbage on the sheet pan and drizzle with the vegetable oil, evenly sprinkle the salt, pepper, caraway seeds and garlic powder over the slices.  Dot each piece with several bits of butter.  Pour the cooking liquid or chicken stock into the bottom of the pan.

Roasted until cabbage is softened and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and serve immediately. 

Sautéed Green Cabbage

Sautéed Cabbage

Serves 4 to 6

1          Medium Head Green Cabbage, Coarsely Chopped

1          Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

3          Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Preferably Irish Butter)

1          Teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt

½         Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

½         Teaspoon Caraway Seeds

½         Teaspoon Garlic Powder

2          Tablespoons Granulated Sugar

¼         Cup Irish Whiskey 

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add the vegetable oil and the butter.  When the butter stops foaming and begins to turn golden add the chopped cabbage.  Do not disturb the cabbage for about two minutes.  After that time toss the cabbage in the pan and add the salt, pepper, caraway seeds, garlic powder and sugar.  Continue to sauté the cabbage, for 10 minutes, tossing the cabbage around in the pan every few minutes.  Deglaze the pan with the whiskey and continue to cook until the cabbage is soft and slightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to All.

Erin go Bragh!


This entry was posted in Accompaniments, Ahh Haa Moments, Bread, Cabbage, Carrots, Corned Beef, Entree, Food For Thought, Irish Soda Bread, Onions, Potato and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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