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
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.