How to Cook Corned Beef
Knowing how to cook corned beef is almost a mandatory skill if you have even a drop of Irish blood in your veins. Corned beef is a quintessential American Irish tradition, although many Americans only eat it once a year, on St. Patrick's Day. Corned beef was one of Ireland's main exports until 1825; County Cork was the largest producer for many decades. The British Army often survived on cans of it during their many and bitter campaigns across Europe. Today, however, corned beef is far more popular in America than it is in Ireland.

What makes it "corned"? The beef brisket is cured using kernels ("corns") of salt, a preserving method dating back at least to the early 1600s.

Transcript
-Hey everyone, I'm Judith. We'll today, I'm gonna give you a dish to make on St. Patrick's Day. That's right because today we'll be making corned beef and cabbage dinner. So, what you'll need is 1 to 2 to 2-1/2 pound corned beef brisket; 1 teaspoon of whole black pepper; 2 bay leaves; 3 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise; 2 medium parsnips or 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks, and we're gonna be using the parsnips today; 2 medium red onions, cut into wedges; 10 to 12 new potatoes about 1 pound; 1 small cabbage, cut into 6 wedges that's about a pound there. So first things first, let's get our brisket. This is our lovely corned beef brisket. So we've trimmed off any excess fats trying to trim up as much as you can and basically the idea here is we want to tenderize the brisket. It's the breast that's a lot of connective tissue, which we wanna break down and get it nice and tender. So, we got to cook this for a long time. So, what we'll do is in our large pot right here, we're gonna add in this trimmed brisket onto the bottom. Now, if you have any of those excess juices and spices that came with your package of meat, those can go in there too. Now, add in-- Let's add in our water. Now, we wanna add enough water to cover the meat. So get that meat all covered, perfect. Now, we'll add in our bay leaves. This gonna give a lovely flavor and our black pepper, fantastic. Now, let's get the heat on. We wanna bring that to a boil. Once it's boiled, we're then gonna reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is nice tender and once it is, then we'll add in the remainder of your ingredients. Our corned beef brisket now has been simmering for about 2 hours. So now it's time to add in the rest of our ingredients. So, as you can see, oh that is smelling very good and our meat is tenderizing, getting nice and soft, so in goes now the onion. The carrots go in there too and the parsnips, lovely vegetables there. Now, we're gonna bring that to the boil. Once it gets boiling, we're then gonna reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes, covered. Our parsnips, our onions, and our carrots have been simmering there for 10 minutes with the meat and smelling very good, and now it's time to add in our potatoes. So, we've halved them, halved the potatoes, give them a good scrub, and we're gonna be adding that into the mix there. So, this is when you need to make sure you been using a nice big pot. Get as many as you can fit in to be with that, and last but not the least of course our cabbage. They are gonna go in there and if you wanna cut your cabbage a little bit smaller, that's fine too. So, we wanna simmer this, covered for another 20 minutes, goes in there, perfect, alright. We'll be back in 20 minutes when our vegetable and meat are nice and tender. So, our potatoes have been simmering nicely with all other vegetables and meat and now they are nice and tender. So, it's ready to serve up and as you can when I bring out this lovely corned beef brisket, it's now nice and tender. All that connective tissue has been broken down and we've got this lovely pull off the fork lovely meat. So, let's just get all that meat down there. Don't forget now to discard your bay leaf. You don't wanna be eating that. That's just for that beautiful flavor inside of our pot like so, alright. So, just have that cool a little bit before we cut into it and with the cabbage and veggies, let's serve that now into a nice platter. Our cabbages are nice and soft and tender, and this is a great meal, you know, to share with all the family, gives you a lot for the little ingredients that you use, beautiful. Really nice for cold winter day or of course St. Patrick's Day. There you go, let's get all those lovely veggies out. It gives a nice color there with the carrots as well and the red onion. Let's get the remaining of those out. There we go, found the bay leaf, beautiful, alright. So, then, last but not the least, let's just cut up our brisket. Let's just cut down there and as you can see, that's nice and tender now. So, all we wanna do is cut across the grain. We can cut it into nice little slices, oh beautiful. It just pulls apart when you're cutting it like that really, really nicely, anyway you like. We'll just gonna lay about our chopped lovely vegetables and cabbage, fantastic. So, it does take a little bit of time of course, but you really don't need to do anything. You pop all your veggies into the pan. Let them simmer there with all those lovely flavors and that's it, have it for a nice dinner meal. Do it in the morning and eat for dinner and that's perfect. So, that is how you make your corned beef and cabbage dinner.
What You'll Need
  • 1  2 - 2 1/2 pound corned beef brisket*

  • 1   teaspoon whole black pepper

  • 2   bay leaves

  • 3   medium carrots, quartered lengthwise

  • 2   medium parsnips or 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 2   medium red onions, cut into wedges

  • 10 - 12   new potatoes (1 pound)

  • 1   small cabbage, cut into 6 wedges (1 pound)


Step By Step
1
Trim fat from meat. Place in a 4- to 6-quart pot; add juices and spices from package of beef. Add enough water to cover meat. Add pepper and bay leaves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 2 hours or until meat is almost tender.
2
Add carrots, parsnips or rutabaga, and onions to meat. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Scrub potatoes; halve or quarter. Add potatoes and cabbage to pot. Cover and cook about 20 minutes more or until vegetables and meat are tender. Discard bay leaves. Remove meat from pot. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving platter. Makes 6 servings.


Note
  • If your brisket comes with an additional packet of spices, add it instead of the pepper and bay leaves called for in the ingredient list.
Fun fact: St. Patrick's Day became a major holiday for the Irish living in America starting in 1762, when Irish soldiers (pressed into service in the British Army and stationed in the colonies for the French and Indian War) held the first ever St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City. Corned beef was not associated with the holiday in Ireland, where the dish is commonly served with potatoes rather than cabbage, but became the meal of choice for American Irish and others who celebrate the holiday in the States. Knowing how to cook corned beef means you can have an authentic Irish meal any day of the year.
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