Sunday, March 28, 2010

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I LOVE corned beef and cabbage. I was raised up on it. I have even served it to a few lucky souls around here.

For me, it is my favorite March meal. Corned beef always goes on sale around St. Patrick's Day since it is considered an Irish meal. Since my birthday is soon after that, at home we always had corned beef and cabbage the closest Sunday to my birthday and Mom still serves it to us when we visit near my birthday and considers it MY birthday dinner.

Most people view this meal with suspicion or worse. It doesn't help that the meat is bright red and juicy in its package before it is cooked. There is an art or skill or just plain know-how that makes this meal "traditional" and delicious.

Jim never ate it until he met me, and even after eating it, still married me, and even more so, requests it at least once a year.

Choosing a corned beef needs to be done with care, as a brisket can be a very fatty piece of meat. There are usually two choices of cut, the flat cut, or the point. The flat cut is usually more expensive, less fatty and tenderer meat. This particular piece was excellent, with very little fat, which is unusual.

If I am at home I simmer the corned beef on the stove, covered in water for nearly an hour a pound. It usually gives directions on the package. If I want it for Sunday dinner, I simmer it on the stove until time to go and then put it in the slow cooker.

Inside the package, comes a smaller package of spices that can be used at the cook's discretion. I always use it. You can see it sprinkled on top of the meat below.

While the meat is cooking, I peel and cut up potatoes and carrots to boil after the meat is done.

I also cut cabbage into wedges to also boil later.

When the meat is fork tender, let it rest a few minutes before slicing against the grain. Usually there is quite a big of fat to cut off.

While the meat is being sliced, the potatoes and carrots are placed in the boiling broth to cook for about 15 minutes. If there is room in the pot, put the cabbage in also, a few minutes after the others to cook for 5-10 minutes, so everything is done at the same time.

After removing the vegetables, strain the broth to use as gravy. I don't thicken it.
At home we were served vingar to eat dribbled on to the cabbage. Jim uses it on the whole meal.
I bought this vinegar cruet at a junk/antique shop to use just for this purpose. Mom had a little tiny glass cream pitcher that we used and I have coveted it since I first saw it.
Here is my plate of dinner. I love cabbage.


Anonymous said...

That looks sooo good! I'm hungry for it fight now!

gkey said...

Dear cook of the March holiday meal,
I would eat this at your table. I have not had it any where that I liked it so far, but would give it another chance just for you!~~~
afterall, we all know tastes change over time!
The Irish man I married says his mom never cooked corn beef that he remembers. I bet his grandmothers did though.
wife o' the Irish man who has never asked me to cook this for him yet.

The J's said...

If I remember right, you did make it for us once upon a time.
I'm not really a fan...but I don't remember just terribly disliking it either!

Judy Cronk said...

Yummy yummy-can I come eat at your house??