It was St. Paddy’s Day and as a rule we generally serve a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner—although it’s typically not my favorite meal. After a little online research, The Hubster found a promising new technique from Cook’s Country that ensures the meat will not be unbearably salty, fatty, dry, and rubbery—my main complaints.
Cooking the corned beef the night before, then refrigerating it overnight, not only allows easier access to removal of extra fat, but makes slicing it a breeze, and also renders it melt-in-your mouth tender. And the veggies cooked separately come out full of flavor, and soft but not mushy.
When cooked with the stale spice packet that often gets packaged with the meat, it’s flavorless at best, right? Plus, the accompanying vegetables are usually mushy, greasy, and monotone in flavor. To solve the dry, stringy meat texture, CC got rid of the typical stovetop simmer and moved a covered pot into a low-temperature oven for gentler cooking over a long period of time.
To help flavor the meat, they replaced some of the water with chicken broth and added celery, carrot, and onion, along with peppercorns, allspice, a bay leaf, and thyme, to the cooking liquid. For the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes typically served with the corned beef, CC strained and defatted the cooking liquid and then cooked the vegetables separately in stages––potatoes first, then carrots and cabbage. A little butter added to the pot helps flavor the vegetables.
NOTE: Use flat-cut corned beef brisket, not point-cut; it’s more uniform in shape and thus will cook more evenly. When slicing the cabbage, leave the core intact or the cabbage will fall apart during cooking.
For another level of flavor and texture, The Hubster also made a Dill Pickle-Horesradish Cream as a topper. St. Paddy’s Day may have come and gone for this year, but don’t feel you have to wait until next March to try this impressive version of Corned Beef and Cabbage.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 1 (4- to 5-pound) corned beef brisket roast, rinsed, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 12 carrots, peeled (3 chopped, 9 halved crosswise)
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ½ pounds small red potatoes
- 1 head green cabbage (2 pounds), cut into 8, 2″ wedges
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine beef, broth, water, chopped carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, and allspice in Dutch oven. Cover and bake until fork slips easily in and out of meat, 4½ to 5 hours.*
- Transfer meat to 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Strain cooking liquid through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl, discard solids, and skim fat from liquid. Pour 1 cup cooking liquid over meat. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, return remaining cooking liquid to Dutch oven, add butter, and bring to simmer over medium-high heat.
- Add potatoes and simmer until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add carrot halves and cabbage, cover, and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer vegetables to serving platter and season with pepper to taste.
- Transfer beef to carving board and slice against grain into ¼-inch-thick slices.
- Serve with vegetables.
*TO MAKE AHEAD: Prepare corned beef through step 2. Refrigerate moistened beef and cooking liquid separately for up to 24 hours. To serve, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer meat to carving board and slice against grain into ¼-inch-thick slices and return to baking dish. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake until meat is heated through, about 25 minutes. While meat is heating, proceed with Step 3.
Dill Pickle-Horesradish Cream
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- 6 Tbsp. prepared horseradish, drained
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped dill pickle (or dill relish)
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.