Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Awesome Corned Beef and Cabbage

"Braised and Broiled" Corned Beef
served with carrots, crispy cabbage and
boiled potatoes with garlic butter and fresh dill

I love a good corned beef and cabbage recipe.  For years I struggled with making this dish as tasty as I would have liked.  

I mean, don't get me wrong; there's nothing like the slow-braised flavor of a corned beef, cooked all day in a savory broth, and served up with a ton of braised cabbage, carrots and boiled potatoes.  

I came up with this variation on my traditional slow cooker recipe.  It takes a little more time and "love," but it's worth it.  Especially if you are going to make sandwiches out of the leftovers corned beef the next day.

This method keeps the corned beef so juicy, while crisping up the edges.  The flavor is out of this world!

Keep in mind, the way that I "finish" this dish isn't exactly in keeping with my "Just for Cooking" healthy guidelines.  But this is a "splurge" meal.  Everything in moderation, and when you mess up, just jump around your living room and eat less the next day.

That's my philosophy - and I'm 50 and in better shape than I have been in a long time.   So I guess my "take" on eating and exercise works -- at least for me.

Note:  Look for real Irish garlic and herb butter to use in this recipe.

Here we go - 

1 corned beef brisket - 1 lbs. (with spice packet)
1 bay leaf
18 ounces lager beer or light beer*
1 beef bouillon cube
3/4 sweet Vidalia or Sweet Florida "Candy" onion (cut into three chunks)
1 small - medium head of cabbage, cut into eight pieces
3 large carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tbs. onion powder
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb. small red potatoes
3/4 stick Irish garlic and herb butter
1 tbs. vegetable oil
Fresh dill for garnish


Place the corned beef into a slow cooker along with the spice packet and a bay leaf.  Add enough water to completely cover the brisket.  Cook over low heat for 2 hours.

Remove about six cups of the water and replace with the beer.    Continue to cook for about 2 more hours. 

Add the bouillon cube, onion, cabbage, carrot, onion powder, salt and pepper.   Cook for 2 more hours.  Turn heat on high and continue to cook for one more hour until you can "smell" the wilted cabbage. 

Note:  Vegetables should be tender. 

During the last half hour while the meat and vegetables are still in the slow cooker, add the potatoes to a pan of salted water.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, about twenty minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.  Drain potatoes.

Add half of the butter and some of the dill to the potatoes and lightly smash.   Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove vegetables from the slow cooker.  Discard bay leaf.  Separate the onions and carrots into a bowl.  Add half of the remaining butter.  Cover and keep warm. 

Add the oil to a large skillet.  Add the cabbage to the pan and cook for about ten minutes until the cabbage starts to crisp.  Add the remaining butter to the cabbage.   Turn heat off.  Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.  Add the braised corn beef to a shallow roasting pan (broiler safe).  Broil on one side for about five minutes.  Turn and continue to cook for another three or four minutes until the edges get all crispy and goooooood...  (I am channeling Aunt Bea there, or at least Andy). 

Let the meat rest about five minutes before slicing.  Serve with fresh dill.

And there you go.   A deliciously delectable corned beef and cabbage like you've never had before.    I know you are going to love this recipe!

Next week, we're going on a little local "food" adventure.  

See you soon!

*Family-friendly alert:  Beer is optional in this recipe.  It simply adds another layer of flavor.  If you decide not to use the beer, continue to cook the beef in the slow cooker in the water for the entire four hours.