The preparation of the potatoes and the cabbage is pretty strait forward. However, the corned beef takes some planning ahead of time. You will need a brining bag or a few heavy-duty zip-lock plastic freezer bags that you will use to soak the beef in a brine (salt) solution. This process takes about 7 days (believe it or not). The recipe for corned beef that you will need is listed below. But if St.Patrick's Day is just around the corner and you want to make corned beef in a pinch, you can get a kit at most grocery stores that include a pre-seasoned brisket and spices. Either way, you will be able to make a great, traditional St. Patrick's Day feast featuring corned beef and cabbage!! Erin go Bragh!!!
If a home stand in the kitchen is not what you had in mind, there are a few cities here in the States that have sizable Irish immigrant populations and also have respectable St. Patrick's Day celebrations. These include Boston, Chicago, New York and Savannah, Georgia. Out of these four cities, Chicago would be my first choice. Here is a guide to additional events happening in the Windy City this weekend...
If you do decide to go to Chicago, I recommend going to McGees and Kelly's. These two pubs are conveniently located across the street from one another in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Chicago's north side. As stated in an earlier post, if you visit McGee's be sure to try the Irish Nachos!! Anyway, back to the recipes....
brining bags (you can get them at Sur La Table) or heavy-duty plastic Ziploc Freezer bags
2 1/2 pound beef brisket
5 cloves garlic, cut in half
8 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
1 cup kosher salt
3 bay leaves
1 tspn dry mustard
2 tspn peppercorns
1 pinch of ground cloves
1/4 tspn whole cloves
1/2 tspn allspice
4 garlic cloves, diced
- In a large pot, mix together the water, sugar, kosher salt, white vinegar, bay leaves, 1 tspn of the peppercorns, 1/2 tspn of the dry mustard, and a pinch of ground cloves.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it cool. This mixture is called the brine.
- Put the beef brisket in a brining bag. Then pour in the brine mixture and the 5 garlic cloves. The brine should cover the beef at all times so try to seal the bag with as little air remaining as possible. Then, place the bag in a larger bowl (in case the bag leaks). You may have to place a can of soup on top of the bag to keep the beef below the surface of the brine.
- Place the bag in the refrigerator for 7 days.
- After 7 days, remove the beef brisket from the brining bag and discard the brine.
- Rinse the brisket with water and then place the meat in an oiled Dutch Oven or large pot.
- Add enough water to cover the lower 2/3 of the beef brisket.
- Add the remaining 1 tspn of peppercorns, the allspice, the remaining 1/2 tspn of dry mustard, 4 diced garlic cloves, and 1/4 tspn of whole cloves.
- Heat the pot over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Skim off any foam that forms.
- Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for 4 hours.
- Remove from pot and cut the brisket across the grain of the meat.
3 cups of the mixture in which the brisket was simmering.
1 head of cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons.
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Add the 3 cups of the brisket mixture and the cabbage to a large skillet.
- Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the skillet over medium heat.
- Heat the cabbage until it has softened but still has a slight crunch.
- Remove from heat and drain off any excess water.
- Add butter to the cabbage and stir.
- Serve hot.