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November 22, 2021

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage

We can't believe Off The Line has now been running for a bit over a month now!! We are excited it's March and not only because it's my birthday month but St. Patrick's Day is the very first holiday since we launched Off The Line!


So with that, we had to take ode to an Irish-American classic and show our take on the famous Corned Beef and Cabbage.

What is corned beef and cabbage?

The origin of corned beef is actually a very interesting and somewhat ironic one. While many believe corn to be somehow involved in the process of making the dish, corn actually has nothing to do with it. Corned beef received its name from the Germanic word “kurnam” which means “small seed", referring to the large crystals of salt that were often used in the curing process when making corned beef. The beef was rubbed with salt and hung to cure as a way of preserving parts of the cow for later in the year. While the dish started as a preservation method derived from necessity, it has now become an Irish staple known worldwide.


The history of corned beef being known as an “Irish staple” is a bit ironic because beef was not consumed as often in Ireland as pork was. On a traditional Irish table, one was much more likely to find a slab of smoked bacon than corned beef. In fact, in the Gaelic religion, the cow was revered and viewed as a symbol of wealth.


However, in America, the opposite was typically the case. Pork was harder to get than beef and in large cities such as New York City, kosher butchering and preservation techniques were more common. While potatoes were also certainly the preferred crop in Ireland, in the US, cabbage was viewed as a cheaper alternative and was often spiced or flavored through being cooked in the same pot as the corned beef - making it a much more flavorful option than a typical head of cabbage

Ingredients for corned beef and cabbage

The list for the pickling spices needed is quite extensive. it includes:

  • Mustard seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Allspice j
  • and a few more

If you'd like to make your own pickling spice or already have most of these spices then go for it! Us, on the other hand, when we make corned beef and cabbage, we go for the standard “pickling spice” blend that is quite common in grocery stores and markets.

The brining process

Under the ingredients for the brine, you will see “pink curing salt #1” which is not to be confused with pink Himalayan salt. Pink curing salt #1 is used in many cured meat recipes such as bacon, ham and pastrami. It's what is responsible for that pink hue that those meats have and helps prevent meats high in fat from going rancid.


When brining the beef brisket, you'll want to refrigerate it for 5 days.


On a time crunch? We've all been there! You can purchase a pre-brined corned beef brisket but... hear us out. We highly recommend you brine it yourself so that you really get to experience the joy of making this dish start to finish. After all, that hard work pays off!

Tips for making corned beef and cabbage

  • Beef brisket: This recipe calls for the use of a five-pound beef brisket but if you can't find one that is exactly 5 pounds, something close is fine as long as you can fully submerge it in the brine.
  • Save the cooking liquid: Strain the remaining cooking liquid and freeze it to use it for soup and sauce bases. Delicious!
  • Weighing the beef brisket: You can weigh down the beef brisket into the liquid using a heavy plate.
  • Chilling the brine: As a quick technique for rapidly chilling the brine, add half of the water (2 quarts) to the pot with the other ingredients to heat. Once simmering, take the pot off the heat and mix in about 2 quarts of ice until the total liquid volume is just over 1 gallon total. This will chill the brine rapidly and will save time cooling.
  • Knowing when it's ready: You know it's ready when the brisket is tender but still has a texture and is not mushy!

Corned Beef and Cabbage is a THE dish to eat on St. Patrick's Day. You've probably seen lots of recipes out there for this dish and for good reason! For us, we love classics and giving them our own Off The Line take on them. Pair it with a nice Irish Ale and you're good to go!

Cheers and eat well!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

An Irish-American classic dish for your St. Patrick's Day meal or really, to be eaten at anytime!

Author:

Jamie Imlah

Prep:

40

min

cook:

300

min

total:

340

min

serves:

12

Ingredients

Brine

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 ½ cups kosher salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pink curing salt #1
  • 3 cloves garlic (smashed)
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 1 (5 pound) beef brisket

Pickling Spice (or your favorite store-bought)

  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons allspice (whole)
  • 1 tablespoon ground mace
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 4 each bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoons ground ginger

Additional Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 2 each yellow onions (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 3 each large carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 large celery root (peeled and roughly chopped) or 6 stalks of celery
  • 1 head green cabbage (cut into quarters)
  • 2 quarts chicken or beef stock
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt

Instructions

Brining Procedure

  1. In a large pot, add the water, kosher salt, sugar, pink salt, garlic, thyme, and the pickling spice and stir to dissolve. Bring the brine to a gentle simmer and turn off immediately and chill.
  2. Once the brine is fully chilled (below 40 F), submerge the beef brisket into the liquid and weigh it down with something to ensure it stays submerged. Refrigerate for 5 days.

Cooking Procedure

  1. After 5 days, remove the brisket from the brine and place it into a pot large enough to allow you to cover it with water. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of pickling spice, the kosher salt, the stock, and the water to cover the brisket.
  2. Bring the liquid to a very low simmer, cover and cook for about 3 hours. Another way to cook the brisket if you would prefer not to have the burner on for multiple hours, is to bring everything to a low simmer, cover, and then place the pot into the oven at 275 F for 3 hours.
  3. After 3 hours, add the carrot, celery root, onion, and green cabbage to a sheet pan or cookie tray and coat them with your oil of choice and lightly season them with salt. Roast them at 400 F for 25 minutes (you are just looking to add color to them and slightly caramelize, not fully cook).
  4. Once the vegetables are roasted, take the cabbage off the sheet tray, and add it to the pot with the brisket and continue to cook for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour, add the rest of the roasted vegetables to the pot with the brisket and continue to cook until the brisket can be pulled apart with forks but does fall apart when pulled (an internal temperature between 180-190 F).
  6. If serving immediately, allow the brisket to rest in the liquid for about 30-40 minutes then remove from the liquid, slice to your desired thickness, and serve with some of the cooking liquid and vegetables.

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