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Old 03-13-09, 11:06 AM   #1
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Corned Beef & Cabbage

I've tried to make this a few times in the crock pot. I've tried different spices, but it always seems to taste a little bland. Not horrible, but not quite as flavorful as I recall my mom making when I was younger (which is funny because my mom was not a great cook).

Anyway, anybody familiar with the dish? Have any good recipes or tips? I don't think I'll do it again for St. Patricks day as I just made it this week, but at least for the next time I do make it.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:09 AM   #2
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peppercorns.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:11 AM   #3
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peppercorns.
I've used the little spice packet that comes with the corned beef brisket. That has peppercorns.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:17 AM   #4
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I've heard of people searing the meat in a big cast iron skillet first. For best flavor, seal in foil with the ***** packet and enough water to keep it moist. Pop in 350 oven for 45-60 minutes per pound. Cook cabbage and potatoes seperate, not so long that they turn all mushy. Roasted potatoes (and even cabbage) bring out extra flavor also. More of a pain, but you'll be glad you went through the extra trouble.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:21 AM   #5
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I've used the little spice packet that comes with the corned beef brisket. That has peppercorns.
Use a BIG pot. Don't need to cover.

We used the spice packet that came with it - if it did, many times the spices are already in with the additional brine packaged with meat. What we did was duplicate the spice packet - add more. More peppercorn, bayleaf, thyme. Add several smashed garlic cloves. Chopped onion - and just cover the meat with water. And put on a slow long heat. The meat needs to pull apart easily, that's one of the best parts about the brisket. Have had other cuts of meat prepared like this but it wasn't the same - fat:meat ratio wasn't there. Too lean and it's just not the same.

One of the bars I bartended/cooked at was VOILA an irish bar. The bar smelled like corned beef and cabbage for days. We usually purchased 8 20 lb briskets (came in their own box) and start cooking them the day before St. Pat's/parade day. Because we kept a huge kettle going all day/night cooking all the corned beef - we separately cooked potatoes (peeled and halved), carrots (kept in large pieces as they tend to overcook) and wedges of cabbage. At home though I would remove the meat and then cook everything in the brine/broth.

one thing the bar did that I wasn't crazy for was when we served the big platter - we would ladle a fairly good amount of melted butter over the whole thing. Tasted good, but a little much.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:25 AM   #6
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I think the Schmenge Brothers and The Happy Wanderers did the best cover of Corned Beef and Cabbage
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Old 03-13-09, 11:27 AM   #7
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Use a BIG pot. Don't need to cover.

We used the spice packet that came with it - if it did, many times the spices are already in with the additional brine packaged with meat. What we did was duplicate the spice packet - add more. More peppercorn, bayleaf, thyme. Add several smashed garlic cloves. Chopped onion - and just cover the meat with water. And put on a slow long heat. The meat needs to pull apart easily, that's one of the best parts about the brisket. Have had other cuts of meat prepared like this but it wasn't the same - fat:meat ratio wasn't there. Too lean and it's just not the same.
That's similar to what I've tried in past. I've used beef broth instead of water and tried those (or similar) spices. I typically slow cook meat by itself on long slow heat in slow cooker, then add cabbage and potato toward end so they don't get over mushy.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:34 AM   #8
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For me, the secret is using mixed pickling spice in a big teaball. My favorite blend is the house brand from Fred Meyer's/Krogers, and it includes mustard seed, cinnamon, ginger, bayleaf, red pepper, caraway, allspice, black pepper, coriander and cloves. I put about 1/4 cup of mixed spice into the teaball and hang it on the edge of the stockpot for the entire cooking time. I simmer the brisket (I like the flat) for a few hours and add the cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions towards the end. I serve it with a horseradish sauce and everything is devoured quickly.

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Old 03-13-09, 11:41 AM   #9
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For me, the secret is using mixed pickling spice in a big teaball. My favorite blend is the house brand from Fred Meyer's/Krogers, and it includes mustard seed, cinnamon, ginger, bayleaf, red pepper, caraway, allspice, black pepper, coriander and cloves. I put about 1/4 cup of mixed spice into the teaball and hang it on the edge of the stockpot for the entire cooking time. I simmer the brisket (I like the flat) for a few hours and add the cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions towards the end. I serve it with a horseradish sauce and everything is devoured quickly.
That sounds good MC. Is that a particular spice packet from FM? What's it called, I may look for it next time. I like the tea ball idea, but I'd die a slow painful death before letting horseradish come through these lips.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:52 AM   #10
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Better than buying the pre-made stuff, make your own. It's really not difficult at all. You apply the spices--mostly kosher salt--and let it sit in the fridge with a heavy pan on top of it for about 5 days or more. (Since it's a method of preservation, this is okay to do.) I've got a good recipe for it that I can send you, if you're interested.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:54 AM   #11
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Brine it for 24 hours first. Salt, brown sugar, cracked peppercorns and crushed garlic. For the last 3 hours before cooking, add a couple tablespoons of a sweet wine vinegar. Do not cook in the marinade.

Now, you've got a couple options from here: Either set your slow cooker on low, throw some potatoes in the bottom with a 1/2c of water, add the corning spices, put the brisket on there, cover and let it cook for 7-10 hours. Add your carrots for the last 2 hours and quartered cabbage for the last 45 minutes. That's about as easy and traditional as you can get it.

You can take it from the brine, sear it in some high-heat oil in a French oven, deglaze with a light ale and sautee garlic and corning spices until the peppercorns smell 'toasted', add the brisket back into the pot along with the remainder of the first beer plus 1 more bottle, halved potatoes, and peeled carrots. Bring the liquid volume almost to the top of the contents (water or beef broth) and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Pre-heat oven to 275F while bringing to boil. Cover and transfer to oven for 4 hours minimum. Add quartered cabbage for last hour of cooking time. Remove contents to serving platter, retain liquid in French oven. Prepare 2T cornstarch roux and heat large saucepan over high heat. Ladle braising liquid through fine strainer into saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. While vigorously whisking, slowly add cornstarch roux until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat when desired consistency is reached. Slice brisket, serve with cabbage wedge and potatoes (fork smashed, with braising gravy) and the same beer you used for the braising.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:55 AM   #12
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That sounds good MC. Is that a particular spice packet from FM? What's it called, I may look for it next time. I like the tea ball idea, but I'd die a slow painful death before letting horseradish come through these lips.
Yes, it is the Kroger house brand available at Fred Meyer's. It is called 'mixed pickling spice' and is packaged in a 3.25 ounce rectangular metal spice tin. Be advised that the spices expand dramatically when soaked, so it is imperative to use a very large teaball or a cheesecloth bag.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:56 AM   #13
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Better than buying the pre-made stuff, make your own. It's really not difficult at all. You apply the spices--mostly kosher salt--and let it sit in the fridge with a heavy pan on top of it for about 5 days or more. (Since it's a method of preservation, this is okay to do.) I've got a good recipe for it that I can send you, if you're interested.
Sure...PM it to me please. I'll try it next time I do corned beef.
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