Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe
The beef chunk is wet-cured for several days in a briny solution hence it is termed as corned beef. This proffers a pungent, sharp flavour and amazing texture to the meat. Boiling the meat helps to drive out the salt, softens it and helps in deeper infusion of the spices.
Preparation Time: 7 days
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 1 week, 3 hours
Beef breast/lower chest (2.5 kilograms)
Dark or lager beer (330 milliliters)
Cajun spice blend (a tablespoonful)
Garlic pods, bashed (3)
Mustard paste, yellow (a teaspoon)
Bay leaf (one large)
Carrot (two large)
Baby potatoes (ten)
Onion, chopped (two, large)
Brown sugar (a teaspoon)
Butter (a tablespoon)
Cilantro/parsley leaves, freshly chopped
Allspice powder (a teaspoon)
Cumin powder (a teaspoon)
Ingredients for Cajun Spice Blend
Salt (one tablespoon)
Black and white peppercorns, grounded (a tablespoon each)
Dehydrated onion garlic powder (two tablespoons)
Red pepper powder (half tablespoon)
Dry basil (one teaspoon)
Dry thyme (a pinch)
Paprika (a tablespoon)
The above ingredients when combined yields a cup of Cajun spice blend from which a tablespoon is used for the corned beef and cabbage recipe.
All Spice Recipe
Fresh-grated nutmeg (one-fourth teaspoon)
Cinnamon powder (half teaspoon)
Clove powder (one-fourth teaspoon)
The above trio ingredients when mixed together will yield a teaspoon of allspice which is called for in the original recipe.
While selecting a beef brisket ensure it’s a thicker piece and check its sides so that there isn’t much gristliness (cartilaginous or fibrous). One should ideally be feeling the slab since many meat sellers trick customers by folding the beef over to hide the gristle when there’s excess of it. Gristle would be running lengthwise through the central part of the beef chunk.
One can easily corn the beef that one purchased at the butcher’s shop by combining kosher/sea salt (250 grams), four liters of water and the beef in a big stainless steel vessel. Place under refrigeration with lid on for a week and ensure the meat is totally immersed in the water. After this time period, the liquid is drained.
In a large-sized pot add a tablespoon of butter and place the beef with the fat side faced upwards so that the melted fats would be running all over the meat and ensure its moistness. Add the bashed garlic, brown sugar, mustard paste, cumin powder, bay leaf, allspice, Cajun spice blend and cook for a few minutes. Next drown the beef with water to submerge it along with the beer. Beer is a flavour enhancer and helps in tenderizing the meat. Once boiling point is reached then the flame is lowered and a lid placed over the vessel. Continue simmering for two hours.
In the interim, the baby potatoes are peeled while carrots are diced and quartered. Always use a heavy, solid cabbage and sniff it to ensure there isn’t much bitterness. Discard some of the leaves at the outer side and then dice into wedges. The onions are chopped and set aside.
The baby potatoes, cabbage, onions and carrots are added to the beef. Water is then added to totally immerse the constituents. After bringing to boiling point the flame is reduced and then covered. Continue slow simmering till cabbage and beef have tenderized for further 45 minutes to an hour.
The potatoes are now placed in a mixing bowl that has been rubbed on the inner sides with a crushed garlic pod. Tip in a stick of butter and a fistful of finely diced cilantro or parsley. Mix well till the spuds have been coated with the melted butter and herb. The beef is then sliced across the grain and served with the strained sauce, garnish of herb, potatoes and carrots. Horseradishes or freshly made mustard too can be served along with the corned beef and cabbage. Enjoy.
Photo Credit: Gavanmurphy.com/corned-beef-cabbage