It can be argued that corned beef cookery isn’t an appropriate subject to feature in a quick-to-prepare recipe column. The point is well taken. But I defend its placement by presenting two justifications.
One, the recipe can be divided into two parts on subsequent days. Day one, the beef is cooked in the oven with chopped vegetables, liquid, and spices. Covered with aluminum foil, it slow-cooks unsupervised for several hours. It’s then refrigerated, the meat separated from all but one cup of liquid and chilled separately. Day two, the meat is sliced and reheated, while the vegetables are cooked on the stovetop.
The second reason for its inclusion is more obvious. March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, a day (in this country anyway) when the concoction marks the celebration.
This recipe was developed by Cook’s Country, a division of America’s Test Kitchen. Their version contends that the spice packets enclosed in many corned beef packets are stale. They suggest using fresh peppercorns, allspice, bay leaf and thyme.
Corned Beef and Vegetables Yield: 6 servings
1 (4- to 5-pound) flat-cut corned beef brisket roast, rinsed, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups water
12 carrots, peeled (3 chopped, 9 halved crosswise)
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 onion, peeled, quartered
3 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon whole allspice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
1 head green cabbage (2 pounds), cut into 8 (2-inch) wedges; see cook’s notes
Cook’s notes: Cook’s Country suggests using a flat-cut corned beef brisket, not point-cut; it’s more uniform in shape and thus will cook more evenly. When slicing the cabbage, leave the core intact or the cabbage will fall apart during cooking.
To make ahead: Prepare corned beef through step 2. Refrigerate moistened beef and cooking liquid separately for up to 24 hours. To serve, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer meat to carving board and slice against grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place in baking dish. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake until meat is heated through, about 25 minutes. While meat is heating, proceed with step 3.
DIRECTIONS 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine corned beef, broth, water, chopped carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, and allspice in Dutch oven. Cover and bake until fork slips easily in and out of meat, 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
2. Transfer meat to 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Strain cooking liquid through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl, discard solids, and skim fat from liquid. Pour 1 cup cooking liquid over meat. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, return remaining cooking liquid to Dutch oven, add butter, and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and simmer until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add carrot halves and cabbage, cover, and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer vegetables to serving platter and season with pepper to taste. Transfer beef to carving board and slice against grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with vegetables.
Cooking question? Contact Cathy Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org