St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching, so why not enjoy the traditional Irish-American dish of corned beef and cabbage? If you’re making corned beef for the first time or a seasoned cook curious about how others make it, take a look at the list of five mistakes to avoid and what to do instead to ensure corned beef perfection.
A long, slow simmer is the key to this Irish favorite.
A tougher cut of beef called brisket that must be cooked slowly and for a long period of time in liquid to become tender is the source of corned beef. A staple for St. St. Patrick’s Day, this simple recipe will make corned beef so tender that you’ll want to eat it all year.
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1 Soak the Corned Beef
Put the beef in the pot, cover with cold water, and leave it to soak for 15 to 30 minutes while it’s at room temperature. Some of the salt from the curing process is drawn out by soaking. TIP Choose your cut of corned beef wisely. A flat cut is leaner and simpler to cut into nice slices, whereas a point cut has more fat marbling and yields juicier slices.
2 Add Cooking Liquid
Pour out the water used to soak the beef. Spices from the corned beef’s included spice packet should be added to the pot. Add a little pickling spice if you don’t have a packet or if you just want to up the spice. Add just enough water to fully cover the meat. TIP To enhance flavor, add a 12-ounce can of beer or 1 1/2 cups of apple juice to the cooking liquid. Pour over the meat before adding the water. However, avoid stout beers; they are too bitter.
3 Skim Foam
Bring the pot to a boil. A slotted spoon should be used to remove any foam that accumulates on top.
4 Simmer the Beef
When the corned beef is tender to the fork, cover, lower the heat, and gently simmer for three hours.
5 Prepare the Vegetables
Corned beef’s classic veggie partner is cabbage. One small to medium-sized head of cabbage should be cut into large wedges and placed in the slow cooker for three hours. TIP You can also use other vegetables; cubed rutabagas or turnips, whole small onions, large chunks of carrots, and halved red potatoes all work well in this one-pot dish. Add one or a little of each to the pot.
6 Add Vegetables
Place prepared vegetables in the pot with the corned beef. Increase heat to return the pot to a boil. When it starts to boil, lower the heat, cover it, and simmer the vegetables gently for about 30 minutes, or until they are tender.
7 Slice and Serve
About Kitchen Is My Playground
Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
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Do you need to soak corned beef before cooking?
Should corned beef be submerged in water?
The quantity of water in the pot is one of the keys to simmering corned beef properly. Your hopes of a tender corned beef dish may be dashed if there is not enough liquid to completely cover the meat. Instead: Begin by completely submerging the corned beef in a large pot of water.
What happens if you don t rinse corned beef before cooking?
It’s best to rinse corned beef before cooking it, so yes, you should. Rinsing it aids in removing the excess salt, preventing an overly salty dish from being produced.
What is the secret to tender corned beef?
After you have finished cooking the corned beef, always cut the meat against the grain. If you slice against the grain, the result will be more stringy and tough to chew on than if you do the opposite.
Can you soak corned beef in water overnight?
Rinsing your cut before cooking avoids an overly salty taste. Another method is to soak corned beef in a bowl of cold water overnight to remove extra salt. Keep the cooking temperature at simmering point.