Home Cooked: Corned Beef & Cabbage

You don't want to get between this kid and his dinner. Seriously. 

You don't want to get between this kid and his dinner. Seriously. 

St. Patrick's Day came early to our house this year!  My partner, Chris, is ambitious at work and at home, which means she often has the patience and focus to do things like: research the science of curing meat safely, invest in some supplies and tools, and make corned beef from scratch.  And I am so glad about that, because dinner was delicious.  Even our kid loved it.  While he has an unusually large appetite for a toddler, he doesn't usually eat much meat.  Yet even he was shouting "mo' beef!" throughout our meal. 

Simmering on the stove with a continuous read thermometer to help keep the temp around 190F. 

Simmering on the stove with a continuous read thermometer to help keep the temp around 190F. 

 

 

 

Last week, Chris brought home a plain, raw brisket. She set out to cure it, a process that takes 7 days  (Luckily, after the initial set up, the process is completely passive).   Chris learned to brine and cure by reading AmazingRibs.com, especially this article "The Science of Curing Meats Safely."  The article will school you on basics like killing botulism, nitrites vs. nitrates, and it even includes a handy calculator for setting up your curing solution.  

Add the hard veggies for the last hour of simmering.  The cabbage only needs 30 minutes.

Add the hard veggies for the last hour of simmering.  The cabbage only needs 30 minutes.

 

Today, the  meat was finally ready to be cooked.  Chris followed this recipe, which calls for the cured meat to be simmered in water for 3-4 hours (the meat is so full of seasonings and salts from the week in the fridge, there's no need to add anything else).  You throw the root veggies into the pot for the last hour, and then the cabbage for the last thirty minutes.  Slice up the meat, then serve with veggies and some generous spoonfuls of the simmering liquid.  

 

 

 

Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots! 

Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots! 

I thought the meal was perfect, but Chris felt the meat—while very tender—should have been falling apart more.  Next time she plans to cook the cured (aka corned) beef with our sous vide device for 10 hours, following the advice of Serious Eats, instead of simmering it on the stove.