How Do You Make Corned Beef?

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How Do You Make Corned BeefAre you looking to make the best corned beef from scratch that will tease your guest’s taste buds with every bite? It all starts with salt-cured beef brisket that gets “corned” which is a process that helps to preserve it inside a surface brine with a spice blend which we’ll then cook until it becomes so soft that it falls apart. In this article, we share all there is to know about how to make corned beef so you can serve up a delicious meal whenever you please! 

Choosing the Right Brisket 

Getting the right cut of meat is the first step in making the best corned beef for Saint Patrick’s Day. The brisket is a cut of beef taken from the cow’s pectoral muscles which tends to be chewy and tough because it supports their weight and is therefore used a lot. Because it’s so big, the brisket is divided into 2 cuts, which we discuss below.    

Point Cut

  • This is a smaller but thicker cut
  • Comes with a thinner end and a thicker end
  • Has plenty of marbling but also has connective tissues
  • With a more intense beef flavor but doesn’t have a lot of meat

Flat Cut

  • This larger beef cut is more uniform in size 
  • Leaner piece of meat with a thin layer of fat
  • Contains less flavor since it has less fat
  • Can be easier to slice once it’s cooked

If you want to serve a more visually appealing corned beef dinner, then it’s best to go with the flat cut since it will be easier to slice and serve. But if you feel that flavor is more important, then the point cut will be more tender, flavorful, and juicy. No matter which option you choose, make sure to rinse your brisket before you cook it; this will reduce the saltiness but won’t alter the flavor.

How to Make Corned Beef 

We all know that corn beef is a staple in any deli to make a great sandwich and is synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day. When finished, you can believe that each piece of mouth-watering meat will fall apart with a slight touch of saltiness and sourness. While everyone has their own corned beef recipe, we’ve done all the work for you and have included three different ways to make the perfect corned beef for any occasion.   

Using the Stovetop Method

Below is a cabbage recipe that uses a stove top to make traditional corned beef you can serve to your friends and family.  

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb. corned beef brisket with a spice packet
  • 1 large cabbage, cut into cabbage wedges
  • 2 lb. new potatoes (or baby potatoes), halved
  • 2 lb. baby carrots
  • 4 cups of beef broth (water can be used for a mild taste)
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp kosher salt 
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Place your corned beef into a large pot with a lid; your beef should comfortably rest at the bottom of the pan.
  2. Pour your beef broth over your brisket to cover it and add in your Worcestershire sauce. Then sprinkle your spice packet over your brisket. 
  3. Over high heat, bring it to a boil and cover the pot using your lid then reduce to low heat. 
  4. Cook on a low simmer for 50 minutes per pound of brisket; the meat should be fork tender, which means it can be easily shredded using a fork.
  5. Add your potatoes, place the lid back on, and cook an additional 15 minutes until your potatoes start getting tender.  
  6. Now add your carrots and cabbage wedges, then season them using salt and pepper. Keep cooking with your lid on for 15 minutes until all the vegetables become tender.  
  7. Remove the meat from your crock pot and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Be sure to slice against the grain or you can shred it. 
  8. You can serve this recipe with as little or as much broth as you like. You can also season it with more salt and pepper as you see fit. 

Using a Slow Cooker

If you’re looking to infuse as much flavor as possible into your corned beef without having to watch over your pot for a long time, or if you’re looking for an alternative to a pressure cooker, this is the way to go. 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb. corned beef with a seasoning packet
  • 4 cups of beef broth (water can be used for a mild taste)
  • 2 lbs. baby potatoes
  • 1 lb. baby carrots
  • ½ chopped cabbage
  • 2 bay leaves 

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your slow cooker (8-quarts).
  2. Remove your corned beef from its packaging and place it inside your slow cooker. Cover it with beef broth and top it off with the bay leaves. 
  3. Cover and cook your corned beef for 5 hours on low heat.
  4. Next, add the carrots and potatoes around your brisket and continue cooking for an additional 3 hours.
  5. Finally, add your cabbage slices then cover and cook for another 30 minutes still on low heat. 
  6. Use a slotted spoon and tongs to remove the carrots, potatoes, and cabbage from your slow cooker. Remove your corned beef from the slow cooker and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before you slice and serve.  

Using an Oven 

If you’re in a hurry to serve some guests and want to cut down your cooking time, this is the best option for you to choose.  

Ingredients:

  • 4 lb. corned beef 
  • 1 lb. carrots, cut into 1 in. chunks
  • ½ head cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 onions, cut into 1 in. chunks
  • 6 garlic cloves, cut lengthwise
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 cup beef stock 
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ tsp. ground clove

Instructions:

  1. Preheat a 325°F oven. 
  2. Take out the beef brisket from its package. Rinse and dry it then cut it into two equal parts.
  3. Inside a small bowl, combine the caraway, coriander, thyme, clove, and black pepper then set it aside. 
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet using medium-high heat. Sear your brisket fat side down first for 3 to 4 minutes until it gets a nice color then do the same on the other side. 
  5. Transfer your brisket into a Dutch oven or a roasting pan. Evenly coat every side of your brisket using your spice blend. Next, spread your onions, carrots, cabbage, bay leaves, and garlic all over the top then add your stock and cover it tightly using aluminum foil. 
  6. Put it inside your oven and braise for the next 2-3 hours until it becomes tender. Turn off the heat and leave your corned beef inside the oven for another 30 minutes. 
  7. Slice your corned beef thinly against the grain before serving with broth and vegetables and garnish it with some parsley.     

Conclusion 

The next time you want to serve up a corned beef dinner and want to guarantee the best results make sure to choose the right cooking method for you and your needs. While the traditional way of cooking this meal may end up with excess salt, you can now make them your favorite way! Using any of the recipes above, you can come up with perfectly cooked corned beef every single time that will stay tender and juicy even the next day.

 

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