How to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage and Make the Best Sandwich With It
Friends! It is the weekend and even though it is freezing cold outside, the sunlight is pouring in our house and Spring is in the air. This upcoming week is St. Patrick's Day and while green beer is probably everyone's favorite fare for the celebration, you can't forget the corned beef and cabbage.
I did not grow up eating corned beef and cabbage so it is a relatively new thing on my menu. What I learned the first time I made it was that it is really difficult to screw up the meat because you buy it pre-cured. The best way that I can describe the flavor is that it is the cow's version of ham. Corned beef is actually a brisket cut of beef and has been soaked in a seasoned brine of water, spices and curing salt. Your package of corned beef will come with a small packet of spices that you simply add to the top of the brisket before you put in the oven. This is honestly too easy. It's called corned beef because the salt that it is cured in are corn-sized grains.
The traditional corned beef meal is boiled and served with boiled cabbage, potatoes and cabbage. Like I said before, you can't really screw up corned beef so even though this traditional meal isn't my favorite, it still tastes good. Other people like cooking their corned beef in the crock pot with all of the fixings. It is good that way too.
I want to tell you the best way to cook corned beef and cabbage and the best way to serve and eat it too. What really shocks me about this recipe is that it is the cabbage that really puts this meal over the top. We serve with the traditional red potatoes. You could also add carrots, I'm not a huge fan so we don't.
For the Meat, Cabbage and Potatoes
Corned Beef Brisket (2-3 pounds) w/ seasoning packet (peppercorns and other spices)
Cabbage (1 large napa cabbage)
Red Potatoes (3 to 4 potatoes per person)
Cleaned and chopped Carrots
For the Sandwich
Horseradish (regular or creamy style)
Spicy Brown Mustard
Preparation: (About 40 minutes preparation and active cooking and 3 to 3 and 1/2 hours in the oven)
Pre-heat oven to 270 degrees. Remove corned beef brisket from package and place in baking dish. Do NOT cut away any of the fat. This will melt into the meat and is part of the whole corned beef experience. Pour water down side of dish so that there is about 1 inch. You will want to make sure that the pan does not go dry while cooking, so check about every hour while cooking and refill water if necessary. Open packet of seasoning that came with the beef and sprinkle over the top of the brisket. Cover the baking dish with foil, allowing space between the foil and the meat. Place in the oven and allow to cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes per pound.
Wash and cut the potatoes in half and add to the baking dish with the brisket (place them around the side, in the liquid) when it has about an hour and a half left to cook. (This is also when you would add the carrots).
You will want to allow the brisket and potatoes to cool for about twenty minutes before serving so about 10 minutes before it is ready to come out of the oven, you can start on the cabbage. This is so simple, but so worth it. You want to clean the cabbage and pat dry with paper towels. Then chop finely, so that the cabbage is almost shredded. In a hot pan that is on a burner set to medium-high heat, drizzle some olive oil and begin adding the shredded cabbage, using tongs or a wooden spoon to keep the cabbage moving in the pan (you do not want it to brown) as you add more. I find that a large sauce pot works best for this process so that there is enough space for all of the cabbage to cook. Once all of the cabbage has been added to the pan, continue to stir and add salt and pepper (about a quarter teaspoon of each). Continue stirring and add about 1/4 cup of water. Stir slowly and lower the heat to medium-low. Continue this for two to three minutes and then lower heat to low and cover the pan.
It is probably about time to take the brisket out of the oven now, so do that (don't forget to use and oven mitt) and allow the cabbage to continue simmering. It should be done in about twenty minutes. Stir every few minutes and add salt and pepper to taste as you go along. Be careful not to oversalt because you will be eating with the corned beef brisket that is already very salty.
So this is where you can decide to serve it the traditional way - sliced corned beef brisket with the potatoes, cabbage and carrots on the side - or you can go for the gold right away and serve as sandwiches. It is kind of like the day after Thanksgiving dilemma, do you heat up a plate of leftovers or do you make a sandwich? Because this corned beef sandwich is SO GOOD hot, we skip over the traditional meal and just go straight for the sandwiches. This is how we make them.
I mix together about a tablespoon of mayonnaise and a quarter tablespoon of horseradish and spicy brown mustard for each sandwich. I put this concoction on the top and bottom of the inside of a freshly cut kaiser roll and then start adding the other magical ingredients.
To cut the brisket, regardless of if you are serving on a plate or in a sandwich, you want to slice against the grain. It is possible that the meat may just fall apart, that is okay too.
Add some of these delicious slices of meat to the kaiser roll and add a generous heap of the shredded cabbage to top it off. Serve your sandwich with a side of potatoes (and carrots, if you like) and get ready for wanting seconds. The cabbage just melts into the meat and the sauce you made to dress your bed ain't bad, I'll tell you that. (George likes a slice of cheese on his sandwich, too.)
I went from never having eaten this corned beef business to thinking it is one of the tastiest meals of the year. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do! Thank you for stopping by and remember to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest and that you can read me in the Apple News format. Until the next time!