Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

With St. Patrick's Day quickly on its way, I enjoy cooking this dish for friends and family. This peasant dish is welcome in our house all year long.

As background, corning is a form of curing; it has nothing to do with corn. The name comes from Anglo-Saxon times before refrigeration. In those days, the meat was dry-cured in coarse "corns" of salt. Pellets of salt, some the size of kernels of corn, were rubbed into the beef to keep it from spoiling and to preserve it.

Ingredients
1 corned beef brisket
1 large head cabbage (preferably savoy)
8 peppercorns
6 cloves garlic, whole peeled
4-5 parsnips
1-2 turnips
2 bay leaves
1 pound carrots, peeled
6 large potatoes
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
3 whole cloves
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground

Wash brisket. Make small X slits in the meat and insert garlic and cloves pieces.
Place the meat into a stockpot (at least 8 quarts). Cover the meat with water. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, Old Bay, 2 carrots and sliced celery. Bring to a boil, skim off foam and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 2-3 hours, or until meat is nearly tender.
Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Quarter the cabbage, peel potatoes, carrots, turnips and parsnips. Slice vegetables into 2 inch chunks.
During last half hour, add remaining vegetables and cook until tender.
Drain and serve.

Needless to say, I'm handing you no blarney. This is a great meal to serve to the family.
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