Corned beef and cabbage and St. Patrick’s Day are made for one another. Corned beef and cabbage is a dish that’s never been especially popular or traditional in Ireland that became popular among the Irish in America. Similarly, St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that’s always been more important to the Irish outside of Ireland. That’s what makes corned beef and cabbage such a classic St. Patrick’s day dish–it’s Irish as green beer!
Corned beef and cabbage is also a terrific seasonal dish. No matter where in the country you live, you should be able to get a nice cabbage right now. Corned beef refers to the corn of salt that are used to cure the beef. Lucky for you, it’s also a cinch to make–with little prep time and a few hours of cooking, your family will be enjoying this classic Irish-American meal.
Corned Beef and Cabbage (adapted from Taste of Home)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
pinch of cloves
2 – 3 lb. corned beef brisket with spice packet
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 quarts water
1 cup apple juice
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
1 small green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges (leave a section of the core so the wedges will hold their shape)
Combine the sugar, zest and mustard in a small dish and set aside. Set the brisket into a large dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, and add the spice packet. Pour in the water and add the onions, apple juice, bay, and pepper. Bring the mixture just to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender.
When brisket is almost tender, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a roasting pan with olive oil (we like large cake pans for roasting). Carefully remove the brisket from the water and set into the roasting pan. Rub the meat with the sugar, zest, and mustard mixture. Place brisket into the oven and roast for 15 – 20 minutes, until the edges have lightly browned. Remove from oven and let meat rest for 5 minutes. Then carve into thin slices.
Meanwhile, add carrots to the brisket’s cooking water, cover, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.
Serve the corned beef slices with a generous helping of vegetables and just a drizzle of the cooking liquid. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!