March 23, 2014

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage:

Ingredients
1 package Corned Beef Brisket (3-4 Pounds)
3 Tablespoons Ground Black Pepper
1 head Green Cabbage (can Use 2 If You'd Like More)
 Olive Oil, For Searing
1/2 bottle Guinness, Or Any Beer
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Sugar (optional)

Preparation Instructions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Unwrap the brisket and place it fat side up inside the baking dish. If it came with a spice packet, sprinkle it over the top, then sprinkle on the black pepper and rub it in. Cover the dish with heavy aluminum foil and place it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, then uncover and continue baking for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

Check the brisket by inserting a fork in the meat. If it goes in easily, it’s ready; if it meets with resistance, bake for another 30 minutes---or up to an hour in some cases! If the brisket is tough, it hasn't cooked long enough! Once the brisket is fork-tender, remove it from the oven and let it rest, covered loosely in foil.

While the brisket is resting, make the balsamic reduction for the cabbage: Combine the balsamic and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir it together and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half and thick. Set it aside.
Raise the oven heat to 350 degrees. Next, make the cabbage: Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the cabbage. Sear it on both sides until the cabbage gets as much color as possible, about 1 minute per side. Use a spatula to transfer the cabbage to a rack placed over a baking sheet. Sprinkle the cabbage pieces with salt and pepper. Pour the Guinness (or beer) into the bottom of the pan, then carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake the cabbage for 20 minutes, or until tender and deeper brown.

Slice (or shred) the rested beef on a cutting board (it should be very, very tender and almost falling apart.) Then place it on a large platter alongside the cabbage wedges. Take generous spoons of the balsamic reduction and drizzle it all over the cabbage slices.
Serve the corned beef next to the cabbage…and dig in!

Variations:
Serve with a dish of grainy mustard.
Serve with boiled new potatoes.
Shred the corned beef with two forks if you prefer that consistency!
Make a leftover corned beef sandwich with a slice of brisket and a wedge of cabbage on rye. Yum!