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Corned Beef and Cabbage

The popularity of Corned Beef and Cabbage in the United States is due most likely with the German Jews that migrated to the US. In Ireland you would generally make a Bacon joint and cabbage, which is a cut of pork, that was hard to find outside of Ireland. The corned beef brisket was a close second that they could find in New York, and the German Jewish owners made all the time, since they didn't use pork.

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This serves 8 to 10 people depending on the appetite


1 “Flat Cut” Brisket,
1 "Point Cut" Brisket

5 Carrots,
2 bunches Leeks,
5- Parsnips,
1 bunch Celery,
1 head Cabbage,
6 Yukon Gold Potatoes,
1 Point Cut” Brisket,
½ Cup Pickling Spice,
Garlic cloves
2 Turnips and
2 Rutabagas optional to this recipe .

Also purchase a meat thermometer if you don't have one. It is important to get the right temperature.

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Here are the Ingredients

This serves 8 to 10 people depending on the appetite


Right to left , “Flat Cut” Brisket, 5 Carrots, 2 bunches Leeks, 5- Parsnips, 1 bunch Celery, 1 head Cabbage, 6 Yukon Gold Potatoes, 1 Point Cut” Brisket, ½ Cup Pickling Spice, Garlic cloves2 Turnips and 2 Rutabagas optional to this recipe . Also purchase a meat thermometer if you don't have one. It is important to get the right temperature.

Our goal here is to simmer this like a stew. However we want all the meat and vegetables to keep a nice shape and presentation as well as melt in your mouth and be fork tender. I have worked at this for years to perfect my technique.


Here is a Flat Cut, It is the leaner part of the Brisket. At the grocery store you have your choice of either a “Flat Cut” of the Brisket or the “Point Cut” They are usually a couple pounds each. If you have guests that are concerned about fat then this is the cut to get. Then you don't have to worry about anyone complaining about the fat.


Here is the Point Cut

The point cut is the thicker cut of the brisket. It also has a lot more fat in it, making it a more flavorful and succulent cut but also more calories. If you are feeding a crowd with different preferences then it may be a good idea to get one of each and then people can choose. If all you can find is the point cut then you can trim much of the fat off after it is cooked.


Here is the Pickling Spice

Package that usually comes with the brisket. I add more. For both the cuts I add about ½ cup. Pickling spice is easily obtained at most grocery stores.



Here is the Brisket in the Pot

If you wish add Onions, or chopped onions, and peeled garlic cloves . I have done this here. Onions is one of the Chef's best secrets for making anything savory taste great. I have a 3 gallon Soup pot here you need a large pot to cook the brisket in at least Dutch Oven size. Simmer (not a rolling boil) the corned beef for about 2 hours now. And prepare the vegetables. You can do this a day in advance also.



The Vegetables


The Cabbage

Take off the wilted and dark green loose leaves of the cabbage if they are on. Most of the time the cabbage comes with these leaves already removed. Cut the cabbage in half from pole to pole making sure that you cut right down the center of the core. You can see in the picture that a piece of the core is on each wedge of cabbage. This holds the cabbage together in a nice wedge while it cooks and makes a nice looking presentation on the plate.





To cut the cabbage wedges see how I leave just a bit of the core on each wedge. This keeps it from falling apart when it is boiled.






These are the Rutabagas. Peel the rough blemished skin off with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Cut in half from pole to pole and cut in wedges.





Do the same with the Turnips as you did with the Rutabagas. Some of the skin is fine to leave on. It is important to Keep all the vegetables roughly the same size so they will cook evenly. If some are small they will get overcooked fall apart and make the Vegetables look mushy and ugly.


Peel the carrots , cut in 2 to 3 inch lengths. Then in half the long way.




Wash the Leeks well. Cut the first two lengths and then Wash again if necessary. Keep the leaves to make soup. If you can't find leeks. Use small onions. Keep the root end of the onion on and cut like cabbage so the onion stays intact.



Cut the celery into 2-3 inch lengths. Cut in half the long way if the celery is very wide. Again you are just trying to get the vegetables to be roughy the same size and shape.




Peel the parsnips as you would the carrots. Cut in 2-3 inch lengths and cut the wide parts in half the long ways.



Here are the finished tray of cut vegetables ready for the pot.

Cut the Yukon Gold Potatoes into chunks. Just so that they are approximately the same size.

After 2 hours check the brisket for tenderness If it is starting to get tender it will fall easily off the fork when you give it a little shake. If it is very tough then it will not release from the fork.


The Brisket is not done yet but I am taking it out of the pot and trimming off a good deal of the fat. Next I am going to return the briskets to the pot but first we will strain the broth and then add the vegetables.


Here I am straining the broth into a pot. This way we wont have the pickling spice mixed in and clinging to the vegetables when we go to plate them.



Add the vegetables to the pot of strained stock, but NOT the potatoes. They will go in when these vegetables are tender and cook for 20 minutes. Otherwise the potatoes will overcook and fall apart. They have no texture then and they will make the whole pot of vegetables look “Mucky”







Add the trimmed Briskets and cook for another hour with the vegetables.



In a separate pot that you strained the stock into add the cabbage. Cook it in some of the strained stock.



Cook the cabbage for about 30- 45 minutes till it is tender but not falling apart.




When the vegetables are tender I remove the brisket and add the potatoes. Simmer the potatoes for another 20-25 minutes.



You can see the potatoes are done but not falling apart. The skin is just starting to peel



The Brisket I cook until it is 210 degrees to 225 degrees. If you cook it too long it will just fall apart when you slice it. It will be nice and tender but it won't be a nice slice on the plate. You do WANT it fork tender but you want it to hold its slice.




Here is the finished plate, We have the cabbage wedge underneath. A slice of the point cut, then 2 slices of the flat cut. Present the vegetables individually in a clockwise fashion, with the ends of the vegetables pointing to the center of the plate


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Last updated October 12, 2012