Once a year or so around St Patrick's Day, we tend to make corned beef and cabbage. Even though the dish isn’t really eaten in Ireland, or at least not with the enthusiasm for it that you have, we’ll celebrate the day the way we like, and raise a toast with a pint of Guinness as well.

The traditional way to cook corned beef and cabbage is to boil it, both the beef and the cabbage. But not everyone likes boiled foods, so here we give you two versions, a corned beef and cabbage in the oven with honey and mustard (blanched first to extract some of the excess salt), and a boiled version.

When buying corned beef you have a choice between “flat cut” and “point cut.” Either cut will work with these methods. The point cut will have more fat marbling throughout the meat, making it a more flavorful cut, but there will be more shrinkage due to fat rendering out of the meat, so you will need more to have the same amount of cooked meat. The flat cut is a leaner cut of corned beef.

Ingredients:

Corned Beef (baked)

3 lbs corned beef (in package)
10 whole cloves
1/4 cup hot sweet honey mustard
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Corned Beef (boiled)

3 lbs corned beef (in package, including spice packet)

Cabbage (sautéed)

Olive oil and butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 large head of cabbage, sliced into 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide slices
Salt

Cabbage (boiled)

1 large head of cabbage, sliced into 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide slices
Additional vegetables such as a couple carrots (cut to 1 inch pieces) or several new potatoes (quartered)

Directions:

Corned Beef (Baked)

Take the corned beef from the package and discard the spice packet. Note that one side of the roast should have a layer of fat, the other side should have distinct lines indicating the grain of the beef. Corned beef can be very salty, especially when baked. To remove some of the salt before cooking, place it in a pot fat side up. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and discard the water. Repeat to remove even more salt.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay the corned beef, fat side up, on a large piece of heavy duty, wide, aluminum foil. Insert the cloves into the top of the slab of corned beef, evenly spaced. Spread the top with the hot sweet honey mustard. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top.

Wrap the corned beef with foil allowing for a little space on top between the corned beef and the foil, and creates a container to catch the juices. Place foil-wrapped corned beef in a shallow roasting pan and bake for 2 hours at 350°F.

Open the foil wrapping, spread a little more honey mustard over the top of the corned beef, and broil it for 2-3 minutes, until the top is bubbly and lightly browned.

Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then place on cutting board. Pull out and discard the cloves.

Lift the corned beef up to see which direction the grain of the meat is. Then cut the meat at a diagonal, across the grain of the meat, into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Serve immediately.


Corned Beef (Boiled)

Place corned beef in a large pot. Cover the beef with an inch water. Add the contents of the spice packet to the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer for 2-3 hours, until the corned beef is fork tender. Remove from pot to a cutting board. (Reserve cooking liquid for boiling cabbage, if you plan to boil and not sauté the cabbage.)

Cut slices across the grain, into 1/2-inch thick slices. Serve.


Cabbage (Sautéed)

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium high to high heat in a large, wide pot or large, high-sided sauté pan. Add chopped onions, cook for a couple of minutes, then add garlic. Add a third of the sliced cabbage to the pan. Sprinkle with a little salt and stir to coat with oil and mix with onions.

Spread out the cabbage evenly over the bottom of the pan and do not stir until it starts to brown. If the heat is high enough, this should happen quickly. When the bottom of the cabbage is nicely browned, use a metal spatula to lift it up and flip it, scraping the browned bits as you go.

Once the cabbage in the pan has browned on a couple of flips, add another third of the cabbage to the pan. Mix well, then spread out the cabbage and repeat. Add a bit of butter to the pan for flavor, and to keep the cabbage from sticking too much to the pan. Once this batch has cooked down a bit and browned, add the remaining third of the cabbage and repeat.

Serve with the corned beef. Serve with boiled new potatoes. Can be made ahead and reheated.


Cabbage (Boiled)

Once you have removed the corned beef from the pot, add the cabbage and any other vegetables (carrots, new potatoes) to the pot. Taste the liquid. If it is too salty, add more water to the pot. Raise the heat until the liquid is simmering well. Simmer until the cabbage and any other vegetables are cooked through, 15-30 minutes.

Place vegetables in a serving bowl, add a little of the cooking liquid to the bowl.

Recipe of Elise Bauer

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