Happy spring to ya’! Shore and it should be time to find corned beef on sale at the stores any day now. This meal is no doubt the top #1 in the charts for my family overall. The one meal they all clamber for. And shall we talk easy? yes, there are more complicated ways to make it. Mine is not the only way to make it. Glaze it, bake it, etc. But for sheer bang-for-your-buck easy-breezy cooking, look no further.
Lets use the crock pot method.
You will need some potatoes, like reds, whites or whatever you like, cut into halves or fourths, depending on the size of the potato. If they are russets, peel them first. And cut up some carrots too, an onion if you want. Put these all in the bottom of the crock pot. You will need about a half a head of cabbage cored and cut into wedges for later.
You cut open the corned beef package, plop the meat and any juices and seasoning into the crock pot over the veggies, and put in about 1-2 cups of water. It doesn’t need much. Turn it on low for about 8 hours. (I will show you variations to the basic down below). Now other recipes tell you to wash off the corned beef. But no, I have never washed off all that seasoning. Keep it right in the pot.
Fast forward 8 hours.
Take out the meat and veggies and put onto a platter, which can sit in a warm oven or cover with foil. Put the cabbage, cut into a wedges, into the crock pot, cover and turn it on high. It should be soft enough in about 20-30 minutes. I sometimes put the cabbage in a large saucepan, pour juices from the crock pot over it and steam it on the stove top. It feels faster to me and I can start that before the corned beef is even done, just spooning out some juices from the crock pot.
So where were we. The veggies and meat are done. Slice the meat. (always make sure to let the meat rest before slicing, which you already did here). Serve the cabbage with the rest. I serve some of the juices in a measuring cup to pour over the plates for those who want it. (I’m being real with you here folks. Measuring cup. Yes, I do have gravy boats too, but this is too watery. Keep it simple).
Now about those variations. I discovered Trader Joes garlic mustard and love to slather that over the corned beef before cooking. Some people pour beer into the crock pot, some put brown sugar or apple juice or both into the water. I don’t. But some do.
What if you don’t have a crock pot or waited too long?? No worries little lady (or gent, or me). Especially if you are not used to the time change and “dang” its time to cook already and didn’t we just eat lunch?” Just get out your big ol’ pot, put the meat in with water to cover, bring to a boil, then turn it down and let the meat simmer for about 3-4 hours. Then add your cut potatoes and carrots to the pot for the last 20 minutes, then top with the cabbage wedges and steam the whole kit and caboodle another 20 min. until tender.
I like to buy flat cut. And do not think that leaner is really better. I made that mistake. Now I always make sure there is some fat running through it. I am picky and look through all the corned beefies until I find just the right one, or two, or three. Flat cut, some fat, not too much, but not too lean. Too lean makes it makes it too dry, tough or something undesirable. There is also point cut, which some people swear by. They seem to be a lot fattier, but if you pick through and find a good one, go for it.
And you really can’t over cook the darn thing, even if you tried. You could crock pot it 10 or 11 or 12 hours on low and it would still be wonderful beyond belief, melting in your mouth. Gosh I am hungry. I haven’t had lunch and now all I want is corned beef. If you have any leftovers. (like we ever do), you can slice thin for sandwiches. Or if you are feeling real ambitious, you can make corned beef hash for breakfast, a favorite of reenactors.
There, that’s it, any questions? I do not have a picture, since I have not made this in quite a while. I will try to add one soon. Enjoy!