If you’re in the mood for cooking a corned beef and cabbage supper, there are some things you need to know about the best method for cooking corned beef. Corned beef is traditionally cooked for three hours to become tender, and it should pull apart easily. The last half hour of cooking is when you can add shredded cabbage, chunks of potatoes, and carrots. In addition to potatoes, the last half hour of cooking is also the best time to add the vegetables.
There are many ways to cook corned beef, but the best method depends on the cut of beef. Briskets are cut in two different ways. A flat cut holds its shape better and is easier to slice uniformly, while a point cut is more tender and has less fat. You’ll love it and enjoy the results with whichever cut you decide. And remember, the best method for cooking corned beef depends on your personal preferences.
Corned Beef Nutrition Facts
What is Corned Beef?
Meat that has been cured in a salt solution is known as corned beef. The meat was salted and cured to keep it fresh before refrigeration. Historically, any meat could be subjected to the curing process that produces today’s corned beef. Corned beef is made in the United States from beef brisket. Because brisket is a traditionally kosher cut of cured meat to tenderize it, you may have seen it at Jewish delis.
Corned beef and cabbage became popular around St. Patrick’s Day because Irish immigrants frequently lived near Jews, purchased their meat from kosher butchers, and then topped it with potatoes and cabbage. Many supermarkets sell vacuum-sealed corned beef pieces in the meat section.
What is Cabbage?
Cabbage is a vegetable that is commonly consumed. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale are all relatives. The leaves are used as medicine. Cabbage is used to treat hard, painful breasts in nursing mothers. It’s also used to treat swelling (inflammation), cancer, and stomach and intestine conditions, but there’s no good scientific evidence to back up these claims.
Cabbage is high in chemicals that may help prevent cancer. Cabbage may alter how estrogen is used in the body, potentially lowering the risk of breast cancer.
Cabbage may also help with wound healing and reduce swelling. Overall, it’s unclear how the chemicals in cabbage could be used as medicine.
Why is Corned Beef Pink?
In addition to the salt and spices found in corned beef brine, most producers use a salt-nitrite blend known as pink curing salt to keep the meat from spoiling while it cures. Pink salt looks exactly like regular table salt, except it’s pink, so people don’t get confused and season their food. It’s found in various cured meats, including bacon, hams, salami, and hotdogs.
Best Method for Cooking Corned Beef and Cabbage Supper
Here is the best method for cooking corned beef and cabbage:
For the corned beef
- One flat-cut corned beef brisket (about 4 pounds)
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1/8 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 2 to 3 bay leaves
- One large onion, peeled and quartered
- 6 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound), halved or quartered, if large
- One small head cabbage (about 1 3/4 pounds), tough outer leaves removed and cut into six wedges
- 12 slender carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and left whole
- Two teaspoons of kosher salt
- Two tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Dijon or grainy mustard, for serving
For the Horseradish Sauce (Optional)
- 1 cup sour cream
- Three tablespoons of whole milk
- One tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
- One tablespoon of prepared horseradish in brine, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Here are the steps to follow:
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the sour cream and milk until smooth. Combine the lemon juice, horseradish, and mustard in a mixing bowl. Taste after adding the salt, pepper, and parsley. If desired, add more horseradish or lemon juice. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Remove the spice packet that came with the beef and throw it away. Place the brisket, mustard seed, coriander seed, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, and onion quarters in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot. Pour in just enough cold water to cover the meat.
- Bring the water to a boil on the stovetop over medium heat. Cover the pot and bake for 3 1/2 hours, or until the beef is pierced with a fork and very tender. Remove the meat from the broth with tongs and place it in a shallow baking dish or baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top of the corned beef browns, in the oven with a spoon of stock. Place the meat on a cutting board and cover with foil to keep warm while preparing the vegetables. Turn the oven off.
In a fine-mesh strainer, strain the stock and return it to the pot. Add the salt. With a spoon, skim the fat that rises to the top. Could you bring it to a boil?
Add the potatoes and adjust the heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage wedges and carrots, cover, and bring to a simmer again. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage are tender.
Transfer them to a deep platter, cover with foil, and keep them warm in the turned-off oven.
- Slice the beef across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Transfer them to the platter with the vegetables, and spoon a few ladles of stock over the meat and vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with mustard and horseradish sauce.
How to Serve Corned Beef and Cabbage?
Place the meat on a large platter and slice it across the grain. Arrange the cabbage wedges, potatoes, and carrots around it. Pour a ladle or two of broth over the platter, top with parsley, and place it in the center of the table for diners to help themselves.
Serve with your favorite mustard and, if desired, a sour cream and horseradish sauce. Corned beef may be served with parsley sauce in Ireland, a white sauce made with chopped parsley. I riffed on that idea with sour cream, horseradish, and parsley for a quick, no-cook version.
What Mistakes to Avoid When Making Corned Beef?
Here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid when making corned beef:
5. Cutting the Meat Incorrectly
It makes a big difference how you slice your cooked corned beef. Slicing meat against the grain (or in the same direction as the muscle fibers) should be avoided, resulting in a chewier product.
Instead, treat corned beef the same way you would a steak. The “grain” of the meat can be identified by lines of visible muscle fibers on the surface. Corned beef should always be sliced against the grain (rather than with it). Cutting the muscle fibers shortens them, making it easier to chew each piece.
A homemade corned beef recipe is more nutritious than store-bought corned beef. It may be more difficult to locate, but it is well worth the effort. Put it to the test! You’ll be pleased with the result, and it won’t be long before you and your family are enjoying the taste of corned beef. You’ll never go back once you’ve perfected the corned beef recipe.
After the corned beef has finished cooking, let it rest for several hours before cutting. You may have already discovered the best method for cooking corned beef if it has been sitting out for a long time. The meat must be cooked to a soft but firm consistency. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the beef to check this. Make sure it reaches a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit on the inside.
Place the fat side up on a baking pan or rack for the best corned beef in the oven. Place the corned beef on the onions, cover with a lid, and bake for two hours. You can also coat the meat in mustard or brown sugar before baking it until crispy. After it’s done, cut it into desired slices. As long as you have an oven or a grill, you can prepare corned beef using any cooking method.