A St. Patrick’s Day Tradition
The first time I ever made corned beef and cabbage, I was living in San Francisco, Karl was in town for the weekend, and St. Paddy’s morning (last minute),– or is it Patty’s?– I decided to “throw” together a traditional Irish meal for us. If any of you have ever made corned beef, you know there is nothing last minute about this dish. Whether slow cooked in a crock pot, or braised in the oven, both take a wee-bit of prep and hours of sllloowwwww cooking. Already, I was in over my head.
But when has that ever stopped me? I started researching and gathered all my ingredients, and dived in! Hours later, one brisket, sauté cabbage and loaf of paleo soda bread, we were ready for our Irish feast. Well.. almost ready. Let’s just say the cabbage and soda bread turned out phenomenal, but the brisket was a work in progress. SIDENOTE: I have to mention that the color of the brisket once “done” always startles me. I have to reassure myself to go by texture and not color. (For those that are lost here, brisket is supposed to be a lovely pink/red color, as pictured above ).
With that story in mind, this year I wanted to perfect my brisket (so type-A of me). Again, I started researching techniques and different ways of preparing it. What I’ve learned most about trying a new recipe is sometimes you have to choose your projects. And by projects I mean, difficulty. Now, I will never admit that any recipe it too difficult, but, personally, I have to be in the “conquer all” spirit. So, first and foremost, this year I chose to use corned beef in the package, because as I mentioned, I chose to not take on the conquer all project of curing my own beef ( a process that takes a week to 10 days). I chose a package and brand that I trust and know was safe from those weird preservatives/juices. What are those, anyway?
With how intimidating this dish may seem, it is truly very simple. I love the mix of white and black pepper combined with the meat’s natural juices which marinate it, making the meat tender and so flavorful. I hope you have a wonderful St. Patty’s Day and this dish becomes one of your traditions!
- 1 package Corned Beef Brisket (3-4 Pounds)
- 3 tablespoons Ground Black Pepper
- 3 tablespoons white peppercorn
- 1 head Green Cabbage
- coconut oil, For Searing
- 1/2 bottle gluten-free beer, darker the better
- 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, or sprinkle on both peppers 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.
- Raise the oven heat to 350 degrees. Next, make the cabbage: Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Heat the coconut 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 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.
- I like to use the juices from the brisket to make a little reduction for the meat or cabbage. To do so, remove the brisket from the baking dish and then place on the stove top. Turn heat to medium and allow the juices to heat for a minute, pour 1/4 cup of beef broth into the dish and stir. For a bit more thickness, add 1/4 teaspoon arrowroot powder in at a time. Then, drizzle over meat or cabbage!