It's St. Patty's time again! Shamrocks, green beer, leprechauns, and of course, corned beef and cabbage.
Never criticize a dish or chef on a holiday but we've all had some badly dried-out corned beef.
This year, try making corned beef brisket from scratch. Take the extra step and cure the brisket yourself. It is time consuming, but not difficult. Plus, you get to choose the best cut of beef, and forgo all those extra preservatives.
Marco Meola of South Beach Bar & Grille with his drunken leprecorned beef.
Hunting friends recently presented me with the challenge of curing venison roasts. This corning recipe also works great on wild deer. Get creative and make corned venison and cabbage instead of corned beef if you like.
Corned beef and pastrami are nearly the same thing. The only difference is the peppered rub and cooking process. Rub raw corned beef brisket with coriander, brown sugar and pepper, smoke it and voila! You have pastrami.
I am not suggesting you deep fry corned beef brisket (even though it would be awesome) but making pastrami with half of your brisket will make holiday leftovers a little sexier.
Marco Meola, co-owner of the South Beach Bar & Grille on Boca Grande, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's how to brine:
7 pounds fresh beef brisket
2 tsp. pink salt
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup raw sugar
3 quarts water
3 tbs. pickling spice
2 tbs. diced fresh garlic
Direction: Combine water, pink salt, kosher salt, sugar, garlic, and pickling spice in a large nonreactive pot. Pink salt creates the color, texture and flavor needed. (pink curing salt is on Amazon.com).
Combine all ingredients, bring mixture to a boil for five minutes, remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Remove excess fat from cooling brisket. Cover beef with liquid in large container; add cold water until beef is covered. Refrigerate beef five days, checking and turning each day.
CORNED BEFF & CABBAGE INGREDIENTS
Guinness Stout six pack
7 pounds corned beef
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbs. granulated garlic.
3 stalks celery
2 large Spanish onions
2 tsp. diced garlic
12 red potatoes, halved
1 lb. baby carrots
2 heads Savoy cabbage, quartered
Directions: Low and slow is the way to go for the easiest and most tender corned beef ever. First, crack open a Guinness stout and begin St. Patty's Day celebration. Next, take brisket out of the brine and pat dry. Place corned beef on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub beef with garlic and brown sugar. Open another can of Guinness and pour a small amount over roast to moisten, then pour remainder in the bottom of the pan. If you don't have a roasting pan lid, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Cook brisket two hours in preheated 300-degree oven.
Finally, place all vegetables around roast and add salt and pepper to taste. Add one more can of beer and a cup of water. Re-cover pan and braise one more hour. Take roast out of the oven. While brisket is resting, enjoy the remaining Guinness.
Cutting brisket properly is equally important. Cutting with the grain will only add toughness. Gently pull the meat apart in a couple of areas. When the meat separates like thin little fingers, you have found the grain. For best results, cut brisket across that grain.
This recipe will also work with a store-bought raw corned beef.
Enjoy your easy Drunken Leprecorned Beef and Cabbage and stay safe on Saint Patrick's Day. Remember, we always encourage fusion cooking, not confusion cooking!