Thursday, March 17, 2016

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

We at Hot Dinner Happy Home have found a culinary pot of gold -- a Slow Cooker Corned Beef recipe by a college friend of mine and Andrea. Andrea and I haven't exactly had the luck of the Irish when it comes to corned beef. Quite frankly, ours stinks, so we were ecstatic last night when our friend Malissa Bodmann, of Cleveland, Ohio, told us how she prepares corned beef.  

If you don't have time to get the corned beef going today, there's always this weekend. Or, keep this in mind for next year! 

Here's the lowdown from Malissa. XOXO -- Amy

Here in Cleveland, we take St. Patrick’s Day very seriously. The parade attracts 10,000 participants and tens of thousands more flood the streets downtown to watch the parade. I’m not Irish, but that doesn’t keep me from craving a good Reuben sandwich on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m the only one in my household who likes corned beef, but that doesn’t stop me from making a whole corned beef brisket all for myself. (Editor's note: Malissa, we like how you operate!)

In years past, I cooked the corned beef in a Dutch oven on the stove top. The results were mediocre -- a little dry, but it didn’t matter too much because I just slapped those leathery pieces in between some pumpernickel/rye swirled bread, slathered on some Thousand Island dressing, and topped it with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. But this year, I vowed to do better. And I did.

The key to cooking corned beef is treating it like the brisket it is. The key to a good brisket is to braise it low and slow with some flavorful liquid to break down the connective tissue. The only skill required for this recipe is patience. You will be rewarded with juicy, fall-apart corned beef.

Cheers and Happy St. Paddy's from  Cleveland!


Slow Cooker Corned Beef
2-3 pound flat cut corned beef brisket
Pickling spice (usually included in the brisket)
12 oz. beer, such as Guinness or Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout
Potatoes, small such as baby Yukon golds or red potatoes. If all you have are larger potatoes, cut them in quarters
1 head of cabbage
Aromatic vegetables, such as carrots, onions, celery, rough cut into big chunks

Remove your corned beef brisket from the package and rinse it. Reserve the pickling spices. 

Layer the bottom of your slow cooker with your potatoes, carrots, onions and celery. Place your corned beef on top of the vegetables with the fat layer on top so it will keep the meat moist. 

Sprinkle on pickling spice packet. Add one 12 oz. bottle of stout. Add enough water to barely cover the brisket. 

Put on the lid and set your slow cooker to high. Cook for two hours and turn the slow cooker down to low. Cook for two more hours. Remove potatoes if they are becoming too soft.

Cut a head of cabbage into wedges, place on top of the meat and cook on low for another 1.5 hours. 

Remove corned beef from the slow cooker and allow to cool until you can handle it. Trim off the fat cap. Cut against the grain or shred. You will have a lot of braising liquid left over; you can serve this as a jus, or thicken it for a delicious beefy stout gravy.

Serve with the potatoes and carrots, turn into a delicious hash, or make a Reuben sandwich.

Note: You can set your slow cooker on low and let it go for 7 or 8 hours. Add the cabbage for the last hour or so. With any luck the result will be tender, juicy corned beef like mine. My husband asked me if I was going to eat all of that gorgeous corned beef this week by myself. Yes. Yes, I will.

1 comment: