Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, although for the life of me I don’t see why this isn’t eaten year-round, because it’s absolutely delicious and would warm the heart of any ‘meat and potatoes’-type of person.
If you have a slow cooker, you can stick the brisket in there overnight and forget about it, otherwise it requires about 4 hours on the stove top.
Those vacuum packed briskets with little spice packets are ubiquitous right now and to keep things simple, I’m suggesting using one of those and tweaking it to a much higher level.
This recipe is very simple and very, very good.
SPICED CORNED BEEF (BRISKET) & CABBAGE
(Serves up to 8)
A 4.5lb (2 kilo) piece of brisket (with spice packet), rinsed thoroughly
1 large orange
20 whole cloves
4 teaspoons of caraway seeds
3lbs (1.4 kilos) of smallish Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
2.5lbs (1.15kilos) of big carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal at about 2 inches (5cm) in length
A large green cabbage, halved and each half sliced into 8 wedges
To serve – fresh flat-leaf parsley and an assortment of mustard
Stud the orange with the cloves and put it, the brisket, the contents of the spice packet and 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds in a large heavy pot (or slow cooker). Cover with water and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the beef cook for 3 and half to 4 hours, or until it’s really tender.
(If you’re using a slow cooker, put it on high for a couple of hours then turn it to low and let it simmer overnight).
Once the meat is tender, drain it and keep 3 cups of the fragrant cooking liquid to serve. Cover the meat with foil to keep it warm.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the potatoes, carrots and remaining caraway seeds. Cook for 18-25 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes until they’re not quite cooked, then add the cabbage wedges and cook for another 8 minutes or so until the cabbage is just tender and the potatoes and carrots are cooked through.
Drain the vegetables and arrange everything on warmed plates (warm the cooking liquid if necessary). Scatter with parsley and serve the mustard and cooking liquid on the side to pour over.
‘Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!’