Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 hours
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Dietary guidance: n d
3 or 4 lb. Vacuum-packed Corned Beef Brisket
4 medium potatoes
1 large onion
2 cups baby carrots
1 head of cabbage with outer leaves removed
1+ Tbsp duck fat or butter
Note: We have made corned beef from scratch (i.e. plain beef brisket), but we have found that it really doesn't make for that improved a product, given the time it takes to start from scratch. Vacuum-sealed corned beef briskets from the grocery store are great! Or can be...
Remove corned beef from package
Set aside little package of extra corning spices
Rinse corned beef under cold water and pat dry
Sprinkle extra corning spices on fat side
Double wrap corned beef fat side up in foil and place in 9" × 13" baking dish
Put in a 225 degree oven for five or six hours. Even overnight.
Remove from oven. Do NOT open foil for 30 minutes.
For best slicing, re-wrap corned beef in plastic wrap and put in fridge until chilled through. We like running ours through our meat slicer with the deli blade for paper thin slices for sandwiches.
Now for the veggies -- Keep in mind that the timing of all this depends on whether I'm cooking for 'today eating' or 'later eating'.
After I've re-wrapped the corned beef, I take the lovely liquid and put it in my big Pyrex measuring cup. I cut my carrots, potatoes, onions, leeks (if you wish) into bite sized pieces. I chunk my cabbage up into manageable pieces, but not tiny. Pieces about 1/8 the size of the surface of the head, if that makes sense.
Now the fun begins! Preheat your oven to about 250 degrees. Put a Dutch oven on the stove top with a bit of fat/oil. Brown/sear your veggie bites in the Dutch oven, then add cooked corned beef liquid partway up the veggies -- Maybe a third to halfway. You're going to braise them, not boil them.
Pop the pot into the oven, and before you know it you will have heavenly veggies to go with your corned beef. Veggies that have taken on the wonderful flavor of the corned beef, yet maintain their individuality. So often, corned beef and cabbage can end up being a homogenized amalgam bearing little resemblance to its parts.