I always used to be on time. Always.
Then I met Petey. That boy will be late to his own funeral.
So the fact that I’m talking about corned beef and cabbage, 3 ½ weeks after Saint Patrick’s Day is apt.
But you know what?
Any time is the right time for corned beef, because it is heavenly, meaty ambrosia. Whether eaten hot, with a plate full of butter-drenched veg, or heaped between some rye, corned beef is mouthwateringly delicious.
Recently I made it for the first time.
This wasn’t by choice. If I’d had my way, I’d make it all the time. But Petey absolutely loathes it. And, until recently, so did The Kid.
My child and I share a love of Reubens. But traditional corned beef and cabbage was only enjoyed by me, and I couldn’t justify cooking an entire brisket for one. Joyously, The Kid has lately had a change of heart.
But Buddy-Roe, we can put away Reubens like Reuben-eating rock stars..
Profoundly non-kosher Reubens
4 slices seeded rye
½ pound thinly sliced corned beef
½ cup sauerkraut
4 slices Swiss cheese
Thousand Island dressing
Lay out bread. Spread mayo to taste on 2 slices, and Thousand Island on the other two. Lay one piece of cheese on each slice of bread. Top half the rye with corned beef and sauerkraut.
Spread very thin layer of mayo on the outside of sandwiches. Cook in skillet on medium-low until hot and melty.
But to make this delicious dish, you need some corned beef. Most of the time I pick it up from a deli. But now I can make corned beef with veggies, and put together a Reuben with homemade leftovers.
Corned beef and cabbage
2 pound corned beef brisket with spice packet (or 2 tablespoons pickling spice)
1 large yellow onion
2 tablespoons butter
4 bay leaves
3 cups dark beer, divided
2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and pepper
8-10 medium red skinned potatoes, washed and cut into 4 pieces
1 head of cabbage, cored and cut into 8 pieces
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces, or left whole if they’re small
6 tablespoons butter melted mixed with 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh parsley and chives
Preheat oven to 250. Place Dutch oven on stove-top and set to medium. Melt butter in pot. Slice onions into half-moons. Add to pot with bay leaves, spice, salt and pepper. Cook on medium-low until onions are golden. Turn heat up to medium-high and stir in mustard.
Pour in ½ cup beer. Scrape up any bits clinging to pot bottom. Add maple syrup and cook until almost dry. Add rest of the beer. Place in brisket, fat side up. Add enough water to barely cover meat. Insert probe thermometer set to 210. Cover and place in oven.
When brisket gets to 195 degrees, put potatoes into separate pot with salted water to cover. Add enough corned beef cooking liquid to cover by 1-2 inches. Cook on medium. After 10 minutes add carrots and cabbage. Cook until all veggies are tender. Drain and pour parsley-chive butter over.
When corned beef hits 210, remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Carve thinly against the grain.
Normally I’d recommend serving this with salad. But when it comes to this meal, I have no shame. I can eat my weight in corned beef. When this is on the menu, I don’t want to clutter up my belly with anything else.
Thanks for your time.