My buddies and I do a corned beef and cabbage cook off every year for the holiday. None of us are very good cooks, but we try. I brined my own last year. It was pretty good, but it was $4 a pound, compared to $1 a pound for the stuff at the supermarket, and not four times as good. I've also been interested in cooking with dirt cheap ingredients lately.
I usually just do a pot of boiled meat, cabbage, and potatoes, but I don't really like how waterlogged everything usually is, so I'm thinking about roasting it, or at least a really good sear and then a braise. Then I'd deglaze the roasting pan and then cook my cabbage in the liquid, or with a braise, in that liquid. The cabbage has always turned out great. Then roasted or mashed red skins. I'd finish the meat with a horseradish cream sauce.
We also make non-traditional stuff recipes just for fun. Most of you will think heresy. I've seen some BBQ corned beef recipes online... they have never sounded too appetizing, its seems like the flavors would really clash, but all of us have spent some time in North Carolina so I was thinking about giving it a shot since the meat will be on sale. There has been corned beef and cabbage pizza and tacos in previous years, and someone was talking about lasagna. I'm also thinking about a thick pureed soup cabbage and potato soup with corned beef stock and rye croutons, but thats kinda conservative. And can I brine ground beef? Maybe some fatty stuff in thin patties with crispy edges like schoops (nw indiana).
I'm looking for your input on everything... the holiday is really a big deal among us, everyone goes back to our hometown, eats big meal, and drinks way too much.