Make Your Own Corned Beef and Cabbage
We’re all Irish once a year
St. Patrick’s Day is an occasion to celebrate all things Irish. Do it the Irish-American way and stew up a pot of corned beef and cabbage. The brined-and-boiled brisket was developed by immigrants to mimic the flavor of Irish bacon, and it’s become a deli and diner classic, commonly stacked
tall in Reuben sandwiches or chopped up in hash with potatoes and eggs.
The term corned refers to the tradition of using large salt granules the size of corn kernels to preserve the meat. The corned beef you buy in the store, ready to boil, is often stuffed full of nitrates and curing salts. When you make it yourself, you know what’s in it. Many start-from-scratch recipes suggest brining for anywhere from four days to three weeks, but poking the meat with a knife or a sharp metal skewer allows the brine to penetrate more quickly, significantly shortening the corning process.
The corning is so easy: Pour brine over the meat in a resealable plastic bag and let it sit in the fridge for three days. For all the details—including the traditional cabbage and horseradish sauce—see our recipe. (We also recommend our Glazed Poppy Seed Turnips and the requisite Guinness or whiskey.) Or just make corned beef for a hearty winter meal and as an excuse to use leftovers in a Reuben or Corned Beef–Potato Rösti.