Stout-Cured Corned Beef Cooked with Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes | Wine Enthusiast
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Stout-Cured Corned Beef Cooked with Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes

Courtesy of Sean Z. Paxton, The Homebrew Chef

Even though the true traditional corned beef and cabbage was more for royalty in Ireland (Irish bacon and cabbage was more traditional for the commoners), this dish has become a celebrated dish in the US. With enough planning, this recipe will show you how to take a beef brisket and turn it into corned beef.

For the brisket

1 beef brisket, about 5 pounds

For the Stout cure/brine

6 cups of water, filtered
2 pints of beer
2 cups kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ounce pink salt (sodium nitrate)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cloves, whole
1 teaspoon mustard seed, black or yellow
1 teaspoon grains of paradise, whole
1 teaspoon allspice berries, whole
1 teaspoon cardamom pods, green or black (optional)
1 teaspoon star anise, whole (optional)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, whole (optional)
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
7 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cups of ice

For the brisket

2 pints beer
Water as needed to cover meat
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander, whole
1 teaspoon cloves, whole
1 teaspoon mustard seed, black or yellow
1 teaspoon grains of paradise, whole
2 cabbage heads, quartered
5 carrots, peeled and quarted
6 potatoes, washed and peeled
1 onion, yellow, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

To make the Stout cure/brine

Rinse off the beef brisket, to remove any of the juices and small pieces of fat. In a large stock pot or 12-quart dutch oven, add the water, beer, salt, sugars and pink salt, and turn heat to medium. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add peppercorns, coriander, cloves, mustard seed, grains of paradise, allspice berries and (if using cardamom pods), star anise, caraway seeds and orange zest. Mix with a wooded spoon until the spices start to pop and release their essential oils (you should smell all the spices). Remove from the heat and add to the water/beer mixture. Add the red pepper flakes, bay leaves, garlic cloves and cinnamon sticks to the water/beer mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil for about 5 minutes, to dissolve the salts and sugars.

Turn off the heat and add the ice to chill mixture. Check the temperature of this mixture to make sure that it is below 36°F or chill in the refrigerator until that temperature is reached.  Transfer the mixture to a 2-gallon container or ziplock bag and add the brisket. If using a container, add a small plate to the top of the brisket, to make sure the beef is completely submerged.

Place in the refrigerator for 5–8 days to fully cure the brisket. Remove the brisket from the brine and rinse well to remove any spices.  Notice how the color changes, not only from the dark stout, but the brine. The corned beef should feel firmer, than when it was just raw meat. Serves 4-6.

To make the brisket

Place the corned beef into a large dutch oven or pot and add beer and enough water to cover the brisket. Add the rest of the spices and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium low, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 2½ hours.

Prep the cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic cloves. About 2½ hours into the cooking of the brisket, add the vegetables to the pot and recover, checking the level of the cooking liquid, making sure there is enough to fully cover the meat and vegetables. Cook for another ½ hour or until the brisket is fork tender.

To serve, remove the corned beef from the cooking pot and slice across the grain.  Place meat on a serving platter and add strained vegetables.  Use a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid to moisten the meat for presentation. Serve with clarified butter, mustard ale sauce and/or horseradish ale sauce.

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