Cooking with Craft Beer Cellar: Corned Beef

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

With St. Patrick's Day coming up, we headed to the local Irish butcher for our brisket, grabbed some Sam Smith Organic Lager, pulled out our new dutch oven, and spent a leisurely afternoon making Sunday dinner. Adding a couple cans of beer to your braising liquid gives the flavors a little boost–we went with a light lager, but you could also use a red ale, or even an Irish stout. Your choice!


CORNED BEEF

  • 4 to 5-1/2 pound flat cut corned beef brisket
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 16oz cans of beer (we used Samuel Smith Pure Organic Lager)
  • 1 cup water (plus additional if needed to cover the corned beef)
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice (or spice packet that might be included with your corned beef)
PICKLING SPICE (yields ~1/3 cup)
  • 2 TB mustard seeds
  • 1 TB whole allspice berries
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon sticks

VEGETABLES

  • 1 head cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1.5 lbs baby red potatoes, rinsed & scrubbed

GLAZE (Optional)

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 TB whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB Irish whiskey
  • 1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground cloves

Steps:

1) Preheat oven to 300°. Mix up the pickling spice. Peel, halve, and slice the onion. Peel and lightly crush the garlic with a knife. Place onions and garlic in the bottom of your dutch oven. Unwrap your corned beef and give it a good rinse. Place the corned beef on top of the onions and garlic, fat side up. Add 1 TB pickling spice or included spice packet. (Sidebar: I have a 6 qt dutch oven. 5-6 qts is sufficient for most recipes like this. It can get wicked heavy!). 

2) Pour beer into pot, and top with 1+ cup water, until beef is just submerged. (If your dutch oven looks full and you're wondering how you'll fit the vegetables in, don't worry! The beef will shrink as it cooks). Bring to a simmer on your stove top. Cover, and place in the oven for 3 hours. Crack a beer if you like, now we wait for a bit.

3) After 1.5 hours, pull it out and flip the beef over. Return to oven.

4) With 60 minutes left, add baby red potatoes to the dutch oven.

5) With 40 minutes left, heat 2 tsps of vegetable oil in large skillet. Sear the cabbage wedges for about 1-2 minutes on each side until they brown a little. With 30 minutes left, add the cabbage to the dutch oven. (If you'd like to glaze the corned beef, make the glaze a few minutes before the beef is done).

6) After 3 hours, remove cabbage & potatoes and set aside to keep warm. Remove the corned beef, pat dry, and place on a cutting board. Strain the solids out of the braising liquid and reserve some of the liquid for serving. If you're not going to glaze your corned beef, slice it against the grain, plate and serve with vegetables, drizzling some braising liquid over the top.

7) For glazing: if needed, trim some fat off the top of the beef (ideally to about 1/4-inch thick). Score the top in a crisscross pattern. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet, and brush some glaze over the top and sides. Place in oven about 6-8 inches under the broiler, and broil for ~4 minutes. Remove as soon as you see bubbling - you want to be careful to not let it burn. Repeat the glazing and broiling process 2-3 more times, for about ~2 minutes under the broiler each time, until glaze is caramelized. Transfer corned beef to cutting board and slice, cutting against the grain. Plate and serve with vegetables, pour yourself an Irish Stout, and dig in. Sláinte!

Recipe adapted from The Striped Spatula. Thank you for the inspiration!

MARY MACKENZIE

As her love for beer grew from a hobby to a profession, Mary has always felt strongly about community-building in craft beer: welcoming people from all backgrounds to the fold, helping everyone find a craft beer they love, and educating all types from craft beer novices to nerds (but she has a particular love for the novices).


In addition to her work in craft beer, Mary is also an accomplished operatic soprano. She has worked professionally as a performer, administrator, and educator in the creative arts for over 15 years.

Her first beer love: Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland, OH.

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