Corned beef, perhaps the dish most firmly associated with St. Patrick’s Day—and Ireland in general—is beef that has been cured using large grains (or “corns”) of salt, among other ingredients. This version prepared in a slow cooker is a stick-to-your-ribs dish that’s ideal for a St. Paddy’s celebration, especially when it’s paired with thick slices of warm rye bread and pints of ale. Corned beef can be found at many grocery stores and ordered from your butcher, but you can make your own if you plan ahead: In a bowl, stir together 8 cups (64 fl. oz./2 l) water, 1 1/2 cups (7 oz./220 g) kosher salt, 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar, 3 Tbs. pickling spices and 3 crushed garlic cloves until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Submerge a brisket in the mixture, cover and refrigerate for 5 to 8 days. Rinse the brisket under cold water before proceeding with the recipe.
Beer-Braised Corned Beef with Vegetables
- 1 point-cut corned beef brisket with juices and enclosed spice packet, about 3 lb. (1.5 kg)
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) drained sauerkraut
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) prepared yellow mustard
- 1 Tbs. golden brown sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) brown or red ale
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) small yellow or white potatoes, halved or quartered if large
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths
- 1 small green cabbage, cut into 6 to 8 wedges through the stem end
1. Put the brisket and juices and the contents of the spice packet in a slow-cooker insert. Add the onion, sauerkraut, mustard, sugar, 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper and mix well with your hands. Pour in the beer and broth.
2. Transfer the insert to the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6 hours. The brisket and vegetables should be very tender.
3.Uncover and add the potatoes, carrots and cabbage wedges, submerging them in the liquid. Re-cover and continue to cook on low for 2 hours. The vegetables and brisket should be very tender.
4. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the brisket across the grain into thin slices. If you wish to serve the braising liquid, using a large spoon, skim off and discard as much fat as possible from the surface of the liquid.
5. Divide the sliced corned beef and vegetables among 4 plates.
6. If desired, spoon some of the warm braising liquid over each serving. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Learn to make the most of your slow cooker with this and other inspiring recipes in our Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw.