this week in our kitchen: the best corned beef and cabbage EVER

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Wheatlet, son of Milklet,
Son of juicy Bacon,
Is mine own name.
Honeyed Butter-roll
Is the man’s
That bears my bag.
Haunch of Mutton
Is my dog’s name,
Of lovely leaps.
Lard my wife,
Sweetly smiles
Across the kale-top
Cheese-curds, my daughter,
Goes around the spit,
Fair is her fame.
Corned Beef, my son,
Whose mantle shines
Over a big tail.

It’s official — I’m Irish! Well, about 32 percent, according to my ancestry composition (only second to my 39.2 percent French and German). In an effort to embrace my heritage on St. Patrick’s Day — and to challenge ourselves with a new recipe — we decided to give corned beef and cabbage a try. And, my goodness, are we glad we did!

All of the credit really goes to my husband, who found the winning recipe. And, while I’m not going to claim to be anything close to an expert on anything related to beef (we’re more of a veggie household), especially of the corned nature, I would like to think myself (and the aforementioned amazing husband) a bit of a foodie, which gives me some self-proclaimed credit to claim this the best recipe EVER.

The best part about this dish, besides the extreme level at which is will excite your tastebuds, has got to be how easy it was to make. And, by using a pressure cooker, the cooking time was (Note: As the recipe name implies, you will need an Instant Pot.)

This dish also provided an opportunity for me to learn a thing or two about cured meats — namely, that you don’t find them at the “fresh meat counter.” (Did I mention the fact that we don’t  prepare or eat a lot of meat?). On a related note, thanks to a local butcher for the lesson in all things corned-beef, including how to pick out a prime piece (e.g., based on fat content). Relatedly, if you’re interested in learning more about how corned beef became associated with the Irish and, consequently, St. Patrick’s Day, here’s an excellent article from Smithsonian.

And, yes, I realize this post comes a week too late for you to incorporate this recipe into your St. Paddy’s Day, there’s nothing to say you can’t make it any time of year. You can also save this post for next year — you’re going to want to!

 

 

INSTANT POT CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

Adapted-ish from Food Network Kitchen
Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes / Serves 8 – 10

The What

  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves peeled garlic
  • 3 tablespoons pickling spice
  • One 4-pound piece corned beef brisket, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, split lengthwise, cleaned and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 small head green cabbage, core intact, cut into thick wedges
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • Sour cream, prepared horseradish and whole-grain mustard, for serving

The How

  1. Add the onion, thyme, garlic, pickling spice, brisket and 6 cups water to your Instant Pot®. Follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook.
  2. Seal and cook on high pressure for 85 minutes. Follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release, then remove the meat and set aside.
  3. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and return 2 cups back to the Instant Pot® along with the butter.
  4. Add the rutabaga, leeks, carrots and cabbage to the Instant Pot®. Seal and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Quick release the steam.
  5. Thinly slice the brisket across the grain and transfer to a serving platter. Arrange the vegetables around the meat, sprinkle with the parsley.
  6. Serve with the sour cream, horseradish and mustard on the side.
  7. Enjoy!

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