Friday of this week we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! One of the most popular meals we, as Americans enjoy on that day is corned beef (and cabbage if you so desire). At least in the United States, corned beef is made from the brisket of the cow though other cuts are sometimes used elsewhere. The brisket is from the underside of the cow, just back of the front shoulders. If a cow walked on its hind legs, it would be equivalent to the chest. It’s usually a pretty tough cut of meat due to the massive weight those muscles carry around. Curing it in a brining solution with pickling spices is where they come up with the term “corned beef”.
This curing is also what helps tenderize the meat, but if you want your corned beef roast to be tender and flavorful, cook it slowly at a relatively low temperature. This is exactly what Crock Pots were invented for – low and slow cooking. The brisket has a lot of connective tissues running throughout the meat. Cooking it to 210°F aids in breaking down those tissues (converting the collagen to gelatin) rendering the cut of meat more tender and flavorful. Cook the meat to 205°F then pull it off the fire allowing it to rest to reach the final temperature.
Of course, if you’re not a big fan of corned beef and cabbage, there are a ton of recipes that make use of corned beef that you might find more palatable. This one, from our website, is called Rustic Corned Beef & Potato Bake. It only takes about 15 minutes to prep and cooks in a little over a half hour!
|12 oz corned beef brisket||1 tbsp butter||½ cup chopped onions|
|2 tsps chopped fresh thyme||2 tbs horseradish butter mix||1 cup shredded Swiss|
|¼ cup grated Parmesan||2 cups cooked red potatoes||1½ tbsp softened butter|
|¼ cup chopped green onions||2 tbs horseradish||Salt & pepper to taste|
- For Horseradish -Butter Sauce: Place 1-1/2 Tbsp. butter, green onions, horseradish, ground pepper and salt in glass measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH 1-2 min. or until butter melts; mix well. Set aside.
- For Corned Beef and Potato: Heat oven to 375°F. Melt 2 tsp. butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and thyme; cook and stir 3-4 min. or until onion is tender. Remove from heat; stir in corned beef and horseradish-butter mixture.
- Meanwhile, coat bottom and sides of 9-in. glass pie plate with remaining 1 tsp. butter; set aside.
- Cut each potato half into 4 wedges. Arrange 1/2 of potato wedges in single layer over bottom of pie plate; stick remaining potato wedges upright around the edge of the pie plate. Combine cheeses in small bowl. Sprinkle potatoes with 1/2 of cheese mixture. Top with corned beef mixture and remaining cheese mixture. Press firmly with spatula to compact layers; cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake in 375°F oven 25-30 min. or until heated through. Uncover; continue baking 3-5 min. or until cheese is melted and edges begin to brown. Let stand 5 min. Cut into wedges.