3.13.10 Luck o' the Irish

Irish large 790 xxx
If you want to make corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day, you're already too late! Sheesh. I went to investigate some recipes and saw that most call for brining the meat for 8 days. We've got 4. My brisket is very small (about 2 pounds), since it's just for G and me, but this is a great meal to feed a bunch of people—like a family with 6 kids perhaps? I wanted to get this post up quickly, in case you'd like to go to the market today and get your supplies. This recipe looks long and involved but it's actually pretty simple. I just made the pickling spices and the brine and got my meat squared away in about 12 minutes. There are hurricane warnings and flood alerts in effect today in Sullivan Country, but for some reason we're still determined to hit the road for a pilgrimage north to Delicacies of the Delaware—a fantastic smokehouse where we like to stock up on wonderful things from time to time. Hopefully we won't float away...
HOMEMADE IRISH CORNED BEEF & VEGETABLESAdapted from Bon Appetit serves 4-6 BRINE6 cups water2 cups lager beer11/2 cups coarse kosher salt1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar1/4 cup pickling spices (recipe below)1 6- to 8-pound flat-cut beef brisket, trimmed, with some fat remainingPICKLING SPICES2 cinnamon sticks, broken1 tablespoon mustard seeds2 teaspoons black peppercorns1 teaspoon whole cloves1 teaspoon whole allspice1 teaspoon juniper berries1 teaspoon crumbled whole mace1 teaspoon dill seeds4 dried bay leaves1 small piece dried gingerPour 6 cups water and beer into large deep roasting pan. Add coarse salt; stir until dissolved. Add sugar; stir until dissolved. Mix in pickling spices. Pierce brisket all over with tip of small sharp knife. Submerge brisket in liquid, then top with heavy platter to weigh down. Cover and refrigerate 4 days.Remove brisket from brine. Stir liquid to blend. Return brisket to brine; top with heavy platter. Cover; refrigerate 4 days. Remove brisket from brine. Rinse with cold running water. Wrap corned beef in plastic, cover with foil, and refrigerate. CORNED BEEF & VEGETABLES1 12-ounce bottle Guinness stout4 bay leaves1 tablespoon coriander seeds2 whole allspice1 dried chile de árbol, broken in halfCheesecloth3 medium turnips or rutabagas, peeled, quartered8 unpeeled medium white-skinned or red-skinned potatoes (about 3 pounds)6 medium carrots, peeled4 medium onions, peeled, halved through root ends2 medium parsnips, peeled, cut into 2-inch lengths1 2-pound head of cabbage, quarteredPlace corned beef in a very large, wide pot. Add stout and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Wrap cheesecloth around bay leaves, coriander seeds, allspice, and chile, enclosing completely, and tie with kitchen string to secure. Add spice bag to pot with beef. Bring just to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 1/4 hours. Transfer beef to large baking sheet.Add turnips and all remaining vegetables to liquid in pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until all vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to baking sheet with beef. Return beef to pot and rewarm 5 minutes. Discard spice bag.Cut beef against grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange beef and vegetables on platter. Serve with Horseradish Cream and Guinness Mustard (recipes follow).HORSERADISH CREAM1 cup sour cream or crème fraiche6 tablespoons prepared white horseradish (about 4 ounces)1 tablespoon finely chopped dill pickle1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or green onion topsWhisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead.)GUINNESS MUSTARD1/2 cup coarse-grained Dijon mustard2 tablespoons regular Dijon mustard2 tablespoons Guinness stout or other stout or porter1 tablespoon minced shallot1 teaspoon golden brown sugarWhisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead.)