Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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- Jan 7, 2013
- Long Island, NY
So, until recently I have been throwing a St. Patrick's Day party every year for 40 years. Usually I make corned beef and cabbage for 40 folks. Since I am only going to be making it for a handful this March 17, I figured I would share my recipe. This serves a family of six.
First, go to the super market and get the cheapest piece of corned beef you can find. Don't buy the fancy trimmed piece that costs seven bucks a pound just to impress the neighbors. A lot of stores have coupons for corned beef the week before St. Pat's so I can usually get it for a dollar or two a pound. The cheaper cut, with a lot of fat will boil down to a nice tender, kinda spongy consistency. Buy two three pound pieces. This will be so good everyone will want some. If you are smart you will buy an extra piece for hash for Sunday. God bless you if you do.
You will also need one head of cabbage, six potatoes (pottatas), six carrots, six celery stalks, six onions. Get a few extra potatoes if you are going to make hash. Peel the potatoes and cover the peeled whole potatoes in cold water so they don't turn gray. Use decent sized potatoes, but not something so big it would have a dish named after it at the Outback Steak House. Cut the carrots and celery into one inch long pieces. Peel the onions, for Godsake, you don't want your guests to be eatin onion skins do ya? Where were you raised? Don't chop the onions up. You are going to throw the peeled onions whole into the pot later. The cabbage should be cut into six wedges.
In the biggest stock pot or lobster pot you got, fill three-quarters of the way to the top. Put in the meat. Turn on the stove to its highest setting. Toss into the water 20 peppercorns, a tablespoon of mustard seeds, six cloves of garlic (or three if you are allergic), and four nice sized bay leaves.
Most recipes say "boil for three to four hours." That should tell you that this isn't a finicky recipe. The timing begins when the water first boils.
Now grab a Guinness and have your first drink in honor of the good saint.
When the water starts to boil, fat will rise to the top and the pot will overflow. This will give your home the smell of an Irish bar at closing time. Enjoy.
But really, at this point reduce the heat a little so you don't set the house on fire. You will find that corned beef water is so fatty it will actually burn! It is worth making this dish just to watch that. But it isn't worth the losss of your house. However, if you rent...
At about the two hour and forty-five minute mark I toss the onions into the pot. Even if nobody wants to eat a boiled onion, they will give the mess a lot of flavor. At the three hour mark I add the carrots and potatoes. Next add the celery. Mix everything up in the pot. Now I put in the cabbage wedges. I don't mix them because I don't want the wedges to break up. About a half hour later, I start poking the 'tattas. When they are edibly soft I turn off the heat. I carefully remove the meat onto a serving plate (check to make sure it is soft enough to be edible before you start pulling everything else out). If it is, remove the vegetables to a colander. I usually separate the potatoes and onions to separate serving plates once they drain, but leave the carrots and celery mixed together.
Slice the corned beef. Not too thin, this isn't a Kosher restaurant.
Serve with a NY Deli Mustard and Piccadilly which is made by combining equal parts pickle relish and mustard.
A good ale is the best drink to serve with this, or else a plain seltzer for those with alcohol problems or those who may have taken the pledge.