Saint Patricks Day is around the corner, so it’s officially Corned Beef and Cabbage season! While I may not necessarily celebrate the holiday, I do celebrate its signature dish and the fact that it has history that’s connected to both the Irish and Jewish communities in America. Many people think the dish is Irish, but it’s really an *American* Irish recipe. Of course, the full historical details are online, but my personal favorite part of the story is how Irish and Jewish immigrants (the largest immigrant groups in NYC at the turn of the century) bonded because they lived in the same neighborhoods. One of those ways was the Irish buying brisket from kosher butchers to make corned beef! The cabbage is another classic Irish vegetable, and would’ve been both cheap and easy to find during that time. The corned beef is lean but juicy, packed with flavor from the corning process, and the cabbage is the perfect vegetable vehicle to soak up all the flavors from the beef. Carrots and potatoes are added to the braise for even more flavor, and there you have it: a mini history lesson, a story of Jewish and Irish friendship, and a delicious recipe, all in one post!
Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 1 (3 pound) pre-brined corned beef
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle Guinness or other stout
- 2 ½ tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 2 bay leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 medium carrots, cut 1 ½ inches thick (about 2 cups, cut)
- ¾ pound baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 medium onions, sliced into half moons (about 2 cups)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 head Savoy cabbage, cored and cut into 1/8ths
- Rinse corned beef in cold water to remove any excess brine. If there is a substantial fat cap, slice off, leaving ¼ inch of fat on top of the corned beef.
- Place fat side up into a large Dutch oven along with spice packet (if no spice packet, add 2 teaspoons mustard seeds, 2 cloves, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns), Guinness, whole grain mustard and enough water to cover the meat by 1 inch. Cover and simmer over medium low heat for 2 ½-3 hours, or until the meat begins to feel tender. Remove corned beef from oven and add potatoes and carrots. Cook uncovered until vegetables are tender and the meat is easily pierced with a fork.
- With 20 minutes left in the cooking time, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, onion and a generous pinch of salt. Stir to combine and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften and brown around the edges. Push onions to the edges of the skillet, increase heat to medium high and add remaining oil. Add cabbage cut side down and cook for 5 minutes, or until cabbage caramelizes. Flip and repeat on other cut side of cabbage for an additional 5 minutes. Once both sides are caramelized, remove from the heat, sprinkle with salt and set aside.
- Once corned beef is fork tender, remove from the oven and place brisket on cutting board. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice ¼-inch thick, against the grain.