To me corned beef is by a large margin my favorite meal. It brings back those great memories from my childhood of going to my grandmothers house for dinner and having corned beef, potatoes, and a good loaf of rye bread (and perhaps just a touch of mustard). Alas she passed before I discovered the joys of cooking and nobody in my family has her recipe (probably because she never really wrote them down). So I've spent these last several years searching for a new recipe to love. This is the result, a recipe i picked up a little while ago and have developed a bit since then. It is almost foolproof and will deliver consistent results every time.
Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment
This is a one pot meal requiring only a few simple ingredients you can get at any grocery store in America. Here in Tampa it costs me about $15 - $20 depending on the size of the corned beef.
Carving or Bread Knife
Teaspoon Measuring Spoon
4 Allspice Berries
2 Whole Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
2-3 Bay Leaves
2 Teaspoons Black Peppercorns
3 - 5 Pound Corned Beef
1 Bag of Small Potatoes
1 Bag of Baby Carrots
You can of course brine your own corned beef but I honestly don't plan that far ahead so i never do it myself. Traditionally cabbage is also served with corned beef but I hate the stuff so I don't cook it.
Step 2: Getting Started
First things first preheat the oven at 300°. You definitely want to open the corned beef package in the sink since its full of brine and meat juices. Once it's removed from the package it needs to be thoroughly rinsed under cold water to wash off any loose stuff still sticking to it from inside the package. Most corned beef's come with a spice packet inside which I never use, and considering you're reading this i doubt you'll be using it either. Now place the meat into your dutch oven and fill with enough water to cover the corned beef and place it uncovered on the stove top on med-high heat.
Step 3: Seasonings and Cooking
Take a piece of cheese cloth and put the peppercorns, cloves, allspice berried, and cinnamon stick (I usually crack it in half so it will fit better) in the center of it and tie it up to form a sort of tea bag of spices ( I believe there is a technical name for this in cooking I however don't know it). Now we drop this along with our bay leaves into our dutch oven on the stove top and let it heat up for about 15 minutes. You'll start to see some foamy looking substance floating on the water. This needs to be skimmed off before we put our pot in the oven (you won't be able to get all of it just do your best to get most). Now the hardest part for me, put the cover on the pot and place it in the oven and try to ignore the delicious smells for the next 3hours 45 minutes.
Step 4: Potatoes and Carrots
Now you've patiently waited while the smells have been slowly drifting throughout the house. Never fear you're almost there! Remove the pot from the oven and place it on your stove top. Remove the corned beef, place it on your cutting board, and cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Now put your pot on medium heat and put the carrots and potatoes into the water your corned beef was cooked in, Cover and let cook until the potatoes are nice and soft (basically till you can stick a fork in with very little effort). Now I know some people would rather cook the potatoes and carrots while the corned beef was in the oven but then you'd be wasting all the wonderful flavor in the corned beef water.
Step 5: Cutting and Serve
Everything is cooked and ready to go except for cutting the corned beef. This is my favorite part because you get to poach little pieces of this tasty dish while your cutting. You can cut them thin or thick, personally i prefer mine on the thicker side and find it much easier to cut it that way while hot, but to each there own. Now serve it up with some nice fresh bread (here I served it with some sourdough I made the day before) and dig in. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do and I'd love to here other people takes on this dish. Now go enjoy with family and friends.