I started corning my own beef about 8 years ago and haven't gone back to the store bought corned beef since, the flavor and texture of home corned beef is far superior to the packaged version. It takes a week of advance planning, about half an hour of prep work on the brisket, and refrigerator space for the brisket to corn, but I PROMISE the end result is worth it.
If all your store carries is pre-bagged corned beef, ask a local butcher, or the meat department of your grocery, to prepare the brisket size of your choice the week before you want to eat it. In these pictures, since this was a January meal, I used a 3 lb. brisket. For our normal St. Patty's Day feast, I buy about a 6 lb. brisket because you'll lose about a pound in the trimming. 3 lbs. will serve 4, 5-6 lbs. will serve 8. If you love corned beef hash for leftovers like we do, buy a larger brisket.
You can also use this recipe with the pre-bagged corned beef, just skip the corning steps, but next time, do yourself a favor, and corn your own.
My Midwestern self has learned, thanks to America's Test Kitchen, this recipe is most often called New England Boiled Supper. With perhaps, 45 minutes total of prep-time, and 2 hours total cook time, the results of this recipe far outweigh the effort put into making it. The corned beef becomes slightly salty, fall apart tender and delicious. Cooking all the vegetables in the broth the corned beef makes results in fully flavored softened vegetables that only need a little butter (preferably KerryGold, the Irish salted kind) to complete the meal.
I've included an easy recipe for horseradish cream sauce that brings some zip to the corned beef, if you don't like horseradish some grainy mustard served alongside would also work. We like malt vinegar lightly sprinkled over everything for some zing. Our meal wouldn't be complete with some Irish Soda Bread. Even if it might not be exactly how my ancestors would eat, I think they'd be proud of me for spreading my love with food.
Here I am with another pressure cooker recipe that with each one I post I hope helps someone realize how incredible they are. Before I had mine, I was spending an easy four or five hours cooking this exact same meal, and now, I'm happily napping those extra 3 hours away! http://www.instructables.com/id/Pressure-Cooker-Perfected-Pot Roast/ http://www.instructables.com/id/Pressure-Cooker-Pulled-Pork/
Happy St. Patrick's Day, enjoy!
Recipe adapted from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.