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! https://www.instructables.com/id/Pressure-Cooker-Perfected-Pot Roast/ https://www.instructables.com/id/Pressure-Cooker-Pulled-Pork/
Happy St. Patrick's Day, enjoy!
Recipe adapted from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
TO CORN THE BEEF:
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 (4- to 5-pound) beef brisket, flat cut, trimmed
COOKING THE CORNED BEEF:
1 (4-to 5-pound) corned beef
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns (I used cracked)
1 Tablespoon whole mustard seeds
4 cups water
1 1/2 pounds carrots (I used 1/2 lb. regular carrots, 1 lb. baby carrots, you can use whatever you like)
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes (I used Yukon Golds)
1 small head green cabbage (2 pounds), uncored
Step 2: Corn Brisket and Cook the Corned Beef
Combine salt, peppercorns, thyme, allspice, paprika, and bay leaves in bowl.
Using metal skewer, or fork (what I used), poke about 30 holes on each side of brisket. Rub each side evenly with salt mixture.
Place brisket in 2-gallon zipper-lock bag (I use one or two 1-gallon bags), forcing out as much air as possible (I always seem to have extra rub so I dump that onto brisket in bag). Place in 13 by 9-inch baking dish (since I cut my brisket into pieces, I find it fits in a 4-qt. food-safe container, use whatever fits best in your fridge), cover with second, similar-size pan, and weight with 2 bricks or heavy cans of similar weight (I fill a large ziploc with water and make sure it's airtight--double up the ziplocs if you're worried about spilling, it usually weighs about 5 lbs.). Refrigerate 5 to 7 days, turning once a day. Rinse the meat before using.
In a 6-quart pressure cooker, place corned beef, bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seeds and 4 cups water. Cook on high pressure for 45 to 55 minutes depending on size of your corned beef. 2-3 lbs. 45 minutes, 4-5 lbs. 55 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Skewer or fork should easily slide in and out of meat. (If it's not quite tender you can turn on the brown/simmer setting and simmer until tender.)
During the 15 minute natural release preheat your oven to 200 F. Transfer the meat to a large baking dish and ladle 1 cup of the cooking liquid over the top. Cover with foil and keep warm in the oven while the vegetables cook.
Step 3: Optional Horseradish Cream Sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
Salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients, including salt and pepper to taste, in bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 1 1/2 hours to thicken.
Recipe from Cook's Country December 2006
Step 4: Prepare and Cook Vegetables
If using baby carrots you don't need to do anything but let them come to room temperature. For regular carrots, peel and cut into 2-inch lengths. Cutting pieces lengthwise, if quite thick, before cutting widthwise.
Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges, leaving the core intact so the wedges stay in one piece while cooking.
After removing corned beef, add carrots and potatoes to liquid left in pressure cooker, cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
You have a few options for the cabbage, cooking under pressure, or just boiling, leaving the carrots and potatoes in, or, if the pressure cooker is too full, removing them and cooking the cabbage alone. Both cooking methods end up taking about the same amount of time when you figure in the time it takes for the pot to re-pressurize.
If you want to pressure cook the cabbage, add the wedges to the carrots and potatoes and bring back to high pressure for 2 or 3 minutes, two if you like cabbage with some texture, or three if you like softer cabbage. If you want to boil, after pressure cooking the carrots and potatoes, remove them from the pot and add the cabbage wedges, put the pressure cooker on your brown, or simmer, setting, bring to a boil and cook until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. I pressure cook the cabbage simply so I don't have to watch the pot. The last two pics are from different cooking days, once I fit the cabbage in the pot, the next I took the veggies out and cooked the cabbage alone. It does take less time to re-pressurize without the carrots and potatoes.
Step 5: Serve and Enjoy
Transfer the cooked vegetables to the platter (you can remove the cabbage cores now, or let each person remove their own), and moisten with additional cooking liquid as needed before serving.
Serve, if desired, with horseradish cream, butter, and malt vinegar, enjoy!
The leftovers can be kept in covered containers up to 3 days. We like to separate the meat from the vegetables, cover each with a little cooking liquid, then separately store the cooking liquid for use when re-heating.
Leftovers make excellent corned beef hash, corned beef sandwiches, or simply re-heated. Happy St. Patrick's Day!