18 March 2011

guinness corned beef

Although my mother proudly proclaimed her Irish heritage, I can't remember her ever actually cooking corned beef and cabbage.

Not sure why, but I'm guessing it's because my father objected to strong smells emanating from the kitchen. It wouldn't matter if the temperature was below zero, he'd rush like a madman to open all the windows in the house and turn on a powerful hall fan at the slightest hint of cooking odor.

Maybe that's why I follow a personal tradition of always cooking corned beef on St. Patrick's Day. That and the fact that I really love it. A good brisket is difficult to find most of the time in Canada, so St. Patrick's Day is a welcome opportunity to find one in the grocery.

1 pre-packaged, seasoned corned beef brisket
1 can Guinness draft-style beer
Dijon-style course-ground mustard
pearl onions
baby carrot
yellow potatoes
prepared sauerkraut
herbes de Provence
lavender salt

My recipe is dead simple. Dump the brisket in the slow cooker, fat side up. Spread mustard on the top. Empty a can of Guinness into the pot, covering them meat about halfway. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Cut potatoes into irregular chunks and add to slow cooker. Continue cooking on low setting 2 more hours.

Prepare pearl onions by first immersing them in boiling water for three minutes, then rinsing under cold water. Cut root end of onion and squeeze to remove the outer skin. Sauté carrots and onions in olive oil and butter at low-medium heat, carmelizing them. Season with herbes de Provence and lavender salt.

Heat sauerkraut and simmer about 20 minutes. Discard liquid and season with lots of butter and pepper.

Remove brisket from slow cooker, allowing meat to stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Toss potatoes in butter and dill.

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