When it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in America, a big part of the holiday is sitting down to a dinner of corned beef, typically boiled with cabbage, carrots and other root vegetables. But have you ever thought about how corned beef got to be “corned”? It’s actually not as difficult as you may imagine. If you know how to brine, or marinate, you’re already one step closer to making corned beef successfully in your own kitchen.
In the weeks leading up to the holiday, you can find packaged corned beef in the meat section of your local supermarket. This beef has already been corned, which means it has been cured in a brine of salt, sugar and spices. That’s really all it takes to make corned beef. The only catch is planning ahead, because the curing process does take some time (just about a week or so). But if you’ve got the time and want to try it at home yourself, Food Network has just the right recipe for you. And the best part is you’ll be able to tell your family that you made the corned beef from scratch — how many people can say that?
Get the Recipe: Corned Beef and Cabbage
This corned beef recipe from Tyler Florence starts with making the rub for the beef brisket. Combine salt, sugar and spices, like coriander seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns and allspice, and herbs, like marjoram, thyme and bay leaves (feel free to vary the spices and herbs to suit your own tastes). Then rub the mixture onto the brisket and pour over with water in a large non-reactive bowl (no metal bowls). Weight the brisket down with a plate, then cover and refrigerate it for up to 10 days. The longer you brine, the more pickled — and flavorful — the meat will become.
After the curing process, you are ready to cook the meat. Tyler’s recipe calls for placing the covered pot of beef and vegetables in the oven to cook for 3 hours, which ensures the meat is absolutely fork-tender. Now you’re ready to enjoy your homemade corned beef with your family at dinnertime. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Visit Food Network’s St. Patrick’s Day page for more recipe ideas.