Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef Dinner

I know it's a day late but I didn't finish making this until dinnertime yesterday. So maybe you can use it next year. Or make it just because it is so good. Corned beef takes time but it is really very simple. Place your corned beef fat side up in a heavy pot and cover it with water. I used half water and half beef stock. I throw in whole carrots, celery, onions and celeriac for extra flavor. They will be discarded after 3 hours of cooking. Bring this to a boil and skim off any scum that forms. Turn it down to a simmer, cover it and let it cook for about an hour for each pound.

I like to mix a cup of sour cream with a half bottle of horseradish and some fresh dill for a sauce for the finished meat.

I also use the smallest potatoes I can find. This year I lucked out with these tiny purple, red and white ones.

When you prepare your the vegetables for the final dish, you might want to keep them separate for presentation and serving. I sliced parsnips into coins and cubed turnips and wrapped them separately in cheese cloth.

I pealed and sliced the carrots into long strips.

About an hour before your meat is done, add the vegetables. Slice the cabbage into wedges retaining part of the core at the bottom to keep it from falling apart. Discard all of the original whole vegetables and leave the stock and meat in the pot. Add the newly prepped vegetables along with the cabbage wedges. Cook covered just until the cabbage softens but still has a bit of a bite.

I packed up trays of this for my friends. Thinly slice the corned beef against the grain. Place some cabbage wedges down the middle of your platter. You can see the turnips on the bottom right and the parsnips are under the carrots on the top right. The mini potatoes are in between them. I separate everything with the sliced carrots. Add a few knobs of butter. Ladle the stock to cover almost to the top. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve it with soda bread for dipping. Serve with the horseradish sauce and some whole grain mustard.

Tomorrow I will give you the recipe for the best soda bread ever.