Recipe: CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE BOILED BY JAMES BEARD CHEF
Title: CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE, BOILED BY JAMES BEARD, CHEF
Categories: Main dish, Meats, Vegetables
Yield: 6 servings
6 lb Corned beef brisket
1 ea Onion; peeled & stuck with:
3 ea Cloves (for onion)
10 lg Garlic cloves; peeled
1 tb Pepper; freshly ground black
6 md Onions; peeled
-(stick cloves in onions)
6 lg Carrots; scraped
6 md Potatoes; (or 10 for hash)
6 ea Turnips; peeled
1 md Cabbage
Note: To cook the corned beef you will need a good, 8 to 10 quart
size pot which can be aluminum, Magnalite, Corning Ware or anything
of that sort. The size is more important than the material.
* Cooking the Corned Beef *
Wipe the corned beef well with a damp cloth; put it in the pot and
cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over rather high heat. Boil
for 5 to 6 minutes, skimming off the grey foamy scum that rises to
the surface with a wire skimmer or large spoon. This will give you a
clearer, purer broth. It's very important with any boiled meat, to
skim off this scum drawn from the meat.
Add the onion stuck with cloves, the garlic cloves, and the pepper
and boil another 10 minutes, skimming. Then reduce the heat to a
simmer (250dF on a burner with a thermostat), cover the pot, and let
it simmer at a faint, gentle ebullition for 2 hours.
At this point test the meat for tenderness with a large fork. As this
is not a very tender piece of meat, it will offer some resistance,
but it should just yield to the fork. You must be careful not to
overcook corned beef or the meat will become dry and stringy. It's
very important to maintain some moisture in the meat. If you are not
sure about the tenderness, remove the meat to a plate and cut of a
tiny piece from the edge and taste it. If you have a meat thermometer
check the internal temperature, which should be between 145dF and
If the meat seems tender turn off the heat and let it rest in the
liquid. If it does not test tender either continue cooking or, if you
have started it in the morning and are ahead of serving time, leave
it in the liquid and finish the cooking later.
* Cooking the Vegetables *
Start 1 hour before serving.
Traditionally, all the vegetables for a corned beef dinner are cooked
in the pot with the meat. I have long since decided that the
vegetables look and taste better if they are cooked separately in
plain salted water, instead of in a briney, fatty broth.
If you have sufficient pots and burners, I recommend that you follow
this procedure, as each vegetable will then retain its own character
and flavor. However, it is perfectly acceptable to cook the potatoes
with the beef, provided you scrub them and leave them in their skins
so they don't absorb the fat, and to use only one extra pot, first
putting in the longest-cooking vegetables (the onions and carrots),
then the turnips, and finally the cabbage. Or, if you have a large
pot and a steamer, put the onions and carrots in the water and steam
the turnips over them. Cook the cabbage separately.
Here is a timetable for the vegetables:
: ONIONS. Put in a pot with water to cover, season with 1 tblspn
salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until crisply
tender when tested with the point of a knife.
: CARROTS. Follow the same procedure, seasoning the water with 2
tspns salt and 1/2 tspn marjoram. Simmer 30 minutes, or until tender
when tested. : POTATOES. Scrub but to not peel. Follow the same
procedure, seasoning the water with 1 tblspn salt, or simmer with the
corned beef for 30 minutes or until tender. If you are planning to
make corned beer hash, cook the 4 extra potatoes, otherwise allow 1
potato per person. : TURNIPS. Leave whole if small; halve or
quarter if large. Follow the same procedure, seasoning the water with
3 tspns salt. Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender when tested.
: CABBAGE. Remove coarse or discolored outer leaves and cut in
sixths. Put in a pot with water to cover, seasoned with 2 tspns salt;
cover. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 10 to 12 minutes, or
until just tender but not overcooked or soggy.
When ready to serve, remove the beef and discard the broth as it
cannot be saved for any other use. Let the beef stand on a hot
platter in a warm place for 10 minutes, to firm and settle the meat.
This makes it easier to carve. Surround it with the drained
vegetables, the potatoes still in their skins. Do not add butter. The
vegetables are better plain.
Slice only as much meat as you need, keeping the rest in one piece for
future use. (Corned beef hash, or cold corned beef sandwiches).
Serve with a variety of mustards, horseradish, and, if you have any,
good homemade pickles.