Salty. Juicy. Meaty. Corned beef brisket embodies each aspect of what the perfect bite is for meat-lovers. St. Patrick’s Day may be long over, but my appetite for this delicious brisket is anything but a one-day holiday wonder.
Corned beef has become synonymous with the March Irish holiday, but how did this come to be? When Irish immigrants came to America, pork, which was an affordable staple in the Irish diet, became prohibitively expensive for Irish families in the new world. Irish immigrants moved into the same neighborhoods along other European ethnic groups like the Italians and Jewish immigrants, who were also considered “low-class” and “undesirable”. Irish workers in New York City would regularly patronize Jewish delis during lunch hours and it was there they discovered corned beef, which was cooked and cured much like their beloved Irish bacon.
Corned beef has now become commonplace in the American culture. Go to any diner and they will most definitely be serving corned beef hash (if it’s not on the menu, I’m not 100% sure you can call that a diner). I have never been to a deli where I did not absolutely love their Reuben sandwich, the smoked meat smothered in swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, on fresh marble rye. Hymie’s Delicatessen in Merion Station, PA is a perfect example of a truly amazing Jewish deli- it has a homemade corned beef sandwich that keeps the crowds coming back week after week.
If you are not lucky enough to live near Merion Station, though, never fear. You can make corned beef in your own kitchen with almost no effort at all. All you will need is a slow cooker, but if you want to take your corned beef game up a notch, try cooking the meat with some beer. I prefer a stout beer with corned beef-it will really bring out the flavor of the meat, without taking away from the salty bite that everybody enjoys. Try my recipe below and see how off-the-charts juicy your brisket can get!
- 12 oz. stout beer
- 12 oz. water
- 3-4 lbs. corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
You will want to set your slow-cooker to the low setting. Simply trim away the fat from the corned beef brisket and place into the slow-cooker. Pour the stout, water, and the seasoning packet, provided with the corned beef, over the brisket and let the waiting games begin! You will want to let the brisket cook down for 9-10 hours.
Once the brisket has cooked thoroughly, remove it from the juices and let it cool down before cutting into it, which is the hardest part of all. I get it, you’ve waited 10 hours for this to cook, but if you let it cool down slightly, it will be easier to slice into without falling apart.
I sliced down the corned beef and added this to a really healthy, yet filling dish- corned beef shepherd’s pie. Mixing together the corned beef, with boiled carrots and cabbage, I topped the pie with colcannon. Shepherd’s pie with colcannon is always a crowd-pleaser.
Hopefully, if you are lucky, you will have leftovers of the salty meat you spent all day waiting to chow down on.
*Pro Tip: If you are worried you won’t have leftovers, make another brisket and hide it in your fridge. Enjoy all of its salty decadence later, when your guests have left. (I may or may not have done this.)
If you do end up having leftovers, the opportunities are endless! Below is one of my favorites- Sliced corned beef brisket with ground mustard, sauteed onions and melted gouda cheese on a toasted everything bagel. Everything tastes better on a crunchy bagel, does it not?
Let me know your thoughts about this recipe in the comment section below.