How to Cook Corned Beef
By Molly Watson. Local Foods Expert
Molly Watson, Local Foods Expert for About.com, is a writer, a recipe developer, an avid cook, and a frequent locavore. Here she explores the wide and wonderful world of local foods with tips for finding local foods, as well as delicious recipes so you can cook and eat the local foods you find.
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1. How to Boil Corned Beef
I don't often find myself telling people to boil much of anything, but boiling is the traditional way of preparing corned beef for a reason: it cooks the meat, tenderizes the tough cut of brisket usually used to make corned beef along the way, and it draws out the excess salt (used in brining) that gives corned beef its flavor and texture—and it does all three of these things at once.
Put the corned beef in a large pot and cover with plenty of water. I like to add a tablespoon or two of Pickling Spice as well as a few garlic cloves, a quartered onion, a carrot, and a few stalks of celery to the mix.
Bring everything to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, more or less undisturbed, until the corned beef is completely tender when pierced with a fork, 3 to 4 hours. Remove the corned beef from the pot and slice across the grain to serve.
Note: You can add potatoes and/or cabbage towards the end of the cooking time, if you like, but I like to wait until the corned beef is definitely done, pull it out of the pot and cover it to keep it warm or even set it in a 200°F oven, cook whole small red potatoes and cabbage cut in wedges in the liquid until they are done, and serve everything cooked to its ideal done-ness.
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2. Slow Cooker Corned Beef
Cooking corned beef in a slow cooker has all the benefits of boiling corned beef, with the benefit of not having to stay home while it cooks. Place a quartered onion, a carrot, a couple of garlic cloves (if you like), and a few stalks of celery in the slow cooker. You can add potatoes, too, if you'd like to serve them with the corned beef. Set the corned beef on top of the vegetables, sprinkle it with a tablespoon of Pickling Spice. and add enough water to just submerge the beef. Cover and cook on high for about 4 1/2 hours or on low for 8 to 9 hours.
3. Baked Corned Beef
No matter how you cook it, corned beef is extra tasty with cabbage. Try Butter Braised Cabbage. Seared Cabbage. or Cabbage With Bacon. I'm also fairly partial to a serving of this Potato Cabbage Casserole alongside my corned beef.Source: localfoods.about.com