Today is my last day of vacation and so I find myself with some extra time to make a holiday meal. While I myself am only a tiny bit Irish, an occasion to eat corned beef is a hard one to pass up.
Mustard Crusted Corned Beef
Grilled/Roasted Cabbage Wedges
Thyme Roasted Carrots and Potatoes
This meal takes about 4 hours to prepare…but very little hands on time. I did most of my other projects for the day while things were in the oven.
Like most savory meat dishes, Corned Beef benefits from a ‘low and slow’ approach. There are a variety of ways to do this, but today I am utilizing the oven to minimize the amount of checking I need to do. Before you begin, preheat the oven to 325 °F. I started this meal with a store bought 2.25 lbs cut of Corned Beef (I’m sure you have seen the plastic wrapped cuts in the meat case) because I really don’t have the patience or the time frankly to brine beef for 7-10 days for one meal. From there, I quickly rinsed it off under cold running water, threw out the seasoning pouch and laid it fat side up in a 9 X 13 glass baking pan. Honestly I should have lined it with tin foil first…however apparently I was not remembering the clean up post meal. [*Note* line your 9 X 13 pan with tinfoil for quick clean up.]
Then comes the hardest part of this recipe: selecting a mustard to coat the meat. I would recommend a sweet hot option or a whole grain variety plus a bit of honey or brown sugar for sweetness. I sometimes play condiment roulette and combine the dregs of mustards from the fridge to concoct one super mustard. You do not need that much, just enough to have a thin layer, so today I used half a jar of this:
Cover the dish tightly with tinfoil, and place in the oven for 2.5 hours. (See – minimal hands-on). Once the timer goes off, I pull it out, removed the tinfoil and slid it back in it’s uncovered glory to cook for 30 more minutes. When the 2nd timer goes off, pull it out and check with a fork, if it slides right in, the meats is done; if not, but it back in for up to 30 more minutes. (Mine was done at this point).
Brisket and Corned Beef Brisket are very different than other cuts of meat because a longer cook time creates soft tender meat. Taste a piece and determine if it’s too salty. If so, feel free to drizzle a sweet agent like syrup, honey or similar thin liquid sweet element to essentially form a glaze.
Once the meat is officially done, let it rest, and preheat the oven to 425° F.
I personally use the last 30 minutes of the Corned Beef ‘ s cooking time to prep the side dishes. Since we are not boiling everything in a pot like traditional Corned Beef, I opted to roast the vegetables. First I pulled together a cabbage dish. Basically all that is required to prepare this version is quartering a cabbage, preparing a marinade, and adding said marinade to each wedge. Whether you opt to grill or roast, wrap each in its own tinfoil. On the grill they take about 30 minutes, gain a wonderful smoky flavor and retain some of their crunchy texture; in the oven I leave them for 50 minutes to create a texture more similar to wilted cabbage. For more detailed instructions, I used this easy to follow recipe here: http://greenlitebites.com/2010/06/roasted-grilled-cabbage/comment-page-2/#comment-1919122
The end result looks like this:
I also pulled out some potatoes and carrots to roast at the same time as the cabbage. For one baking sheet worth (about 4 servings) I used these amounts:
I cut all the vegetables to about the same size and thickness, tossed with olive oil, kosher salt, fresh pepper, dried thyme, fresh time sprigs, and one fresh sprig of rosemary. Be careful with the salt, less is more. I usually add a but more post roasting (when the oil is still hot) so that it will adhere directly to the vegetables. They need 30-50 minutes to roast on a foil lined baking sheet depending on the size and quantity on the tray. My tray looked like this prior to entering the oven:
And like this 40 minutes later:
*Note* A great timing trick is to set the timer for 30 minutes, the shortest time the potatoes/carrots will take to cook; and when you pull them out to stir, rotate the cabbage. This minimizes your chance of burning the pan of vegetables, and helps the cabbage get a uniform cook.
To serve this meal, arrange a wedge of cabbage on thr plate, several slices of Corned Beef and a liberal scoop of roasted vegetables. Enjoy!