Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Spaz makes your life better! Unless you're vegan.

Aside from it being one of my absolute best friend's birthday, today, it's also St. Patrick's Day. The day of the green, the luck of the Irish, and all that jazz.

So today is also the day I will make Corned Beef & Cabbage and The Man will rejoice. It is his absolute FAVORITE meal. He enjoys it with a cold Guinness and usually a movie where things are blown up in epic proportions.

So, in honor of The Man, I will share with you the recipe I use. It is not the standard boiled Corned Beef & Cabbage that we grew up on, it's better. And takes less time.

1 corned beef brisket (I get the biggest one I can find)
Pickling spice (more than what comes with the brisket)
1 large orange, sliced in circles
1 or 2 stalks of celery
1 white onion, sliced in circles
An oven bag suitable for a large chicken
Enough yellow gold potatoes to feed the amount of people you're trying to feed, rinsed and sliced in half or thirds
Enough baby carrots to feed them all, too
1 head of cabbage
1 beef boillon cube (maybe... read further to decide)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Rinse the brisket and rub with pickling spice. You can use the stuff that came with the brisket if it has the little packet. Otherwise, use a couple of tablespoons of the stuff you bought seperately.

Put the brisket in the bag and arrange orange slices, celery, and onion slices on top. Pour in about 1/2 cup of water and fold the bag underneath the brisket so it's tight and place it all in a 9x13 pan.

Now here you have some options. I switch it up as to how I cook the rest so I'll give you both of my options.

Option 1:
About 3 hours into cooking, take the brisket out and remove the oranges, onions, and celery from the bag with tongs. Sometimes this is a pain in the rear because the onions like to hide. But if you leave some in there, it's not the end of the world. I think some people actually prefer to leave them in there. Whatever floats your boat.

After you've removed all that stuff and thrown it out, put in the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Reseal the bag and continue cooking for another hour or two, until the meat is tender.

Option 2:

About 45 minutes before the brisket is done, boil a big pot of water on the stove. Dissolve the bouillion cube in it and add a couple of tablespoons of pickling spice. Put in potatoes and carrots and boil until they're almost tender. Then add cabbage and finish cooking.

(you can also use aluminum foil if you don't have a cooking bag... see?)