The recipe for this traditional Irish dish calls for brining beef brisket for 5 days to "corn" it. If you want to omit this step, buy 5 lbs. of corned beef from your butcher and proceed to step two.
- 1 tbsp. allspice
- 1 tbsp. cloves
- 1 tbsp. coriander
- 1 tbsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 1 tbsp. mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
- 5 bay leaves
- 1 1⁄4 cups kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. pink salt
- 1 (5-lb.) first-cut beef brisket
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 3 lb. small new potatoes, peeled
- 1 head green or Savoy cabbage, cored and shredded
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Combine spices and 3 bay leaves in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan constantly, until spices are toasted and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer 3⁄4 of the mixture (reserving the rest in a covered jar) to a 5-qt. pot and add 8 cups water, kosher salt, sugar, and pink salt. Bring to a simmer; remove pot from heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate brine until chilled. Add brisket and weigh it down with a plate so brisket is submerged. Refrigerate for 5 days.
Drain corned beef and rinse. Transfer beef to a 5-qt. pot along with the reserved pickling spices, garlic, and onion. Cover corned beef with cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until corned beef is tender, about 1 hour. Remove pot from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, put potatoes into a 4-qt. pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender; drain. Put cabbage into a 3-qt. pot over medium-low heat, season with salt, add lemon juice and 1⁄2 cup water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes. To serve, transfer potatoes and cabbage to a large serving platter. Transfer corned beef to a cutting board, thinly slice beef across the grain, and transfer to the platter. Spoon some of the cooking liquid over the beef and serve warm.
Pairing Note: Porterhouse Wrasslers XXXX Stout balances this briny dish with malty sweetness and a bracing hoppy bitterness.