Corned Beef with Vegetables
While we often think of corned beef as a quintessential Irish dish, it's not because the dish is an old Irish tradition. Spendy bacon (or salt pork) was originally the meat of choice for special dinners, but Irish immigrants in New York City switched to this more economical option. It's a fairly simple and flavorful dish still popular today.
Corned Beef with Vegetables
2 qt. Water
1 C. Kosher Salt
3/4 C. Brown Sugar (Packed)
2 tsp. Prague Powder #1
1/4 C. Pickling Spice Blend
1 Stick Cinnamon, Hardstick Cassia (Broken)
1 Tbsp. Juniper Berries, Whole
1 Tbsp. Peppercorns, Tellicherry Whole
1 tsp. Ginger, Crushed
4 C. Ice
1 6-8 lb. Flat-Cut Beef Brisket (Trimmed with Some Fat Remaining)
12 Baby Turnips (Trimmed)
8 Medium White or Red Potatoes (Skins On)
6 Medium Carrots (Peeled and Cut into 2-Inch Lengths)
4 Medium Onions (Peeled and Halved Through Root Ends)
2 Medium Parsnips (Peeled and Cut into 2-Inch Lengths)
1 Head of Cabbage (Quartered)
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp. Peppercorns, Tellicherry Whole
2 tsp. Pickling Spice Blend
For the Brine:
Prepare the brine by placing the water, kosher salt, brown sugar, Prague powder #1, pickling spice blend, broken cinnamon stick, juniper berries, Tellicherry peppercorns, and crushed ginger in a large stock pot. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved completely.
Remove the brine from the heat and add in the ice. Allow the brine to cool to at least 45°F. Place the brisket in a large zip-top bag and pour in the brine. Seal and place in a container. Make sure the beef is completely covered by the brine, cover, and place in the refrigerator for 10 days. Check the beef daily to ensure it remains covered with the brine and give it a bit of a shake up.
After 10 days, remove the beef from the brine and rinse thoroughly with cool, running water.
Place the beef in a stockpot just large enough to hold it, then cover with water by 1 inch.
Set over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover, gently simmering the beef for 2.5 - 3 hours, until the beef is fork tender. Remove the brisket from the pot, place on a sheet pan, and cover with foil.
Taste the stock from cooking the beef. It should be flavorful; however, if you'd like additional flavor, place the optional pickling spice blend, bay leaf, and Tellicherry peppercorns in cheesecloth or a drawstring muslin sachet and toss into the pot. Add the vegetables to the pot and bring to a boil again.
Reduce the heat to medium and boil gently until the root vegetables are tender (approximately 25 minutes).
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a platter. Rewarm the beef in the stock for approximately 5-10 minutes.
Remove the beef from the stock and slice against the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Serve with the root vegetables and a horseradish cream (horseradish and sour cream).