In America, Corned Beef and Cabbage is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition even if you are Irish only on March 17th Ever wonder why it is called Corned Beef? Well, corning is a form of curing and it has nothing to do with corn. The name comes from Anglo-Saxon times before refrigeration. In those days, the meat was dry-cured in coarse “corns” of salt. Pellets of salt, some the size of kernels of corn, were rubbed into the beef to keep it from spoiling and to preserve it. Today brining — the use of salt water — has replaced the dry salt cure, but the name “corned beef” is still used, rather than “brined” or “pickled” beef.
Traditionally, corned beef is braised slowly in either the oven or on the stovetop. If using either method, generally allow one hour of cooking per pound of meat. A quicker method for cooking this traditional fare is to use a pressure cooker and allow approximately 15 minutes of cooking time per pound of beef. Whichever method you choose, be sure the beef reaches an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F to ensure it is safely cooked.
In our home we enjoy this holiday fare with Irish Soda bread, a good mustard made with beer and the wearin’ of the green! Oh, and we can’t forget the Irish coffee for dessert. Enjoy.
Corned Beef and Cabbage – Pressure Cooker method
4 lb. corned beef brisket
1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
1 onion, quartered
2 TBS. pickling spice
5 whole black peppercorns
3 whole allspice berries
2 TBS. cider vinegar
1 head of cabbage, cut in 8 wedges
8 small red potatoes, peeled and halved
4-6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
Horseradish or horseradish sauce, for serving
Place the beef brisket in the pressure cooker and cover with cold water, making sure the amount does not exceed the recommended level for your cooker. Add the garlic onion, pickling spice, peppercorns, allspice and vinegar.
Cover and bring up to high pressure. Reduce heat to stabilize pressure and cook 60 minutes. Release pressure and remove meat. Tent beef and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
Add the cabbage, potatoes and carrots to the cooker. Bring cooker up to high pressure for 1 minute. Release pressure.
Serve the meat cut into thin slices along with the vegetables. Pass the horseradish on the side.
Serves 6 to 8.
Chef Vickie Kirlick