When the month of March rolls around, I start to think about St. Patrick’s Day and corned beef. Yay! I love corned beef and cabbage, and I love the Reubin’s sandwiches the next day even more. I usually prepare corned beef and cabbage the traditional way by simply boiling store-bought corned beef for many hours on the stove. This year I wanted to try to corn the brisket myself, which takes about 2 weeks. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, I didn’t have my act together at the beginning of the month. So on the day before St. Patrick’s Day, I was left with a whole beef brisket and not enough time to corn it. Hmmm…. What to do??
That was when I remembered a great uncorned beef recipe that I had cut out a few years back from Martha Stewart Living. I LOVE Martha Stewart for all her great crafting and recipe ideas and have used her articles and recipes MANY times. (You can find the original recipe here.) The amazing thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t actually call for corned beef brisket. The recipe uses a whole beef brisket (which I had) and then adds spices and a cooking method that mimics the taste of corned beef. I have been wanting to try this recipe since I first read it, and I was actually happy that I now had the perfect opportunity to try it!
The recipe starts with a spice paste made from salt, sugar, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, cider vinegar and mustard that infuses the brisket with flavors from the traditional corning process.
After the brisket marinates in the spice paste overnight, sliced onions and beets are added to the baking dish. Then you make a mixture of orange juice and beer, and half of this mixture is poured over the beef and vegetables. The dish is then placed into the oven preheated to 350 degrees. While the brisket braises, the beets color the beef the traditional red color we expect to see in corned beef. Genious idea, especially since beets are so tasty anyway! The fact that the dish is braised at such a high temperature surprised me at first, but the finished brisket tasted exceptionally tender. The recipe calls for braising the beef around 3 hours to 3 hours 15 minutes. (It took closer to four hours for mine to become tender).
But what about the cabbage?? Two sliced carrots and a head a cabbage cut into wedges are placed into another baking dish. The cabbage and carrots are covered with the remainder of the orange-beer mixture, and this baking dish is placed into the oven during the final hour of cooking time. Easy! I also made the apple-potato mash to round out the plate. What a meal!