Thursday, March 17, 2011

New England "Boiled" Dinner

It's more of a braise, actually!  I don't have one drop of Irish blood in me, but I love the culture and their food.  Today, I made this traditional Irish-American, one-pot-wonder and we really enjoyed it.  The food was overflowing on this platter and I served the remaining vegetables in a serving bowl.  This feast of slowly cooked corned beef, cabbage, onions, potatoes, turnips and carrots only cost about $15 total!

One corned beef brisket, approximately 21/2 pounds
1/3 cup light brown sugar
One bottle (12 oz.) Sam Adams Irish Red Ale or beer of your choice (Guinness would be excellent, of course!)
Water, to cover brisket
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, smashed with a knife and peeled
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
24 oz. container baby red potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
2 turnips, washed, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
1 extra-large onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1 head cabbage, washed, outer leaves and root end removed, cut into 10 wedges
8 oz. baby carrots, washed

Remove brisket from package; rinse well.  Place on a large plate and coat both sides with brown sugar.  Place meat in a Dutch oven.  Pour the beer over the beef.  Add water to cover.  Place bay leaf, garlic and peppercorns in a small piece of cheesecloth; tie up with kitchen twine.  Toss the sachet into the pot.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Remove any scum that floats to the surface.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 3 hours.

Discard sachet.  Place brisket on a cutting board and cover with foil.  Set aside.  Bring cooking liquids back up to a boil.  Add potatoes, turnips, onion, carrots and cabbage.  (I couldn't fit two of the cabbage wedges into the pot.  Oh, well.  Coleslaw tomorrow!)

Place lid on the pot.  Reduce heat to brisk simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes.  Drain vegetables and serve with brisket.

Dipping Sauce:

3/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
1 green onion, root end removed, washed and minced
Kosher salt and Mrs. Dash Garlic-Herb Seasoning, to taste
Honey, to taste (a healthy teaspoon, I'd say)

Mix ingredients and chill until ready to serve.  I made this just before I put the brisket on the stove.  Great with the beef and potatoes!
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