Corned Beef and Cabbage

Saint Paddy's Day is just around the corner and that means corned beef and cabbage time. Most all the supermarkets have the beef brisket and sale and all one need do is learn how to cook it. Learning how to cook it was a challenging process for me. I tried open oven, covered dish and finally achieved decent results using a cooking bag but I still wasn't 100% pleased. It was still a little tough. This year I resolved to cook some tender corned beef.

So I went searching the Internet for recipes. Since I knew the wife was on the road and I had a long day of work planned I went looking for crock pot recipes that could cook while I worked.

I rarely use a single recipe that I find. My normal method when searching the Internet for recipes is to review, cut and paste several from different sources to notepad and then review what they have in common to arrive at my final choice.

Various recipes called for different amount of onion, garlic and liquid, with potatoes and carrots optional. Some said add tablespoons of vinegar and sugar in equal amounts. More than one suggested using beer as the liquid.

So what I arrived at was 10 hours in the slow cooker on low heat using 3/4 of a cup of coarsely chopped sweet onion, 3 large cloves of thinly sliced garlic, 1 tsp of black pepper, 2 tsp of vinegar, 2 bay leaves and 12 ounces of beer. I did not include the spice packet that comes with the brisket.

We usually eat it as the meal along with the cooked cabbage and some form of potato and then make Reuben’s 2-3 days later. Then polish off any remainder as corned beef sandwiches a couple of days after that

It was so tender at the first meal that I was concerned it would not make a good sandwich. After a day in the fridge it firmed up nicely, sliced cleanly and made some of the best Reuben’s I have ever made.

The secret to a great Reuben is the topic for another article.

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