If you can’t get to Ireland for St. Patrick’s day, then this authentic recipe may be your best bet. Irish pastured cattle were cherished at home for their milk but exportable cured Irish salted (corned) beef provisioned the British navy fleets and early English and French colonies for over two centuries. Arriving in America, Irish immigrants popularized corned beef and cabbage as a festive food here. Although commercialism brought cheap and poor quality beef that had to be colored for “appeal” and preserved with nitrates for “safety,” there is a healthy and simple option: If you live in Anchorage, head on over to Duane Clark’s Saturday or Wednesday market (Sears Mall near Carrs 10-4). If you don’t: US Wellness Meats sells quality grassland meat products – Visit us Online!
Pick up a nice brisket from 100% grass-fed beef that is humanely raised and follow this recipe to flavor it just like the Irish–we thank our Irish luck that our client gave us this incredible recipe. BTW, I don’t get anything from advertising Duane’s market except knowing that my local friends have an excellent resource.
4-5 lb grass fed beef brisket, trimmed
2 quarts water
1 Cup kosher or sea salt
¼ Cup maple syrup (optional)
1 cinnamon stick broken into pieces
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
12 whole juniper berries
2 bay leaves
½ tsp ground ginger
1. Place the water into a large stockpot along with the salt, maple, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves and ginger.
2. Bring to a boil and simmer until the salt has dissolved (wait until you smell this amazing aroma!)
3. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator until cold (45 oF)—for health reasons you must let it cool completely.
4. Place the brisket in a storage container or a sealable zip top bag with enough space for the liquid. Add the cooled brine, cover, and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 days. Check daily to ensure the beef remains submerged, turn the meat and stir the brine as needed.
1 small onion quartered
2 large carrots, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
Sm. head of cabbage, halfed and then quartered
1. After the 10 days in the brine, remove the meat and rinse.
2. Place into a pot (or slow cooker) just large enough to hold the meat. Add the vegetables and enough water just to cover the meat (the vegetables will steam).
3. Cover and gently simmer for 2½ – 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
4. It is traditional to slow cook the meat with the vegetables, however, the cabbage is really delicious sliced and sautéed in butter and garlic as shown.
5. Remove the meat from the pot and slice thinly across the grain.
6. Arrange on a platter, surround with vegetables and serve.