Corned Beef

On a home archaeological dig, I unearthed an ancient clay artifiact:  my Rommertopf Clay Pot. I've had it for more than 20 years, and I've not used it in 15.  I dusted it off.  Roasted a chicken.  Perfect.  My sister was coming into town, and we've done a good job keeping up with my cousins during her visits.  My cousin, Val's, home is convenient for all.  She cleaned, and I cooked.

What to cook?  I woke up the next morning with the inspiration of cooking corned beef and cabbage.  We were just a few days shy of that great holiday (which also happens to be the anniversary of our first blind date 36 years ago), so why not bring that dish forward?  We tested the waters of our guests and all said fine.  (Though my other cousin Diane later confessed that she had some misgivings remembering corned beef and cabbage of yonder days----cabbage mush and meat boiled beyond saving.

I've made corned beef and cabbage many times over the years, but I wanted to try it in my clay pot.  I found this recipe over at   I combined that recipe with Elise's (Simply Delicious) method of braising cabbage and found myself with one of my "Top 10" meals. Points to make:

  • boiling and draining the meat removes excess curing agents.  You will not wake up parched in the middle of the night, and your dish will not suffer.
  • The clay pot perfectly cooks the meat
  • I removed the meat and 1/2 the liquid from the cooker and added quartered red potatoes (large), onions and halved carrots.  The cooked beautifully.
  • I used the brown sugar, clove (ground, I didn't have whole), lemon zest, sherry vinegar (I didn't have sherry wine) and Grey Poupon mustard to coat top of roast and bake further.  The harmony of the the spices and the zing of the zest and vinegar were outstanding.
  • Braise the cabbage separately to have flavorful, good on the tooth accompaniment with your meal...not mush.
The meat was fork tender, aromatic, moist and flavorful.  I will NEVER cook my corned beef another way--to include using the sweet/tangy topping of which you can find several renditions all of with complement the meat.



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