|6 pounds||Corned beef brisket|
|1 each||Onion; peeled & stuck with:|
|3 eaches||Cloves (for onion)|
|10 larges||Garlic cloves; peeled|
|1 tablespoon||Pepper; freshly ground black|
|Here is a timetable for the vegetables:|
|6 mediums||Onions; peeled (stick cloves in onions)|
|6 larges||Carrots; scraped|
|6 mediums||Potatoes; (or 10 for hash)|
|6 eaches||Turnips; peeled|
James Beard's Boiled Corned Beef and Cabbage, New England Style.
Makes: 6 servings with leftovers for cold corned beef sandwiches or 4 to 6 servings of corned beef hash.
Note: To cook the corned beef you will need a good, 8 to 10 quart size pot which can be aluminum, Magnalite, Corning Ware or anything of that sort. The size is more important than the material.
* Cooking the Corned Beef *
Wipe the corned beef well with a damp cloth; put it in the pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over rather high heat. Boil for 5 to 6 minutes, skimming off the grey foamy scum that rises to the surface with a wire skimmer or large spoon. This will give you a clearer, purer broth. It's very important with any boiled meat, to skim off this scum drawn from the meat.
Add the onion stuck with cloves, the garlic cloves, and the pepper and boil another 10 minutes, skimming. Then reduce the heat to a simmer (250dF on a burner with a thermostat), cover the pot, and let it simmer at a faint, gentle ebullition for 2 hours.
At this point test the meat for tenderness with a large fork. As this is not a very tender piece of meat, it will offer some resistance, but it should just yield to the fork. You must be careful not to overcook corned beef or the meat will become dry and stringy. It's very important to maintain some moisture in the meat. If you are not sure about the tenderness, remove the meat to a plate and cut of a tiny piece from the edge and taste it. If you have a meat thermometer check the internal temperature, which should be between 145dF and 150dF.
If the meat seems tender turn off the heat and let it rest in the liquid. If it does not test tender either continue cooking or, if you have started it in the morning and are ahead of serving time, leave it in the liquid and finish the cooking later.
* Cooking the Vegetables *
Start 1 hour before serving.
Traditionally, all the vegetables for a corned beef dinner are cooked in the pot with the meat. I have long since decided that the vegetables look and taste better if they are cooked separately in plain salted water, instead of in a briney, fatty broth.
If you have sufficient pots and burners, I recommend that you follow this procedure, as each vegetable will then retain its own character and flavor. However, it is perfectly acceptable to cook the potatoes with the beef, provided you scrub them and leave them in their skins so they don't absorb the fat, and to use only one extra pot, first putting in the longest-cooking vegetables (the onions and carrots), then the turnips, and finally the cabbage. Or, if you have a large pot and a steamer, put the onions and carrots in the water and steam the turnips over them. Cook the cabbage separately.
: ONIONS. Put in a pot with water to cover, season with 1 tblspn salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until crisply tender when tested with the point of a knife.
: CARROTS. Follow the same procedure, seasoning the water with 2 tspns salt and ½ tspn marjoram. Simmer 30 minutes, or until tender when tested. : POTATOES. Scrub but to not peel. Follow the same procedure, seasoning the water with 1 tblspn salt, or simmer with the corned beef for 30 minutes or until tender. If you are planning to make corned beer hash, cook the 4 extra potatoes, otherwise allow 1 potato per person. : TURNIPS. Leave whole if small; halve or quarter if large. Follow the same procedure, seasoning the water with 3 tspns salt. Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender when tested.
: CABBAGE. Remove coarse or discolored outer leaves and cut in sixths. Put in a pot with water to cover, seasoned with 2 tspns salt; cover. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just tender but not overcooked or soggy.
When ready to serve, remove the beef and discard the broth as it cannot be saved for any other use. Let the beef stand on a hot platter in a warm place for 10 minutes, to firm and settle the meat.
This makes it easier to carve. Surround it with the drained vegetables, the potatoes still in their skins. Do not add butter. The vegetables are better plain.
Slice only as much meat as you need, keeping the rest in one piece for future use. (Corned beef hash, or cold corned beef sandwiches).
Serve with a variety of mustards, horseradish, and, if you have any, good homemade pickles.