Corned beef and cabbage is a delicious dish and known for its popularity on St. Patrick's Day. However, you don't have to wait until March 17 or be Irish to enjoy this comforting and satisfying meal. The best methods for cooking corned beef and cabbage together are by boiling on the stove or cooking in a slow cooker. Corned beef can also be baked in the oven, but you will have to cook the cabbage separately. Which method you choose may depend on the amount of time you have and the kitchen tools available to you.
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To cook corned beef and cabbage, no matter what the method, you'll need 3 pounds of corned beef packaged in brine, one large head of cabbage, three carrots and three potatoes. Cut the cabbage into 1/2-inch pieces, cut the carrots into 1-inch pieces and quarter the potatoes. Because of the high amount of salt in corned beef, SimplyRecipes.com recommends bringing the corned beef to a boil in a pot of plain water, then dumping out the water and repeating the process before cooking the meat. This is optional, but is recommended if you prefer your corned beef to be less salty.
To cook boiled corned beef and cabbage, remove the corned beef from the packaging, put it in a 6- to 8-quart pot, and fill to an inch over the meat. Empty the spice packet that came with the meat into the water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for two to three hours, until the meat separates easily with a fork. Remove the meat from the pot and slice it against the grain. Save the water to boil the cabbage.
To boil the cabbage, add the cabbage, carrots and potatoes to the pot of water used to boil the corned beef. Add salt if needed. Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the cabbage, carrots and potatoes from the pot and serve with corned beef.
To cook corned beef and cabbage in a slow cooker, you'll need these additional ingredients: 2 medium onions, 1 cup apple juice, 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of finely shredded orange peel, 2 teaspoons of prepared mustard and 6 whole cloves. Slice the onions and put them in the bottom of the slow cooker. Remove the corned beef from the packaging and trim away the fat. Put the corned beef on top of the onions. Combine the apple juice, orange peel, sugar, cloves and mustard in a separate bowl, then pour the mixture over the corned beef. Put the cabbage on top of the corned beef and cover the slow cooker. Cook on high for five to six hours or on low for 10 to 12 hours. Remove the corned beef, slice it against the grain, and serve it with the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots.
To cook corned beef in the oven, you'll need these additional ingredients: 10 whole cloves, 1/4 cup of hot sweet honey mustard and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the corned beef from the package and lay it fat side up on a sheet of foil. Stick the cloves in the top of the corned beef, spacing them out evenly. Coat the top of the corned beef with honey mustard, then with brown sugar. Wrap the foil up around the corned beef, making sure to leave some space between the meat and foil at the top. You want the foil to catch the meat's juices while it bakes. Put the foil-wrapped meat in a shallow baking pan and bake for two hours. Remove from the oven, spread more honey mustard on top of the meat and broil for two to three minutes. Let the meat sit for five to 10 minutes, slice it against the grain, and serve. Saute or boil cabbage separately.