Coordinating cooking times of various ingredients maintains color, texture and vitamin content. Corned beef brisket requires slow cooking in liquid to make it tender and tasty. You can cook your cabbage separate from the corned beef to help maintain desirable texture of the vegetables.
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Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, become mushy long before the meat finishes cooking. If you braise the brisket instead of boiling it, the cabbage scorches. Keeping your corned beef and vegetables separate also ensures that your vegetarian and vegan friends can enjoy the meal without worry.
Cabbage, potatoes and carrots can be cooked separately from your corned beef to help maintain texture.
Read more: Digestion of Raw Cabbage
Know Your Cooking Times
Braising and boiling work best when making corned beef. Braising, or pot-roasting, means slow-roasting meat in liquid after browning it in fat. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends braising at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least one hour per pound of corned beef brisket.
There's a big discrepancy between the cooking time for your corned beef and cabbage, carrots and potatoes. A 3-pound brisket needs three hours to cook, while potatoes take as few as 20 minutes, depending on the cooking method.
Carrots cook in three to 45 minutes, depending on the cooking method and whether the carrots are whole or sliced. Cabbage boils in four to nine minutes when sliced thick or chopped, while braising takes up to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the type of cabbage.
The corned beef should thaw completely before cooking. Because it cooks the longest, it needs to go into the oven or slow cooker before you start the other vegetables in their own pan.
Add Your Braising Liquids
If you are serving vegetarian or vegan friends, use vegetable stock, apple juice, red wine or brandy as your braising liquid, not chicken or beef stock. Use drinking-quality alcohol, not cooking wine. Cooking-quality alcohol contains added salt and chemicals that give food an off taste.
You can make vegetable stock from diced onions, celery, carrot, tomato, garlic and 2 quarts water, with a little lemon juice, hot sauce and salt for flavor. Boil the stock until the vegetables tenderize and the stock has a full-bodied scent.
Read more: Benefits and Side Effects of Cabbage Juice
Serve and Store Safely
Allow corned beef brisket to rest for three minutes before carving or make it the day before so that it has time to chill. Cold corned beef is easier to slice into even thicknesses for storage.
Discard any food that has been at room temperature for more than two hours to reduce risk of foodborne illness. Store cooked corned beef in the refrigerator at 40 F or cooler for five to seven days or freeze for up to one month, as advised by the University of Minnesota Extension.
Reheated corned beef should cook to at least 165 F as measured with a food thermometer, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Serve a 1/2-inch thick slice of corned beef with 1/2 cup each of carrots, potatoes and cabbage for a well-rounded meal.