Corned Beef & Cabbage (get PDF)

   Most of you have made corned beef and cabbage, and know how to make it, and how it tastes. We made it the other day, and I wanted to try to improve on the standard. With a few simple additions, we have revolutionized (in my mind) the standard, at least in this house. Although the changes were my idea, I give Lorraine credit because she helped.

   We've made this again using standard london broil beef. The recipe below is the same except for the london broil modification. This recipe was posted before, but without much detail. This version contains the details as well as some modifications we made.

2 1/2 lbs corned beef (or any other cut of beef)
4 medium potatoes
3 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 purple onion
1 small head cabbage
1 tblsp peppercorns
1 pint tomato juice
1 tblsp corriander seed
2-3 star anise
1-2 dried pasilla peppers
1/4 cup red wine

   I dried the london broil with paper towels, sprinkled sea salt over all sides, and put in the refridgerator uncovered for 24 hours. This is sort of a quick dry brine to extract excess moisture out of it and to tenderize it a bit. Before preparing, I thoroughly rinsed off any residual salt and cut it into cubes. You can see from the picture that the salt has penetrated the meat a good bit (where the meat is darker red around the edges). With a wet brine and a few more spices, and about 5 days, I could have made this a true corned beef.

   The remainder of this recipe is for corned beef or any other cut of beef.

  I peeled and cut up the potatoes, and cut up the corned beef the night before. I put them in the crock pot, potatoes on the bottom, nearly covered it with water, and set the crock pot at 150°. There was a packet of coriander and white pepper that came with the corned beef, so we ground that and put that in and went to bed. (When we used the regular beef cut, I ground the pepper and coriander - no packet) I also added the star anise.

Here it is before adding any water (barely cover with water before cooking, lid on)


   The next morning I added carrots, celery and onion. I also removed enough water to make room for the pint of tomato juice. The juice I actually used was left over juice from making stewed tomatoes (from the garden, canned, was fortunate to be able to can 3 pints of left over juice) I used 3 stars on both occasions, but you might want to use 2 as the flavor is strong. I also added 1/4 cup red wine.

   After cooking for several hours, I added the cabbage and pasilla peppers. I used purple cabbage because that is what we are growing in the garden.

   Part way through I turned the heat up to maybe 220, a light simmer. I wanted the potatoes to thicken the stew up a bit.

   When the cabbage, potatoes and carrots were was cooked (with a little bit of bite to them) we shut off the pot and allowed it to cool. Meanwhile, we both scooped out bowls for ourselves. The coriander, peppers and especially the star anise completely changed the flavor, and we were no longer eating corned beef and cabbage, but indulging in a delicious corned beef and cabbage stew!

   We make corned beef and cabbage about once a year, but this little twist will insert it into the menu more often, for sure!