Have you ever made a delicious Dutch Oven Corned Beef?
Try this incredible recipe for fork-tender corned beef and cabbage that melts in your mouth!
It’s ideal for St. Patrick’s Day or any other day in between.
THE HISTORY BEHIND THIS DISH
Every March, the United States celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with green beer, four leaf clovers, and delicious corned beef and cabbage!
But did you know that corned beef and cabbage isn’t even a traditional Irish dish? It is, in fact, an American concept that arose when the Irish immigrated to the United States.
Because they couldn’t afford to make their favorite boiled bacon, the immigrants had to settle for a cheaper cut of beef brisket.
The term “corned” refers to the brining process, and the cabbage was thrown in because it was a cheap vegetable.
WHY THIS RECIPE IS BEST?
Corned beef is not a particularly tender cut of meat. To achieve fork tenderness, it must be cooked slowly and at a low temperature.
When dark beer, pickling spices, and steak seasoning are added to the process, it acts as a tenderizer, and the results are amazing!
Baking it in the oven yields a more tender beef brisket than boiling or cooking it in a crock pot.
This meal is simple to prepare on St. Patrick’s Day or any other day of the week! Plus, the leftovers are fantastic in Corned Beef Reubens!
PURCHASING CORNED BEEF
You can buy pre-packaged corned beef that has been brined in a salt-water solution with seasoning in tack, or you can make it from scratch.
It should be noted that in some areas, pre-packaged corned beef is not available all year.
Knowing how to make this from scratch to satisfy a summer craving for boiled dinner will have you well prepared to feed a crowd.
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A flat or point cut brisket is required for Dutch Oven Corned Beef. The flat cut is easier to cut, while the point cut has more fat and is better for shredding.
Because it was the only cut available, the photos show a point cut brisket. However, flat cut is usually easy to come by, and either works well in this recipe.
The beef comes with a spice packet, but I like to add steak seasoning for an extra layer of flavor.
Some people add brown sugar, but this will turn your vegetables sweet. If you don’t have a spice packet for your brisket, use pickling spices instead.
To make this delicious one-pot meal, you’ll also need a couple of bottles of dark beer, water or beef stock, onions, carrots, red potatoes, and a head of cabbage.
- It’s so simple to make Dutch Oven Corned Beef! All you have to do is arrange the corned beef brisket on top of the onion wedges in the bottom of the dutch oven. Before putting the brisket in the pot, rinse and pat it dry.
- Sprinkle the spices over the brisket, then pour in the dark beer (Guinness), beef stock, or water until it reaches the top of the meat.
- I like to start with a 350 degree oven for an hour, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees for another two hours. Turn the brisket over, then add the carrots and potatoes and season with more steak seasoning.
- Cook for another hour, then add the cabbage and cook for another hour. That’s 5 hours of low and slow cooking for tender, corned beef perfection!
WHAT IS THE REDDISH-GRAY FOAMING FILM WHEN BOILING CORNED BEEF?
The reddish-gray foam that rises to the surface as the corned beef boils is a combination of sodium nitrate (used to cure the beef, giving it the reddish-pink hue), some additional spices that may have been injected with the sodium nitrate, and possibly a bit of boiled blood. Tasty!
You’ll want to take this out while cooking because it’s gross! It takes about 30 minutes for all of the scum to rise to the surface.
Once all of the scum has been released and removed, add enough water to cover the corned beef, as some may have reduced during the boiling process.
Add the seasoning packet and bay leaves that came with the corned beef.
Cook it for an hour in the oven, covered. Reduce the temperature to 300 F after an hour and bake for an additional 90 minutes.
HOW SHOULD I CARVE THE CORNED BEEF?
When the corned beef registers 145°F, it is done. Cover with aluminum foil and set aside for another 10 minutes.
As with a flank steak, cut the beef against the grain. Lines will appear across the meat; simply turn the platter and thinly slice the corned beef for the most tender result.
HOW CAN I STORE LEFTOVERS?
Corned beef leftovers should be refrigerated for up to 4 days, according to the USDA.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat frozen meat until it reaches 165°F.
CAN YOU COOK FROM FROZEN?
If you bought corned beef last season, take it out of the freezer and let it defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours before placing it on the counter for about 1 hour to come to room temperature.
This will allow excess water and moisture to drain while also allowing the meat to cook more tenderly.
You should also never place a frozen piece of meat in a hot piece of cast iron. Thermal shock is one way to permanently damage your cast iron.
QUICK TIPS FOR CORNED BEEF
- Cooking temperature should be 325-350F because you want to bake this low and slow to allow the liquids to simmer.
- Cooking time per pound: 50-60 minutes. A 3-4 pound brisket should take about 3-4 hours to cook, not including any other ingredients for a boiled dinner.
- Internal Temperature: 145°F using an instant-read thermometer, or until fork-tender.
- Always cut the meat against the grain. To do this, place the meat on a cutting board and examine the grain direction. Move the cutting board around until the fibers of the meat are vertical. Then, make a horizontal cut across the brisket. This actually contributes to the meat being ‘fork tender.’
- Serve corned beef and cabbage in individual bowls with potatoes and carrots and a side of spicy mustard. Using a spoon, drizzle some of the juice over the meat. It’s a tasty one-pot meal!
- Leftovers are ideal for making sandwiches the following day. Make a grilled Reuben on pumpernickel bread with corned beef slices, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and swiss cheese!
Frequently Asked Questions
Corned beef is a type of processed red meat that is produced by brining brisket in a salt and spice solution to flavor and tenderize it. While it contains protein and nutrients such as iron and vitamin B12, corned beef is high in fat and sodium. It’s also a source of certain compounds that may raise your cancer risk.
When corned beef is cooked at a high temperature for an extended period of time, it becomes tough and chewy rather than soft and tender. Instead, cook the corned beef over low heat, no matter what method you use.
Instead, whether you purchased ready-to-cook corned beef or cured your own, rinse the meat under cool water several times to remove any excess salt. Don’t worry about rinsing away the flavor; by this point, the meat has been fully infused with flavor.
Before cooking, soak the corned beef in warm water for at least 2 hours. This will aid in the removal of large amounts of salt used during the corned beef process. Change the water and rinse the beef every hour to keep the water fresh and functioning properly.