Best Corned Beef Brisket

>> Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Best Corned Beef Brisket

I love living in a country that's a tossed salad of cultures. That means that there's nearly always a special day to celebrate, along with traditional foods for that celebration. And my, do I love corned beef for St. Patrick's Day. A few years ago, though, we were looking for a slightly different recipe than the usual. I don't remember where we found this recipe, but we adored it and now it's the only way we make it.

Like I suggested with the Guinness Irish stew, why not pop this into the crock pot and go find an Irish celebration during the day? Here in Chicago, we have the second-largest Irish population in the United States. There are celebrations all over the city for St. Patrick's Day; two parades are our favorites. The downtown St. Patrick's Day parade runs close to the lakefront (dress warmly!) the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day - March 17. Get there early to see them dyeing the Chicago river green by boat.

There are plenty of rollicking parade-goers, and plenty of alcohol, singing and dancing, and general good-will. Chicago also has dozens of great pubs around the parade route. However, if you're looking for a celebration that is a little more family-friendly and a little less like a chilly Mardi Gras celebration, why not head down to the South Side neighborhood of Beverly for their traditional St. Patrick's Mass, parade, and family parties?

The celebrations here remind us that St. Patrick's Day is a religious holiday for the patron saint of Ireland, not just a drinking holiday. South Side pride is alive and well with the jolly parade watchers all clad in green, beads and feather boas slung around their necks and and crazy hats on their heads. But the South Siders are most proud of the firefighters, police, schools, and church groups, judging by the cheering that rises as each of these groups march past.

Open alcohol is prohibited on the streets, and security is abundant. These long-time Irish immigrants keep a clean, friendly, safe environment while they celebrate their love for their homeland. They welcome the honorary Irish, too! You'll find some fine Irish food and traditional music in the local restaurants. We recommend the Irish Manor pub on Pulaski.

Wherever you go for the celebration, it's wise to take Chicago's public transportation. You'll have a lot more fun, you'll walk less, and you'll save a ton of money.


1 5-6 pound corned beef brisket
2 tbsp pickling spice
1 large orange, peeled and sliced
2 cup celery, chopped
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup beef broth
1 head of cabbage, cored and quartered


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Rub the brisket with the pickling spice, and place it in a roasting pan. Arrange celery, orange and onion over the meat. Pour in the water, and cover it tightly. Bake for 3 hours. Add water if the liquid escapes the pan; there should be a cup or two of broth in the bottom of the pan when it is cooked.

After 3 hours, place the cabbage quarters over the meat and baste it with the cooking liquid. Cover it again and bake for 1 more hour, or until the meat and cabbage is very tender.

If you're using a crock pot instead, follow the directions above, then place the cabbage on top of the meat at the beginning of the cooking time. The cabbage will be very soft at the end, but still delicious. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

Slice across the grain before serving, and arrange the fruit and vegetables around the roast. We like to serve this with small boiled red potatoes sauteed in garlic, parsley, and olive oil.

Serves 10-12.


Talea Bloom March 23, 2013 at 10:17 PM  

Omg, maybe I can make a convert of Larry yet. Corned beef is his arch nemesis of food.

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