How does an Irish American Chef cook his corned beef for St. Patrick's day?
Sure boiling it, as most people do, is fine but I like to put a little more pop into my corned beef.
My preference is to sear it and braise it with beer.
I cooked off 80 lbs for the holiday. This is one of the three big roasting pans that I used for them. I used my iPhone to take these pictures so apologies if the photo quality is not very good.
As you can see they have a good sear on them and a liberal sprinkling of pickling spice. What you can't see is that they are sitting on a bed of chopped onions and whole peeled garlic cloves.
Into that pot I poured two bottles of Red Hook Copper Ale and about a quart of tomato rich demi-glace. Then I covered it with foil and cooked in a low oven for six hours.
The result was fall apart tender corned beef that not only had the usual perfume-y saltiness but also had a rich, roasted caramel quality that was too delicious to hide with mustard.
Here is a where I cut of a few tasting slices just after it came out of the oven.
If I was doing it at home I would have added cabbage, carrots & potatoes to the pot for the last hour of the braise to allow all the flavors to blend. Working in professional quantities like I did, that wasn't practical.
The saddest part is that I didn't have leftovers as I was hoping to take home and enjoy. Those pesky customers ate it all up on me.
Oh well, I may have to make this again sometime soon just for my own pleasure.