If you never prepare a corned beef any other time of the year, the middle to end of March is the perfect time because of all those confused Americans buying corned beef at St. Patrick's Day driving the price of corned beef way down. I say confused Americans because corned beef is not an Irish dish. It probably was picked up by several ethnic groups in New York city when there were many ethnic groups living in communities after they emigrated here. But there is not a dish like this one to be found in all of the country of Ireland. But, that's o.k. by me -- the day of or after St. Patrick's Day is the best day to buy a corned beef -- it should be less than $2 a pound -- quite a deal for a tasty piece of meat.
I like this recipe the best and I have tried a few. It's simple -- it hardly gets easier, but it's tasty and nutritious. My kids actually eat all the veggies in this meal -- they actually fight over the turnips. I modify the recipe using only cabbage, potatoes, carrots and turnips, but you can use what you like -- parsnips taste a lot like turnips, I think, as do rutabagas. I usually use about 4 turnips, three potatoes and 8 carrots.
The horseradish cream is a necessity in my house, but if you don't like horseradish, you could use some spicy mustard instead. No ketchup! I don't even let my kids bring it to the table when I'm serving a good cut of meat.
New England Boiled Dinner
2½ lb. corned beef brisket
3 tbsp. pickling spices, 3 bay leaves and 5 black peppercorns, tied in a cheesecloth bag
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 carrots, cut into 4 pieces
1 onion, quartered
2 parsnips, cut into chunks
2 turnips, cut into chunks
1 sml. cabbage, cut into wedges
1 tbsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
Up to 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
Salt and pepper
Hot pepper sauce
Place spices in the center of a square of cheesecloth -- about 8 inches by inches will do.
Tie the corners up with apiece of cooking twine and snip the extra fabric off.
In a large pot combine meat, spice bag and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. Add vegetables and salt. Simmer 30 minutes more.
Make horseradish cream: In a small bowl combine sour cream and horseradish; season to taste with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce.
To finish, remove corned beef to a carving board and slice against the grain. Transfer to a large, warmed, deep platter. Drain broth and reserve for soup, if desired. Arrange vegetables around meat and serve.
Source: Food Network; Emeril Lagasse