Fed & Fit

Drunken Slow Cooker Corned Beef Brisket

Some would argue that the best day of the year is just around the corner. This Sunday we celebrate my friend Matt’s birthday and St. Patrick’s Day.

Like so many mixed-heritage families, I have bright shiny green Irish roots. Every year on St. Patty’s day, my maternal Grandfather would phone our home, dawn his thickest Irish accent, remind us to wear green so’s to avoid the dreaded leprechaun pinch, and shower us in untranslatable Irish blessings. I loved those phone calls.

For this post, I consulted my dear friends and life advisors, the fiery proud Irish Sheahans.  Remember Tom? I referenced him in my inaugural post almost 2 years ago.

Tom boasts that his drunken corned beef brisket is the best in the world. I begged for the recipe, Tom and his lovely bride Judi graciously agreed to spread the good food love, and now I share it with you …

The best corned beef you will ever eat.

Why? Well, maybe because it’s slow cooked in a bath of Irish beer or maybe because it’s blessed with a little Irish luck.  Whatever the reason, this stuff is gewd.

Corned beef typically starts off as a cured brisket that is then seasoned and cooked with any number of spices and methods. No, corned beef does not actually involve corn. “Corned” refers to the curing of the beef with “corns” of salt.

After the meat is prepared, you can serve it hot with a side of sauerkraut/other cooked cabbage or cold wrapped in a big fresh crunchy cabbage leaf smothered in spicy mustard …oh, and wash it down with a cold Irish beer.

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I love this holiday.

On behalf of 6.72% of my heritage, I leave you with this Irish blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand
.

Sunday I’ll toast to Matt’s birthday and to a very happy St. Patrick’s Day for all of you. Stay safe, cheerful, and lucky.

Cheers!

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{First off, you should know that I modified the Sheahan’s recipe a bit for convenience. I’ll provide instructions for both: the way the recipe reads and the way I made it.}

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Ask your butcher and deli if they have “corned beef” briskets. They are typically packed like a normal brisket, but are cured and come with a packet of seasoning.

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Next, choose a beer. I chose Harp Lager. It was a good choice. {The Sheahan recipe also recommends Samuel Adam’s Lager.}

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Place the brisket in your crockpot, or other slow cooker, and rub with the contents of the seasoning packet.

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Pour a couple beers into the crockpot over the beef. {I used two briskets equating to about 5 lbs and had a small “large” slow cooker – so it only took me two beers.}

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Prep your veggies: peel and quarter carrots, onions, and shallots.

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Add in the extra peppercorn.

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Add in the bay leaves.

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Cut out a quarter section of the cabbage and cut into manageable pieces. {I cut my ¼ into 3 pieces.}

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Add them to the pot.

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Pour in more beer until the contents of the crockpot are covered.

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Add in the ground pepper.

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Cook on low for 8 hours. {The Sheahan recipe recommends 4-5 hours on high, add extra beer to cover contents, then 3-4 hours on low – I changed my cooktime out of simple convenience.}

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Pull up meat to check that it’s finished.

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Pull out and drain brisket over pot.

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Let it cool in a dish on the counter for 10 – 15 minutes.

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Cover with plastic wrap (or seal in a dish) then place in the freezer for 1 – 1 ½ hours. {This step will help you cut the brisket later.}

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Save about 1.5 cups of the broth and discard the rest of the contents of the slow cooker.

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After the meat has cooled, uncover it.

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Using an electric knife or your ready-for-a-job biceps, chop the beef CROSS-grain as finely as you can manage.

Cold Wrap: Using a large, fresh, washed cabbage leaf, wrap up a serving of the corned beef and top with a generous slather of spicy mustard.

Hot Plate: In a microwave or oven safe dish, place the corned beef slices evenly and pour the extra broth over. Reheat and serve with sauerkraut or other cooked cabbage and carrot.

Enjoy!

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Drunken Slow Cooker Corned Beef Brisket

Adapted from Sheahan’s Tipsy Leprechaun Corned Beef Brisket

Makes ~3 dozen

Ingredients:

6 bottles Harp’s or Samuel Adam’s Lager Beer

3 to 5 lbs. Packaged Corned Beef Brisket

2 Shallots

3 Small Cooking Onions

2 Bay Leaves

3 Carrots

1 Head Cabbage

5 Peppercorns

1 tsp Black Pepper

Directions:

{First off, know that I modified the Sheahan’s recipe a bit for convenience. I’ll provide instructions for both: the way the recipe reads and the way I made it.}

Ask your butcher and deli if they have “corned beef” briskets. They are typically packed like a normal brisket, but are cured and come with a packet of seasoning.

Next, choose a beer. I chose Harp Lager. It was a good choice. {The Sheahan recipe also recommends Samuel Adam’s Lager.}

Place the brisket in your crockpot, or other slow cooker, and rub with the contents of the seasoning packet.

Pour a couple beers into the crockpot over the beef. {I used two briskets equating to about 5 lbs and had a small “large” slow cooker – so it only took me two beers.}

Prep your veggies: peel and quarter carrots, onions, and shallots.

Add in the extra peppercorn.

Add in the bay leaves.

Cut out a quarter section of the cabbage and cut into manageable pieces. {I cut my ¼ into 3 pieces.}

Add them to the pot.

Pour in more beer until the contents of the crockpot are covered.

Add in the ground pepper.

Cook on low for 8 hours. {The Sheahan recipe recommends 4-5 hours on high, add extra beer to cover contents, then 3-4 hours on low – I changed my cooktime out of simple convenience.}

Pull up meat to check that it’s finished.

Pull out and drain brisket over pot.

Let it cool in a dish on the counter for 10 – 15 minutes.

Cover with plastic wrap (or seal in a dish) then place in the freezer for 1 – 1 ½ hours. {This step will help you cut the brisket later.}

Save about 1.5 cups of the broth and discard the rest of the contents of the slow cooker.

After the meat as cooled, uncover it.

Using an electric knife or your ready-for-a-job biceps, chop the beef CROSS-grain as finely as you can manage.

Cold Wrap: Using a large, fresh, washed cabbage leaf, wrap up a serving of the corned beef and top with a generous slather of spicy mustard.

Hot Plate: In a microwave or oven safe dish, place the corned beef slices evenly and pour the extra broth over. Reheat and serve with sauerkraut or other cooked cabbage and carrot.

Enjoy!

Time: 30 minutes active time + 10 hours cooking/setting time

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