Today’s post was supposed to be about the herb garden, the ease and benefit of a little herbal domain. Instead corned beef nosed its way into town along with potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, and snow. The Irish will have their way today and herb garden confabulation will happen next week instead.
Part of our extended Peruvian clan are here for a first visit to the U.S. We greeted them with the familiar swing and sway of Susanna Baca’s mellow Peruvian soul, followed by corned beef and cabbage. We relished the juxtaposition of the Irish and the Peruvian. Midway through her first plateful ever Adela proclaimed it delicioso.
If you eat meat and haven’t had Market House Meats’ corned beef I’d recommend giving it a try – it’s created locally and is available at more and more Seattle-area markets, especially around St. Patty’s Day. The potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and onion, all available at Farmer’s Markets, are the traditional accompaniment. Corn is an olde English word for salt, the main ingredient used to preserve a chunk of meat in the middle ages, in this case a brisket of beef. Market House’ specialty is this briny brisket, corned beef, and that’s about it.
Our forays into beef country are diminished these days, but corned beef from Market House Meats is on the table once, twice a year, often in December and March. The simplest meal imaginable, it requires the brined beef and eventually a pile of vegetables, which all happen to be in season in the PNW.
Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe
Directions: Braise the corned beef on its own in a large pot with a lid for 2 ½ hours at 300º. Cook the meat fatty side up, lid on, in 1/2 inch of water plus whatever brine comes with the meat, and/or a splash of Irish ale. Add chopped vegetables after the meat has cooked 2 1/2 hours, onions first and 30 minutes later everything else. No need to season – the brine is full of salt and flavorings, cloves, fennel, peppercorns. Cook with the lid on for another hour or until veggies are just tender. Ideally, turn oven off and allow it all to sit for another hour before serving with maybe some horseradish on the side.