Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my Irish kith and kin and to all of you out there pretending to be Irish for a day (you’re in good company)! I don’t need to pretend, although you’d never guess I was Irish by my first name. Genêt is obviously French. But I’m at least fifty-percent Irish by blood and fifty-percent Irish by marriage. More importantly, green is my favorite color, I can down several pints of Guinness with the best of them and I have pointy ears (okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration–depends on who you ask). Regardless of my or your affiliation with Ireland or leprechauns, today’s a great day to celebrate Irish culture. And what better way to do that than with food?
I have so many wonderful recipes I could share with you today, but I’ve decided to go with my classic Twice Cooked Corned Beef. This is not a complicated dish. I don’t “corn” my own brisket or whip up a complicated sauce. I just take a store-bought corned beef, introduce it to some homegrown flavors (think crab boil spices) and cook it to death by simmering it for a couple of hours and then baking it for another. After all, we’re dealing with beef brisket here which needs lots of love to become melt-in-your-mouth tender. I like to serve this style of corned beef with a generous bowl of buttered cabbage (boil 1 small head of sliced cabbage in salted water, drain, return to pot and stir in one-half stick of butter and salt and pepper to taste). Of course, my Smothered Cabbage would also bring the luck of the Irish your way.
I’m dedicating today’s post to my grandmother, Yvonne Dunn Kirn, who is 90. Aside from being a wonderfully caring and funny person, she’s been most influential is getting me to honor and embrace my Irish heritage. I’ve always respected her devotion, from singing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” while playing solitaire at the kitchen table to “strongly suggesting” that my husband and I grace our children with traditional Irish names. For the record, I did honor her wishes with babies two (Brennan) and three (Blair). I love you Mimi!
Twice Cooked Corned Beef Recipe
1 2 1/2 to 3 pound corned beef
3 tablespoons Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp & Crab Boil (liquid)
3 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 cup Zatarain’s Creole mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pure cane syrup
Remove corned beef from packaging. Drain liquid and discard seasoning packet. Place corned beef in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Cover with water. Add crab boil, bay leaves, garlic, salt and peppercorns; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer until tender, approximately 2 1/2 hours. Drain meat; remove and discard fat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place corned beef in a large baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the Creole mustard, brown sugar and cane syrup. Pour Creole mustard mixture over corned beef. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour. Allow corned beef to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve with pan drippings ladled on top. Serves 4-6.