Monday, March 21, 2011

Bake of the Week: St. Patrick's Day Brisket

This past week was very busy in the kitchen. Friday was Chris' birthday so there were birthday cupcakes, fresh bread, and a big birthday dinner to make. And the day before, Thursday, was St. Patricks Day!

We always did something special on St. Patricks day in the past, but this was given greater meaning a few years ago when we discovered that Chris had an Irish lineage only a couple generations ago. So now, we do our best to honour Ireland's patron saint in style!

This year, I did my best to produce a truly Irish-inspired meal. I have never cooked a brisket before, so when I saw corned beef brisket on sale last week, I knew I had to give it a try. The recipe originally called to cook this on the stove though I used the slow cooker. And I have to say, it worked brilliantly!

Irish Beef Brisket

1 medium-sized beef brisket, corned or otherwise
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
half a head of cabbage, cut into eigths
4 medium potatoes, cubed
4 small turnips (or 1 large), cubed
3 large carrots, cut into 1cm long pieces
1 bottle/can of Kilkenny ale
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
enough water to cover

In a frying pan, fry the onions and garlic in the olive oil under the onions begin to go transluscent. Remove from heat.

In a crock pot/slow cooker, place the brisket and arrange the vegetables around and on top of the meat. Add the fried onions and bay leaves, and the salt and pepper. Pour over the ale, and then enough water to completely cover.

I cooked the brisket for about 5 1/2 hours on high, but you just want to cook it until the topmost vegetables are tender.

Once cooked, transfer the vegetables to a glass baking dish, the meat to another. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 F to just crisp the edges of the meat and get rid of some of the moisture in the vegetables. I then used the remaining liquid from the pot to create a gravy, simply by adding a bit of cornstarch to the broth! Enjoy with a cold glass of Guiness!

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