15 Mar Corned Beef That’s SAVAGE!
Keep your boiling pot in the cupboard and kiss old school Corned Beef and Cabbage good bye. Corned Beef That’s Savage is like Saint Patty’s traditional dish only waaaay better. It’s richer, more flavorful and ironically, it’s waaay healthier. Here’s how I did it. Instead of traditional corned beef which is cured brisket, I purchased an Uncured Corned Beef from Trader Joe’s (I found it had the most flavor compared to other uncured corned beef that I tried.) Uncured Corned Beef doesn’t contain the nitrates of traditional cured corned beef that have been linked to cancer. Trader Joe’s brand is still red (from natural beet juice) and comes packed in spices, like traditional corned beef only it’s not cured (read: healthier.) I used about a 3 ½ pound brisket because it naturally shrinks during cooking. If you purchase a smaller brisket, make sure to adjust your cooking time accordingly!
Instead of throwing everything in a boiling pot of water, I slow cooked the corned beef in aromatics, garlic, onion and all natural low sodium beef broth in my crock pot until it was tender and flavorful (about 7 hours – you just sort of just “set it and forget it.”) Bonus: The broth when finished, tastes like French onion soup- it’s so good and I really enjoyed having the leftover broth as a cup of soup at night. While the corned beef cooked, I worked on creating flavorful side dishes. I sautéed sliced cabbage in real butter and caraway seeds (they add a “rye bread” flavor to the cabbage which is really delicious) and roasted carrots in honey, garlic and thyme. The end result is a richer, decadent, healthier take on a traditional favorite. Yum!
Corned Beef That’s SAVAGE!
Makes about 5 to 6ish servings
INGREDIENTS FOR CORNED BEEF:
- 1 uncured corned beef (about 3 ½ pounds), I like Trader Joe’s brand (get it soon- they run out fast!)
- 1 large onion, chopped into large chunks
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (you don’t have to chop them)
- About 10 sprigs of fresh thyme, rinse, dried and left whole
- 8 cups of low sodium all natural beef stock or broth (make sure it’s low sodium- corned beef is naturally super salty!!)
- 1/4 heaping cup honey
INGREDIENTS FOR CABBAGE:
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 head of cabbage, cut into quarters, core removed, then sliced or chopped into bite size pieces
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ teaspoons caraway seeds (find in the spice aisle at your local market)
INGREDIENTS FOR CARROTS:
- 2 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated on a microplane
- Your favorite grainy mustard for serving
- To make the corned beef: Layer the onions on the bottom of the crockpot. Place the corned beef (fat side up) and juices from the package on top of the bed of onions (Note: the juices and seasonings are intensely flavored and really salty and these flavors only intensify when you slow cook corned beef compared to boiling it. If you don’t want the corned beef to be as salty or intensely flavored, just use a small amount of the spices and juices. I personally drained the juice in the package and used all of the juice and just a little bit of the spices. Next, place garlic cloves and sprigs of thyme on top of the corned beef. Add broth or stock and honey to the sides (it should come up almost to the fatty top of the corned beef.) Turn the crock pot on LOW, cover it and slow cook the corned beef until it is still red, but tender. It took about 7ish hours for me to slow cook a 3 ½ pound corned beef and get it tender. Once the corned beef is cooked, remove it from the broth and cover very loosely with tinfoil to keep warm until ready to slice and serve. Slice across the grain. Taste the broth and add additional honey if it’s too salty. Reserve the broth for serving and for soup later if you’d like!
- To make the cabbage: Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add butter and let it get hot. Once the butter is hot, add onions. Sauté onions until softened and lightly caramelized (about 7 minutes or so.) Add cabbage and stir well. Season with a big pinch of salt. Turn heat down to low, cover the pan and cook for approximately 40 minutes or until the cabbage is tender, making sure to stir every once in a while. Season to taste with salt.
- To make the carrots: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a large sheet pan with tinfoil. Arrange carrots on top of the tinfoil. Add a good size drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (a few tablespoons) and roll the carrots around to coat with your hands. Add a big drizzle of honey (about 2 tablespoons) and roll to coat. Season with a couple big pinches of sea salt and fresh thyme. Roast for approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until carrots begin to caramelize on the bottom, making sure to check that they don’t burn on the bottom. Remove the pan from the oven. Now’s a good time to taste a carrot to check the seasonings (just let it cool first because they will be ridiculously hot!) Add another drizzle of honey (if the carrots are not too sweet already) and minced garlic and again roll to coat. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until carrots are lightly caramelized.
SO, WHAT’S THE NUTRITION BALANCE?
This recipe has a good balance of protein, carbs and fat. It’s higher in fat than a typical balanced meal, but let’s be honest- you’re probably only going to make Corned Beef That’s Savage once a year. Live a little people 😉