Corned Beef and Cabbage

March 17, 2020

This fear of catching COVID-19 has really slowed our lives down; what better escape than to cook. We shopped online for our weekly groceries for the first time; unfortunately, New Seasons didn’t have any corned beef left. In real life, if they didn’t have corned beef I would have not bought all the carrots and cabbage. But if/then logic that isn’t something you can do in online shopping. So Carla braved the crowds at Safeway to pick one up.

I made this dish two years ago when I used Mike Vrobel’s Dad Cooks Dinner recipe. I had big success this weekend with Amanda Biddle’s Striped Spatula recipe for Bolognese sauce, so I used her recipe. Now, pressure cooker corned beef and cabbage is pretty straightforward: cook the beef first in plenty of water and some aromatics. Take out the meat when done and add the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. So, in this respect Mike and Amanda’s recipes are very similar. However, I did employ two of Dad Cooks Dinner strategies. First, I cut the 4 pound brisket into quarters to hasten the cooking. Second, I didn’t use a rack to keep the meat above the liquid. Coming from Safeway instead of New Seasons I figured it was going to be very salty and wanted to submerge the brisket to help remove some of that salt.

This is a real simple dish; here are all the ingredients minus the unphotogenic corned beef and water.

Most of the ingredients for corned beef and cabbage

I put the onion slices, celery chunks, and slightly smashed garlic cloves in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Then added water, put the brisket in and poured the beer over the top. It cooked for 60 minutes with a quick pressure release. Amanda’s recipe called for 85 minutes with a 20 minute natural pressure release. Cutting the brisket ala Mike Vrobel saved 45 minutes!

When the brisket was almost done, I spent about 3 minutes prepping the other vegetables.

Corned beef and cabbage vegetables.

After 60 minutes I checked the corned beef for tenderness – it was perfect – and removed to to a cutting board where I tented it with foil while the vegetables cooked.

Corned beef for the corned beef and cabbage.

I strained the liquid removing the chunks of onion, celery and garlic. Then returned 1½ cups of liquid to the cooker and tossed potatoes and carrots on the bottom and stacked the cabbage wedges on top. I only used ½ of that huge cabbage – we’ll be having coleslaw later this week.

Vegetables for corned beef and cabbage

After 4 minutes at high pressure the vegetables were done. It takes a while for the quick pressure release to let all that pressure out. While that was going on I removed the fat on top and sliced the brisket across the grain. Then laid it all out on a platter.

Corned beef and cabbage ready to serve.

Dinner was served – I took one too many slices of corned beef – but I sure enough ate it instead of putting it back. We served it with some horseradish aioli. Aioli – the word to allow mayonnaise to be sold at twice the normal price.

This was very good, but that Safeway brisket was salty but good. The version I made two years ago with the New Seasons corned beef was much better.

Rating: ★★★★. Actually 3½ stars if I could do halves. Perfectly fine for dinner and I’d even serve it to friends.

It’s too late for y’all to cook for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner, but you don’t have to wait; it’s good no matter the date. And it is so, so easy. Give it a try.

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