New York City Food Guide | Corned Beef and Cabbage

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Charlotte Russe

Corned Beef & Cabbage



New York City Food Guide

Corned Beef and Cabbage

We think the affinity of American Irish for corned beef and cabbage started after the great migrations of the 1800s. Irish, German, Jewish and Slavic immigrants settled in Manhattan's Lower East Side. The eastern Europeans brought their cured meat recipes; the Irish working men brought their appetites. For more on our corny ideas see our March 2000 St Patrick's Day newsletter. Here's one of Jim's favorite ways of doing this American classic

Jim Says There are two secrets to good corned beef that I've learned from a couple of NYC restaurant people: George, the cook at the now-gone Joyce's Restaurant, stressed that the secret to a tender corned beef is a very slow simmer. Bring the liquid to a boil over a high flame but be ready to turn it down very low as soon as it starts to boil. Our dear, now departed, friend Teddy Chang, manager of the also gone Flower Drum Restaurant on 46th Street, always said that it didn't matter what seasonings you used. On St Pat's Day corned beef was a special for the regulars at the Flower Drum. Teddy wouldn't tell me all of his secrets, but I'm pretty sure he used a bit of five spice powder and maybe a dried hot pepper or two. A great twist on a classic! You can substitute chicken or vegetable stock for all or part of the water. Some people recommend boiling or steaming the vegetables in a separate pot, but I like the way everything contributes to the broth in a one pot meal. It's also easier on the cleanup crew, usually me. The recipe serves up to 10 depending on appetite


  • 1 4 to 5 lb corned beef brisket

  • 8 qts water

  • 2 T peppercorns

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 2-3 bay leafs, whole

  • 1 lb medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered

  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

  • 3 lbs boiling potatoes, peeled

  • 1 medium head green cabbage, cored and quartered

Hints Toss potato peels with vegetable oil and roast in hot oven until crisp. Season with salt. Great snack! And remember to save the trimmings from the vegetables to go into next week's stock pot.

Method Start heating the water in a large pot over a high flame. Unwrap and rinse the corned beef well. Add to the pot. If necessary, add more water to cover. As soon as the water comes to a boil turn down the flame to a very slow simmer

After simmering for about 30 minutes skim any particles or foam from the top of the liquid. Add the peppercorns, garlic and bay leaf. Continue to simmer. Total cooking time is about 3/4 to 1 hour per pound of brisket at a very slow simmer (a 4 lb brisket should cook for 3 to 4 1/2 hours; a 6 lb hunk 4 1/2 to 6 hours)

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Wash, peel and cut the carrots. Wash and peel the potatoes; leave them whole if small, otherwise halve or quarter them. Wash the cabbage; discard any yellowed or darkened leaves. Quarter the cabbage, cut out the core and any other tough parts

About 1 1/2 hours before brisket is done add the onions. Follow with the carrots about 30 minutes later and the potatoes 15 minutes after that. The cabbage should go in about 30 minutes before the brisket is ready

Remove the brisket when it is fork tender and set aside to rest. If the cabbage isn't ready, continue to simmer until tender. Remove the bay leaf from the pot and discard

To Serve Slice the brisket diagonally across the grain. Arrange in the center of a serving platter. Cut the cabbage into serving sized pieces. Arrange the cabbage and the other vegetables around the brisket. Moisten all with a bit of the broth. Serve with mustard, horseradish and butter. Pass extra broth. Savor a classic

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