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PERFECTING ST. PATRICK'S: The best corned beef and cabbage ever, from a party master--and husband of our senior food editor
Sunset. 240.2 (Mar. 2018): p86+.
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YOU could say my husband, Patrick McEvoy, knows his corned beef and cabbage. For decades he's been cooking up his specialty every March 17 for 100 friends or more. Maybe it's his Irish-American heritage that makes the dish come out beautifully spiced and succulent every time, or maybe it's the glug of Guinness that goes in the pots. Whatever the reason, our annual party rocks, and this dish is the star.

Not everyone wants to cook for 100, of course, so I've scaled my husband's recipe to serve a mere dozen. However many people you host, be sure to queue the Irish music and ice down some beer for Half-and-Halfs (equal parts Guinness stout and Harp lager). Slainte!



Over the years, my husband has perfected his recipe with extra spices and Guinness, as well as long simmering until the meat is ultra tender. You'll need a 12- to 14-qt. pot; if you don't have one, borrow one from a friend, or visit a restaurant-supply store.

3          cups coarsely chopped onions
4          large carrots (1 3/4 lbs.), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and
           cut into 2-in. pieces
2          tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2          pkg. (6 to 7 lbs. total) corned beef brisket, (*) with spice
           packets included
1          cup malt vinegar (sometimes sold as "fish and chips vinegar")
1          can (about 15 oz.) Guinness stout
1 1/2      tbsp. each mustard seeds and coriander seeds
2          tsp. each peppercorns, dill seeds, and whole allspice
2          bay leaves
2 1/2      lbs. small (2-in.) red thin-skinned potatoes
3          lbs. green cabbage (from 1 to 2 heads)
           Chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional) Coarse-grain mustard and
           Dijon mustard, for serving

1. In a 12- to 14-qt. pot (*) over medium-high heat, cook onions and carrots with olive oil, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Drain any liquid from corned beef. Add beef and seasonings from packets to pot along with vinegar, stout, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, dill seeds, allspice, and bay leaves; then add water to barely cover beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, occasionally turning beef over and adding water so meat is mostly covered (after a while it will start floating), until meat is tender when pierced, 4 to 5 hours.

3. Meanwhile, scrub potatoes, cut in half, and put in a bowl or bowls of water as they're prepped to keep from browning (set aside for up to 2 hours). Cut cabbage in half through core, then through core into 12 wedges (the core helps hold pieces together).

4. Drain potatoes and add to cooking liquid in the pot, then set cabbage in pot (some wedges will rest on top of meat). Cover and return to simmering over high heat; then reduce heat and simmer until cabbage is tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes.

5. With 2 slotted spoons, scoop cabbage, potatoes, and carrots into a warm, large serving bowl; cover with foil. Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a cutting board. Cut off and discard fat, slice meat across the grain, and set on a warm platter. (If you're not quite ready to serve, tightly cover meat with foil and keep meat and vegetables warm in a 150[degrees] oven up to 45 minutes; or drape foil-covered dishes with heavy towels and keep warm on a counter.)

6. Scatter parsley over corned beef if you like. Serve corned beef and vegetables with mustards.

(*) Patrick likes the flavor and texture of Shenson corned beef. Find large sauce pots and stockpots at

PER SERVING 620 Col., 58% |359 Cal.) from fat; 41 g protein; 40 g fot (1 2 g sat.); 38 g carbo (7.6 g fiber); sodium N/A; 1 33 mg chol.

By Elaine Johnson

Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)
Johnson, Elaine. "PERFECTING ST. PATRICK'S: The best corned beef and cabbage ever, from a party master--and husband of our senior food editor." Sunset, Mar. 2018, p. 86+. General OneFile, Accessed 21 Mar. 2019.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A529516581