The utter pleasure of crunching the hammy corned beef beneath your molars and revitalizing the saliva glands with the spicy juice popping out of it is something we all can’t get enough of.
This St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy the most delectable variant of this cultural dish; sous vide and salt-brined. However, it’s not a dish strictly meant for the said event; you can make it any time of the year you want, but there is a deep association of corned beef & St. Patrick’s Day.
Here’s the deal:
Why is Corned Beef Eaten on St. Patrick’s Day?
It all tails back to the Middle Ages when beef was quite expensive in Ireland, and pork was consumed as a general diet. When Irish immigrants came to America, they noticed a completely opposite situation.
The pork was a luxury compared to beef, so they turned to beef and not just plain beef; corned beef because it tasted much alike their homey salted pork. Thus, it became a tradition.
And because St. Patrick’s Day holds a religious and cultural significance in the hearts of all the Irish communities, they feel pride in celebrating it with traditional food.
Why is corned beef paired with cabbage?
The reason cabbage is paired with this delicious meat is simply because it was the cheapest vegetable back then, for the Irish people in America. And it’s been going that way to date.
People nowadays use it in different forms: chopped, wedged, cut in large pieces and sliced.
Now that we have briefly outlined the history of this “killer” traditional treat, which, we assume, many of you wouldn’t have known, let’s move on to the best and quickest method of its preparation: Sous vide.
What is Sous Vide
It is a cooking technique in which the food is cooked at a fixed temperature in a water bath. The food, in this case, the corned beef, is placed in an airtight pouch and cooked in the water container for a prescribed time.
Because we can precisely control the temperature of the water bath, and the heat is uniformly distributed among the meat, we can accurately predict the results. Generally:
160-170oF for 10 hours: Smooth and juicy
170-175oF for 8 hours: Tender and drier
175-185oF for 7 hours: Scaly
If you have enough time, you can put the water bath at 135oF and cook the meat straight for 24-48 hours even.
Apart from Sous Vide, there are other ways of making Corned beef too.
Ways of cooking Corned Beef?
Wash the brisket properly and put it inside a large pot filled with water. Bring the water to boiling point and then reduce the heat. Add spices and vegetables according to desire and let it simmer for 3 hours.
After washing the brisket, dry it completely and put it inside a dish. Rub it with a spice packet and add some water to the dish before covering it with aluminum foil. Insert the brisket in the oven and let it bake for 2.5-3 hours at 300-350 degrees. After removing the foil, bake it further for 15 minutes.
Simply place the brisket in a water-filled cooker and add spices before covering it up and cook it at high heat for 4-4.5 hours.
Why should you have Sous Vide Corned Beef with Cabbage this St. Patrick’s?
- It’s a traditional expression of celebration. It’s like eating Turkey on Thanksgiving. You get the idea, right?
- It’s such a mouth-watering and easy-to-make dish (if you read the whole article) and will make your family lick their fingers, for sure.
- This combination is rich in nutritional value. While the corned beef is stacked up with protein and Vitamin B, cabbage is rich in Vitamin C and folic acid.
- You may also post pictures of your recipe and become a hit in your Social Media circle.
Sous vide corned beef time and temperature
For us, the desired combination of temperature and time is 180oF and 9-10 hours. That would change for every single person depending on their taste buds, but the reason for choosing this combination is that it not only allows enough time for the spices to penetrate evenly throughout the meat but results in a supple, cut-able content as well.
Sous Vide Machine:
That’s a necessity. To make sous vide corned beef, you need a reliable heating water bath that is capable enough to initiate and maintain equalized heating currents throughout the cooking space.
The problem with elementary cooking pots is that it can sometimes make the water around the meat so hot that the outside seems to be fully cooked. However, sufficient heat doesn’t reach the middle properly.
You end up with a delicious outer skin but a half-cooked interior. Sous vide machine doesn’t let that happen.
Pre-brined corned beef brisket
It would take ages for you to prepare corned beef if you bring home an untreated brisket. Scan the supermarket and purchase a brined corned beef brisket. Most marts also provide you with a spice packet alongside the beef. Get that as well.
If you are not satisfied with the spice ratio of the beef, sprinkle your desirous spices and tenderize the meat with a meat tenderizer tool. It ensures that all the spices and flavors are penetrated deep inside the meat owing to its steel blades that can effectively tear the connective tissues.
The other requisite for making sous vide dishes is a food storage bag. These are reusable large plastic bags that will hold your corned beef. If you don’t have such vacuum sealers in your area, you can make ordinary plastic/silicone pouches airtight by using mini vacuums.
Aluminum foil is another option, although that would yield a completely different taste.
This is an optional kitchen gadget in this case however, it is a must-have otherwise. For those who want to sear up their corned beef after completion, can transfer it into the skillet heated at medium-high and create those remarkable sear marks.
But be watchful as long exposure can burn your meat and devalue your long toil.
Sous Vide Corned Beef Recipe
Serving: 5-10 person
- Corned beef (3-4 pounds) bought from the store is usually very salty. So it is a good practice to place it in the refrigerator, submerged in water, for 15-24 hours.
- Fully treat the beef with spices either by sprinkling the spice packet on it or tenderizing it with the tenderizer before placing it in the vacuum bag.
- Bring the water bath to the desired temperature.
- Put the vacuum bag in the water, insert some bay leaves and let it cook for straight 9-10 hours.
- When you are 1 hour away from completion, throw in vegetables, including carrots and cut cabbage, extra spices and vinegar if you want and let it simmer.
- Once cooked, remove the vegetables and beef from the water
- Serve it with mustard or almond sauce.
- Cut the vegetables (carrots and potatoes) in small pieces and garnish the beef with them.
- You can also serve it with French fries and tomato ketchup.
Corned Sous Vide Beef can never get old. It’s Irish in origin, reinvigorating in taste, and tender in texture.
Comment with photos of your prepared meal and tantalize us.