Normally I like to show off my successes but today is not that day. In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day I planned a meal of corned beef and cabbage. Because I'm more fond of smoked meats than boiled meats, I decided to smoke a corned beef brisket. Because I thought boiled carrots, cabbage and potatoes would be a little on the plain side, I decided to boil a corned beef brisket. I bought two corned beef brisket flats from Sam's that were between 3 1/2 and 4 pounds.
First the smoked brisket. I followed thirdeye's directions (http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogs...-pastrami.html
) and using cooking method #1. With a desired serving time of 5:00 - 6:00 PM,found here I looked at previous brisket cooks and decided to start the smoke at 11:00. At 6:00 PM the meat had reached 172°F but was far from tender. Unfortunately we were time constrained (to not disrupt our grandson's schedule too much) so I pulled it and rested it while I sliced the boiled corned beef. The seasoning on the smoked brisket was a little peppery but otherwise good. (And I say peppery because we were serving it to our 1 1/2 year old grandson who is probably more sensitive to highly spiced dishes. It was fine for me.)
The boiled corned beef was troubled on several accounts. I wanted to try a slow cooker method for this but wanting to avoid overcooked veggies, I started the brisket by itself on the crock pot set to low and using the spice mix recommended by Alton Brown at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ipe/index.html
. Expecting it to finish in 9 hours, I put it on at 8:20. (Plan was for 8:00 AM but sometimes I'm moving a little slow on Sunday morning.
) At 3:20 I added the remaining vegetables except for cabbage. At that point I had to remove some of the liquid to fit everything in the crock pot. I also switched the crock pot to high. At 4:45 I decided to switch to the stove top to finish the boiled corned beef. I put the cabbage in the bottom of a large pot and put the contents of the crock pot plus the liquid I had removed and enough water to cover and cranked the heat up to bring it to a boil. Once boiling, I reduced the heat to simmer. At 5:30 the meat probed pretty firm and had reached 176°F internal temp. At 6:00 I removed and sliced it. It had not tenderized much more at that point. Mistakes made at this point include (1) not enough time (2) too much food for a slow cooker (3) cooked the cabbage too long and (3) cooked way too much cabbage. In addition, lots of pepper lodged in the folds of the cabbage making it excessively peppery.
The meal was not a total disaster in that we could eat the corned beef, but it could have been a lot better. Next time I need to allow a lot
more time to make sure the meat finishes before time to serve. I did get the meat to the desired IT, but for these particular briskets that was not good enough. Next time I boil corned beef and cabbage, I'm not adding the cabbage until the corned beef is done! The extra fifteen minutes for the corned beef is not going to make a difference whereas an extra hour for the cabbage is going to result in pretty limp cabbage.
On the bright side, everything tasted good and our grandson scarfed down plenty of the corned beef (but not so much of the cabbage.)