Here's my recipe from my blog. IIRC it was already been posted on Chef Talk a couple of years ago.
CORNED BEEF and CABBAGE
Corned beef and cabbage does not require a lot of introduction. The flavor profile of this recipe is made interesting with Guinness and molasses,
AND there is some technique involved. It may come a shock to you that the meat should be tender without being overcooked and stringy. The vegetables should be tender without being overcooked and mushy. I know. Shocking.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Quantity: 6 Servings
Difficulty: A cave man could do it
• 4 lbs Choice, packaged, best quality, corned brisket flat
• 1 – 2 tbs vegetable oil
• 2 carrots, rough chopped for mirepoix
• 2 onions, rough chopped for mirepoix
• 2 stalks celery, rough chopped for mirepoix
• 2 cans, 14 oz each, beef stock, or 3 tbs “Better Than Bullion”
• 1 bottle Guinness stout
• 2 tbs pickling spice
• 2 bay leaves
• 1/3 cup molasses
• 2 carrots cut into coins
• 2 medium onions, cut into bite sized pieces
• Red potatoes, enough for 6 servings
• 1 cabbage
• Large handful parsley – Italian or curly
• 1/2 cup whipping cream
• 2 tbs mayonnaise
• 1 tbs Horseradish
• 1 tbs Philippe’s (hot but good) mustard; Colman’s prepared English mustard, or 1 tsp + 1 tbs Colman’s or Chinese mustard powder
Make a sachet for the pickling spice. A sachet is a tea bag – pretty much. In this case, it comes down to tying the pickling spice in cheesecloth or loose muslin. Alternatively, you can forget the sachet and just toss the loose spices into the pot when the time comes.
In a kettle, dutch oven, or rondeau, heat a little oil to saute temperature. Add the rough cut onions, carrots, and celery and saute until they start to show a little color.
Turn heat down to low, push vegetables to side, and put the corned beef, fat side down, along with its juices into the pot. Add a bottle of Guiness and just enough beef stock to barely cover the corned-beef. However, do not add more than 3 cups of stock, total. Add the sachet. Bring to a simmer, and skim. Cover the pot, adjust flame to maintain a simmer, and simmer undisturbed for one hour.
After 1 hour, skim the broth again. Turn the meat over. Taste the broth – it will be unpleasantly bitter. Add 3 tbs molasses and taste again. Continue adding molasses, 1 tbs at a time, tasting after each addition, until the bitterness is balanced and broth is pleasant. Press-test the meat and estimate time remaining until tender but not stringy. If you don’t know how to press-test, look intelligent and guess, “1 hour.” Cover and simmer until 30 minutes have elapsed and 30 minutes remain on your estimate – that’s if you sagaciously extrapolated (see how a guess becomes scientific?) 1 hour, and press test again.
The goal at this stage is “not quite tender.” If the meat feels hard, continue cooking for the remaining 30 minutes. If you detect any tenderness – which you will sense in the way the meat doesn’t press back quite as hard – discontinue cooking immediately.
Note 1: There is considerably more cooking after reaching this stage, and you do not want the meat to fall apart.
After time has elapsed or the meat is showing signs of tenderness, remove the roast from the pot, and set aside. If, for some reason, you have to hold the meat for any length of time, wrap it in cling wrap.
Strain the broth through a medium sieve or chinese cap, and discard the sachet (if you used one). Then press the vegetables caught in the sieve back into the broth.
You may continue cooking immediately; hold for a few hours before recommencing; or discontinue cooking and hold for a day or more.
Note 2: If going for the long hold, reunite the meat with the broth and allow to cool before refrigerating. When ready to recommence, you may skim some of the fat while still cold.
Return the broth to the stove and bring to the simmer. Return the meat to the pot. Allow the meat to simmer 20 minutes. Continue testing every 20 minutes
Meanwhile, prepare the remaining carrots by cutting them into coins; and the remaining onions by cutting them into service size chunks. Prepare the potatoes by cutting them into service size – allowing two or three bites per piece. If the potatoes are small and “new,” it is enough to peel bands around their little midriffs.
When the meat begins to show signs of tenderness Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot.
Prepare the cabbage by quartering, coring, and cutting each quarter in half or thirds – depending on the size of the cabbage. Chop the parsley. After 20 minutes, finger test the meat for tenderness. Continue testing every 20 minutes until meat either “press tests” (feels) or “fork tests” (fork will twist)”
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing the horseradish with the mayonnaise and the mustard. Whip the cream until stiff, but not butter. Gradually fold the whipped cream into the mayonnaise until the oil in the mayonnaise no longer deflates the cream. Sauce should be fluffy. The timing is tricky, you want to give the flavors a chance to marry, but you do not want the cream to weep.
After deciding the meat is tender, make sure by giving it another 10 minutes. Then remove the meat, cover it, and hold it someplace warm. Add the cabbage, allowing 2 pieces of cabbage per person (the second for seconds – and yes, there will be seconds). Also add 2 tbs of chopped parsley. Cook the cabbage to preference at the simmer. If the diners cannot agree, cook to an intermediate stage between perky and exhausted – about 15 minutes.
When the cabbage is cooked, take the corned beef to your board. Trim most of the fat off the meat; then slice the roast across the grain (which will be easily visible), into slices about 1/4″ thick. If the meat seems as though it wants to fall apart, slice thicker. If it seems tough, slice as thin as you can.
Plating: Large bowls are ideal. Put a piece of cabbage on one side, leaning against the rim. Add the potatoes and carrots to the other side, then add a ladle full of broth. Dust with chopped parsley. Shingle pieces of meat along the top. Moisten with more broth, and garnish with a little more parsley.
Pass the sauce at service, it will melt over the meat. Serve with very good rye bread, soda bread or farls, and stout (such as Guinness), beer, porter, or hard cider.
Edited by boar_d_laze - 3/18/13 at 10:17am