Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner With Zesty Horseradish Sauce
- 1 (4 to 5-pound) corned beef brisket
- 6 to 8 black peppercorns
- 6 whole cloves
- 4 whole allspice
- 1 bay leaf, broken
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons pickling spice
- Water as needed
- 12 to 18 very small carrots, peeled
- 12 to 18 whole very small red-skinned potatoes, or 6 medium to large red-skinned potatoes, each quartered, peeled or unpeeled as desired
- 12 to 18 very small onions, peeled (see note)
- 1 medium head cabbage, most of core removed and cut into 6 wedges
- Minced parsley and prepared mustard for garnish (optional)
- Zesty Horseradish Sauce (optional)
Rinse brisket thoroughly and place in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot with a close-fitting lid. Add cold water to cover corned beef well. Bring to a boil over moderate heat; drain off water. Add cold water to cover corned beef again; add peppercorns, cloves, allspice, bay leaf, garlic, and pickling spice. Cover and bring to a simmer over moderate heat; reduce heat and continue to simmer for about 4 to 5 hours or until brisket is fork tender. Add carrots, potatoes, and onions about 30 minutes before end of cooking time. Add cabbage about 10 to 15 minutes before end of cooking time. Remove vegetables and drain well; transfer to a warm platter, cover, and keep warm. Drain corned beef, remove layer of fat, cover, and allow to stand for several minutes to become firm before slicing. With a sharp knife, cut corned beef across the grain into thin slices. Arrange meat and vegetables on a heated platter; sprinkle with minced parsley for garnish. Pass mustard and Zesty Horseradish Sauce, if desired.
Note: May use 1 drained (15-ounce jar) small boiling/pearl onions in place of fresh onions; add just before serving.
Horseradish Sauce: Combine 1 cup sour cream, 1 small onion, peeled and minced, 1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish root or 2 to 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, 1 tablespoon chives, and 1 crushed beef bouillon cube together in small heavy saucepan. Blend well; cook over low heat until thoroughly heated. If desired, serve cold. Makes 1 cup.
Variation: Instead of cooking cabbage in corned beef liquid, remove core and coarsely shred cabbage. Saute shredded cabbage in 1 to 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine or hot oil in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat until crisp tender, stirring frequently. Do not overcook or cabbage will become too limp. Season with salt and pepper to taste. May add a few drops Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce to cabbage, if desired.