Because of the sweet-tart liquid used, this doesn't get bitter when cooked a long time, and so has a wonderful taste and texture without a bad aftertaste. I buy corned beef brisket (any cut will do) when it goes on sale for $0.89/lb. around St. Patrick's Day. (I buy a bunch.) Then I put it in the freezer, in the original package. Try to get the one with separate spices, if you can. Just get it out and put it in the fridge about two days before you want to eat it; that should give it time to defrost. I use baby carrots for the carrots; they're about the same price as regular and no prep work involved. Use the big crockpot for this. If you're single and only have a small one, cut the brisket and everything else in half, and do it two days. The core of the cabbage is the tough white part that comes up in the middle where the stem is. Try to make sure the potatoes are approximately the same size, it makes for more even cooking. A complete meal, or serve with fruit, bread, or soup, as desired. 🙂
- 1 corned beef brisket, any cut and size
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- approx. 1 1/2 cups 100% apple juice or apple cider
- 1 cup water, as needed
- 1/2 to 1 lb. carrots (depending on how much you like and how much room you have), peeled, chopped into about 3-inch lengths (or use baby carrots)
- 2 to 3 lbs. baby white or rose potatoes, or other small (no more than 3-4 inches across at the widest), thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 head cabbage (about 2 lbs.), quartered, core removed, and rinsed thoroughly, then sliced again (so you have what are basically eighths of the head; can do sixths if it is a smaller head)
- Rinse corned beef brisket and pat dry. Discard juices. If desired, trim some of the fat from the brisket (make sure you leave at least a little.) Rub contents of spice packet over top of brisket (non-fatty side.) If desired, add more spices (mustard seed, caraway seed, bay leaf, whole peppercorn, and other pickling spices are traditionally used.) (You may want to skip the rinsing if yours is the kind that came with the spices already on it.)
- Place brisket, fat-side down, in bottom of slow cooker. Layer potatoes and carrots on top. You can use as many as you want; we like a lot. It's okay if this doesn't leave room for the cabbage. Just make sure you leave at least 1 inch space between the top of the veggies and the top of the crockpot.
- Measure apple cider vinegar into 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Add 1/3 cup sugar. Add apple juice to just over the 2-cup line. Pour over brisket and veggies. If there is not sufficient liquid to just about cover the brisket, add up to 1 cup water, as needed. (Remember that more liquid will come out during the cooking process, and that this is braising, so steam, not boiling, is the important part. As long as there's enough liquid that it won't dry out, you're good.)
- Cover, set crockpot to "low", and do not disturb for at least four hours, no matter how tempting it is.
- After four hours, you may want to occasionally stir the veggies to ensure even cooking. Try not to poke the brisket too much.
- Cook for a total of about 10 hours. (You can probably get away with a few less.) Can be left on "keep warm" after that for up to 2 hours.
- About half an hour before serving, remove the meat very carefully to a serving plate or platter, leaving the veggies. (I use two carving forks for this operation, and have my husband standing by holding the platter.) Cover IMMEDIATELY with aluminum foil, pushing down around the shape of the brisket. Let rest.
- Add cabbage slices to slow cooker. Make sure it is set to "Low" again at this point.
- Cover and cook another thirty minutes or so. Then turn off the slow cooker, carve the meat, and serve the veggies straight from the slow cooker or from bowls, as desired. (I find one of those funny pasta grabber tools with the prongs is great for removing the veggies.)
This recipe was submitted by ketchupqueen on March 6, 2007.