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Wake Up Your Corned Beef with Coffee

March 13, 2014

 
  We were torn about posting a recipe for today. On the one hand, it's nearly St. Patrick's Day, but we just posted the definitive Irish coffee how to on National Irish Coffee Day just a few weeks ago. On the other hand, it's also Pi Day, so a pie recipe seemed appropos, but we also recently posted this great Moccaccino Cheesecake Recipe. And we really wanted to experiment with another savory recipe. Have you noticed that it's easy to find dessert and drink recipes with coffee, but savory recipes -- not so much? We really love what great coffee does to the flavor of meats and root vegetables.   Sidenote: in case the pictures didn't give you a clue, we don't just make every recipe we post - we've got a test cook who develops them from scratch. Since this week is St. Paddy's Day and corned beef is on sale just about everywhere, and our test cook was dying to experiment with another savory coffee dish, we ended deciding on this recipe for what might be the most incredible corned beef you've ever tasted.  

Coffee-nated Corned Beef Boiled Dinner

  Prep time: 4 to 24 hours Cook time: 50 minutes per lb plus 30 minutes Yield: Feeds a family of 4 + leftovers  

Ingredients

 
  • 1 corned beef, preferably point cut
  • 2 pots strong coffee
  • 1 head of cabbage, cored and cut in quarters
  • 6-10 potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut in 3-inch sections
  Note: You can make this with a flat cut, which is leaner and therefore presumably healthier. We've found, however, that fattier cuts of meat are an especially good choice when using coffee as a rub, marinade or ingredient. There's probably a great scientific reason for that having to do with the acids in coffee and their effect on fat cells. We just know what works.   Coffee Corned Beef Recipe  

Cooking Directions

  The Night Before - or at least 4 hours before cooking:  
  1. Brew two pots of strong coffee. We've found that Indonesian coffees like Bow Truss Sumatra Mandehling work especially nicely with cured meats, but you can use any coffee you want. Try to choose one that has nice spicy and fruity notes, the bolder the better.
  2. Put the corned beef and any juices from the package into a large bowl.
  3. Pour the coffee over the corned beef, making sure to cover it completely. If there's any coffee left, pour it for yourself to enjoy -- there's more than one reason to use good coffee when you're cooking, after all!
  4. Cover the dish and put it in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least four hours.
  4 to 6 hours before serving time  
  1. Pour the contents of the bowl, liquid and all, into a large pot with a cover.
  2. Cover and bring the coffee to a simmer, but don't let it reach a full boil.
  3. Adjust the heat to keep the pot at a slow simmer until the meat is done. On a meat temperature, it should register at least 158 F. for safety's sake. For texture and flavor, you should go to about 170 F. If you don't have a meat thermometer, stick a fork into the thickest part of the corned beef. It should slide in easily all the way through, and come back out without lifting the meat.
  4. Remove the corned beef from the coffee and set it on a platter. Cover it loosely with foil and let it sit in the oven (don't turn it on, though!) while the vegetables cook. This lets the meat rest and cool enough to slice evenly.
  5. Add the vegetables to the coffee in which the corned beef cooked. Feel free to taste -- you'll find the broth is heavenly! The order you put them in is important: carrots on the bottom, potatoes next and top with cabbage, which takes the least time to cook. Don't worry if the coffee doesn't cover the cabbage. It actually cooks better that way.
  6. Bring the coffee back to a simmer and let it cook until the vegetables are cooked through. Start checking about 30 minutes in, but it may take up to another 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the corned beef from the oven and slice it in thin slices across the grain. Arrange on a platter with vegetables, and enjoy!
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