Tonight (or to be exact, today) I am making one of my all time favorite meals, Irish American Boiled Dinner, I say Irish American, because I have been told by actual Irish people from Ireland, that they don't eat this dish, they use another cut of meat.
But I'm not from Ireland, my great grandparents, yes, they were, but not me (my grandfather was even an Irish cop in Boston, Sgt. Joe McGill, he was the Sgt. of the Division 16 police station, so let it be known that my family embraces our stereotypes...I'm even a drunk!), so I'm using corned beef brisket for my boiled dinner.
Preparation is as simple as can be, cover the brisket with cold water, about an inch over the top of the brisket (mind you, it will float, so approximate), you could, at this point, just get it a' simmering (it's been corned, i.e. brined in a salty flavorful solution), but I like to add a couple of extra flavors here, so I added 4 bay leaves, one onion (approximately, I actually used left over onion ends I had from other dishes, and don't be afraid to throw em in skin and all, we will be straining the pot liquor later) and about a quarter cup of whole peppercorns. Set your stove to medium low, and let this thing simmer for at least 4 hours, or until fork tender.
I then pull out the meat, and rest it in a roasting pan, I strain the pot liquor (the left over water from the simmer) removing the peppercorns and spent onions. I use this liquid to boil the vegetable components of this dish, cabbage, potato, and carrot.
Lastly, I crank up my oven, and place the brisket in the oven at a very high temp, what I want is to get a quick brown crust on the outside (as far as I know, I am the only person who likes to do this step, but I do like it, it's just not the usual method is all). Once the crust is established, slice against the grain into luscious thin strips and serve with your veggies and a side of mustard, it's Irish American bliss.
I saw The Departed yesterday, and wanted to reconnect with my roots.