I received a great phone call from my s-i-l, Marie, yesterday.  She said she had picked up a 5 pound corned beef brisket – way too much for her and Steve – so how would it be if she brought it by for me to cook and then invite them over for dinner?!?

Sounded like a great plan to me!

I’ve cooked many a corned beef in my time, from those nasty gray things we served in Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club to some primo briskets.  I have to admit I have never cooked one in the oven – they have always been stove-top.  And I have never-ever cooked one for an hour per pound!  45 minutes per pound, max.  Any longer and you end up with a shredded mess.  And it really does seem like every recipe out there calls for an hour.

Every one of them is wrong!  45 minutes!  The brisket above was about 5.35 pounds.  I cooked it for almost 3 1/2 hours.  Perfect.

Another rule of thumb is to take it out of the water an hour before you plan to serve it.  Just cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit.  It will firm up for slicing but still be fork-tender.

This particular beef came with a packet of seasoning.  Maybe a heaping teaspoon.  It was pretty pathetic for a 5+ pound brisket.  I added additional bay leaves, mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, black onion seeds, garlic…

When the beef was done I strained the cooking liquid and put it back into a clean pot.  I then used it to cook the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage.

Cabbage.  Victor’s least-favorite food after beets.  He turns green at the thought of eating it, yet, once again, he ate a heaping helping and loved every bite.

Go figure.

Dinner for 5 with lots of leftovers for everyone to share.

And tomorrow?!?  A Corned Beef Special for Victor and a Reuben for me.  Sauerkraut would send him straight over the edge!