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~ My Brown-Sugar-Crusted Crockpot Corned Beef ~

IMG_5630It's no secret:  my crockpot is my least used kitchen appliance.  I don't use it at all unless the end justifies the means without any compromise in the food.  Corned beef is one example.  My stovetop ~ Braised and Brown Sugar Glazed Corned Beef ~ recipe has been very popular ever since I posted it on the blog-o-sphere (in conjunction with a Kitchen Encounters TV cooking segment) back in 2011.  You can get the recipe and watch me cook it too by clicking on the Related Article link below.  I assure you, my recipe cooks up the same on the stovetop or in the crockpot, and, my method preference is based on quantity not quality.  I use the stovetop when I want to make 2-3 corned beef at once, and, I use the crockpot when I'm just making one!

IMG_5629A homemade corned beef sandwich is for anytime of the year!!!

IMG_5475Everyone associates corned beef with St. Patrick's Day, but, the truth be told, Joe and I like corned beef sandwiches so much that I make it several times a year.  That said, anyone and everyone who makes corned beef for St. Patrick's Day knows that a week or two after the holiday they go on sale for almost half the price.  So, yesterday, when I saw them BOGO'd (buy one get one free), I bought one to cook tonight and one to freeze for later.  

IMG_0358In less than ten minutes, our dinner was cooking itself in the crockpot, a loaf of my ~ Try My Rye: It's Homemade in the Bread Machine ~, was baking itself, and, I was free to continue with my Easter preparations for Sunday.  For me, the rye bread is sort of a BOGO too: It's going to make great ham sandwiches using my leftover holiday ham.  You can get my bread recipe by clicking into categories 2, 5, 12, 15 or 20.  Yippie & yummy!

IMG_54741  cup water

1  4-5-pound flat- or point-cut corned beef brisket

1 1/2  cups chopped yellow onion

12  whole allspice

2  whole bay leaves

2  whole cinnamon sticks

12  whole cloves

1/2  teaspoon garlic powder

IMG_54781/2  teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4  cup dark brown sugar

1  28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1  additional cup dark brown sugar for finishing roast under broiler

~ Step 1.  Remove brisket from package, discard seasoning packet and rinse meat under cold water. Add the water to crockpot then add the roast, fat side up.

IMG_5482 IMG_5486 IMG_5498 IMG_5500 IMG_5508




~ Step 2.  Layer the chopped onions, all of the spices, the brown sugar and the tomatoes on top of the roast.  Cover and cook on high power for two hours.

IMG_5522~ Step 3. Uncover and give the mixture a "sort of stir". Do not flip the meat over.  Put the lid back on and cook over low power for four hours.

IMG_5553 IMG_5545~ Step 4. Turn the crockpot off.

Using a wide spatula and a fork, carefully remove the meat and place it, fat side up, on a rack in a 13" x 9" x 2" casserole containing about 1/4" water.  Transfer the sauce to a 3 1/2-quart chef's pan with straight deep sides and set aside.  

IMG_5574Spoon the additional 1 cup of brown sugar over the top of the meat.  Using your fingertips, spread, pat and press it down to form a thin coating over the surface.

Note:  I add the water to the bottom of the casserole because it will prevent any melting sugar that drips to the bottom of the dish from IMG_5610burning and/or smoking.

~ Step 5.  Place the meat on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven until the sugar is bubbling and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to rest, uncovered, about 15 minutes, prior to slicing and serving.  This rest will allow the sugar to harden and form a crunchy crust.

IMG_5601 IMG_5586~ Step 6. While meat is in oven then resting, bring sauce to a steady simmer over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, until reduced by half and nicely-thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  As you find them, discard bay leaves and cinnamon sticks.  

IMG_5614 IMG_5587Note:  Sauce will be the texture of chunky ketchup, and, what began as a generous 6 cups will have reduced to about 3 cups.  I serve mine "as is" because I like the pieces of onion in it, but, if it's a smooth version you desire,  puree it in a blender or food processor.

IMG_7272~ Step 7.  After the meat has rested, carve the corned beef by first slicing it in half, to make two easier-to-manage pieces.  Next slice each half, as thick or thin as you like it, cutting it with the grain (which keeps it from falling apart), OR, against the grain (which gives it a shred-y kind-of falling-apart texture. Serve it warm, at room temperature or even cold:  It tastes fantastic.

Anyway you slice it, this luxurious meat cuts like butter...

IMG_5627... and tastes even better!

IMG_7303My Brown-Sugar-Crusted Crockpot Corned Beef:  Recipe yields enough corned beef to make 6-8 large deli-style sandwiches and 3 cups of sauce for dipping or drizzling.

Special Equipment List:  crockpot; cutting board; chef's knife; wide spatula; fork; 13" x 9" x 2" casserole; cooling rack sized appropriately to fit into casserole dish; 3 1/2-quart chef's pan w/straight, deep sides; large spoon; blender or food processor (optional)

6a0120a8551282970b01a73de681d0970d 6a0120a8551282970b01bb07ce982b970dCook's Note: Two things go great with a corned beef sandwich: potato salad or coleslaw.  I prefer the first, Joe likes the second.  To get my recipes for ~ Mel's Creamy Potato and Egg Salad Recipe ~, or, ~ Mel's Creamy Crunchy Seriously-Good Coleslaw ~, click into Categories 4, 10 or 17!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)


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