~ My Brown-Sugar-Crusted Crockpot Corned Beef ~
It'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!
Everyone 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.
In 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!
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
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.
~ 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.
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.
~ 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.
~ 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.
Note: 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.
~ 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...
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)
Cook'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)