Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Mustard Sauce... aka St. Patrick's Day Wrap Up

One of my absolute favorite holidays is St. Patrick's Day. It doesn't get any better than overflowing pints of Guiness (one of my favorite beers) with lots of corned beef and cabbage. My mom always used to make a big feast to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and it's one of my favorite memories.

Matt and I started a "tradition" a few years ago by hosting a St. Patrick's Day party for our friends. So, this year, we planned our 3rd Annual St. Patrick's Day event. We purchased 11 pounds of corned beef, 2 heads of cabbage, 2.5 pounds of carrots and 3 pounds of potatoes. 16 of our friends turned out to watch Purdue win the Big Ten tournament (Booooooo!) Not surprisingly, when all was said and done, all of the corned beef had dissapeared and all that was left was cabbage. That's fine by me... I love the stuff.

But the meat and veggies would be meaningless without The Mustard Sauce. For me, I can't imagine the meal without the sauce. The recipe dates back at least to my great grandmother (my mom's mom's mom). Without further ado, what follows is the recipe for the sauce.

Mustard Sauce
2 eggs
2/3 C apple cider vinegar
1/3 C brown sugar, packed
1/4 C white, granulated sugar
1/4 C mustard

Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan BEFORE turning the heat on. Turn the heat on low and stir constantly to avoid the egg scrambling. The sauce will begin to thicken after 10 minutes or so. Keep stirring until sauce fully thickens. Remove from heat until the rest of the meal is ready.

Below are my tips for making the corned beef and related veggies. I would recommend reading the whole list before doing anything, just to get a feel for the flow of getting everything cooked properly.
1. Wash the corned beef brisket VERY WELL before cooking
2. Put the brisket in a large pot and cover with water, at least 1-2 inches above the top of the beef. Put a lid on the pot and simmer for hours. I cooked mine (each 3-4 pounds) for 7 hours on low heat.
3. Remove the corned beef, reserving all of the liquid. You can keep the corned beef warm in a 225 degree oven, covering the corned beef with foil. If there is fat on one side of the corned beef (there probably is), leave it... for now.
4. Return the reserved liquid to a pot and place the peeled, quartered potatoes in the pot. Boil for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes seem done.
5. Reserve the liquid. Add the potatoes to the pan in the oven with the corned beef. Return the liquid to the pot and add the carrots. Boil them until they're soft (abotu 10-15 minutes).
6. Add the carrots to the oven, reserving the same liquid.
7. Add the quartered, cored green cabbage to the liquid and boil for abotu 10 minutes, or until soft. Once the cabbage is done, you can finally discard the liquid.
8. When you're ready to serve, place the corned beef on a cutting board, fat side up. Using the side of a sharp knife, scrape the super soft fat off the brisket and discard. I've seen this dish served at restaurants and it always looks so gross because they leave the fat on.
9. Cut the brisket against the grain and serve everything smothered with the aformentioned Mustard Sauce. Slip into a food coma. Or have another Guiness. Or two.

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