Normally, brisket for corned beef is packaged suspended in some kind of brine and may come with a small pickling spice already. You want to make sure you rinse the brisket well, removing the thick brine. Pat very dry. You can use the small seasoning pickling spice in the package, but I prefer to use my own spices.
Ingredients:For the Corned Beef
2 bottles Guinness beer (or other dark beer)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 1/2 pound uncooked brisket for corned beef, rinsed well and patted dry
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1 head garlic, halvedFor the Vegetables
1 head cabbage
1 big spoonful of lard or bacon drippings (you can substitute simply with just cooking oil)
a few carrots, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 pound of red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 tablespoons freshly minced fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 300F. In a large pot, whisk together the beer and the brown sugar. Snuggle in the brisket, it should almost be completely covered by the beer (see photo). Add the pickling spice, onion and the garlic. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, uncovered is best so you can keep an eye on it. Boiled-over beer is no fun to clean.
2. Once it begins simmering, cover the pot and place in oven to roast for 4-6 hours, flipping meat once during halfway point. Remove from oven. Spoon out 2 cups of the corned beef braising liquid to cook the cabbage.
3. To make the vegetables, cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. In a separate large, wide pot, heat up the lard/bacon drippings/oil on medium-high heat. When hot, swirl the pan around to get the fat to evenly coat the pan. Add the cabbage wedges, carrots and potatoes and cook until browned, about a 3-4 minutes. Turn to brown the other side. Pour in the reserved corned beef cooking liquid, bring to a simmer and cover the pot. Turn the heat to low and let cook for 10-15 minutes. Use tongs or a large spoon to carefully remove the cabbage and reserve. Continue cooking the carrots and potato another 5 minutes or cooked though (pierce with fork to check doneness). Sprinkle with parsley and plate out with the cabbage.
4. Slice up the corned beef and serve with the cabbage and vegetables. Pour a bit of the sauce over the corned beef just before serving.