Lat year on St. Patrick’s day I was at a funeral for my “Aunt” Sheila. She was amazing. She traveled the world and had such interesting and funny stories about living in Belgium, England, Italy, and Israel. But she had a gift. When you were speaking, she made you feel like the only person in the room. Questions and comments were insightful, encouraging, and usually very funny. She had a gift for making friends, and she made every friend feel like they were her best friend.
Sheila was also very much a Type A personality. So much so that she planned her funeral and wake down to the very last detail. And she paid for all of it to guarantee it would be exactly what she wanted.
And she wanted it to be Irish. To have a funeral on St. Patrick’s Day you have to have a bar. There is really no way around it. Guinness, Harp, and Jameson were all being very freely poured during the wake. You could always tell when Sheila had imbibed a little too much because she started singing Irish drinking songs. To go with the beer and whiskey, they served the most American of all Irish foods, corned beef.
And I couldn’t eat it. I had given up meat for Lent (and was doing a much better job with it than I am at not drinking this year) and didn’t have any. Which is kind of a big deal because corned beef is one of my very favorite foods. I had cabbage and potatoes and Guinness which felt very Irish, but it wasn’t the same.
So I made corned beef this week. And it was delicious. Sweet, salty, and malty. Sheila would have loved it, then demanded I share the recipe with all of you (she was a big supporter of my old, very short lived blog). So I am. Before she tries to smite me. Because you better believe she is telling the man upstairs that he isn’t doing it right.
Guinness Braised Corned Beef
It is probably in your best interest to make two. Leftovers are always the best part and one left me with next to none. And I have some big plans for the leftovers. Just as soon as I make another one. I served this with sautéed cabbage and roasted carrots and potatoes because I don't like them to be cooked in the Guinness.
1 corned beef, rinsed and dried
1 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon pickling spice (optional. You can also just use what came with the beef)
1 bottle Guinness
Preheat oven to 300. Put the corned beef fat side up in an oven safe pot with a tight fitting lid or a casserole dish. Mix together the apricot preserves and mustard. If your preserves are straight from the fridge microwave for 30 seconds to loosen them up. Generously smear half of the the preserve/mustard mix on the top of the corned beef. Sprinkle the pickling spice around the beef. Try to avoid getting it in the glaze. Pour enough Guinness into the dish to come halfway to 3/4 up the sides of the meat. Carefully life the meat so some of the Guinness can get underneath it. Cover with lid or aluminum foil, tenting the foil if necessary so it doesn’t touch the glaze. Slide in the oven and forget about it for 4 hours. Drink the leftover Guinness. Open another bottle if you’re so inclined.
After 4 hours, remove the meat from the oven and turn the broiler on with the rack positioned so the top of the meat will be 3-4 inches from the heat. Smear the remaining glaze on top of the corned beef. Put under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until the glaze is browned and bubbling. Taste the remaining liquid. If you did a better job rinsing your corned beef than I did you can serve it as a sauce for the meat by straining out the pickling spice. Mine was way too salty to use.
Slice and serve. Horseradish sauce is optional, but encouraged.