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WATCH: How to Prepare Corned Beef for St. Patrick's Day

The meat experts at Bill the Butcher offer their suggestions for celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a bit of culinary flair.

While Americans take some liberties with the traditional St. Patrick's Day celebration--my very large Irish family will celebrate my cousin's St. Paddy's birthday with corned beef and cabbage in Snohomish--very few Irish will mark Sunday's holiday by chugging green beer or serving corned beef and cabbage.

But for those who like to stray a bit from tradition and are more inclined to celebrate Irish-American style, corned beef is a very appropriate dish.

Whether you plan to pick up your corned beef at Edmonds' Bill the Butcher,  Mountlake Terrace's Double D, or a local grocery store butcher counter, Edmonds Bill the Butcher manager Rachael Gordon explains how it's made and how you can prepare it (see video).

It's no wonder the already-corned product is in high demand, as making corned beef from scratch calls for brining brisket in a mixture of salt, sugar and various spices for five to seven days. Terri Ann Johnson, Bill the Butcher's social media coordinator, told Patch in a previous interview  that it is possible to do it at home—but you'll need a good amount of space in the back of the refrigerator (to avoid temperature fluctuations) and, of course, patience.

Once your brisket has adequately corned, either at home or in the butcher shop, it's ready for cooking. Many people just boil the meat, but you can also boil it for awhile, then slow roast in the oven and adding cabbage and potatoes to the liquid the meat was boiled in.

Here is a preferred Bill the Butcher recipe for preparing corned beef: 

Butcher Nathan Thomas' Corned Beef (serves 4)

3lbs Corned Beef
2T Salt
1T Sugar
2 bayleafs
3 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1t Mustard Powder
Water to Cover

Glaze
8 oz Honey
8 oz dijon Mustard
2T Brown sugar

Simmer all of the above (except for glaze ingredients) on medium heat for 3 hours. Take beef out of water and place on a foil-lined pan, saving the water to simmer potatoes, carrots and cabbage in. Place in oven and cook for 3 hours at 275 degrees. At the last hour, pour glaze evenly over the top of the beef.

Brine to turn brisket into corned beef (for those adventurous enough to try it at home)

For 5lbs of beef brisket:

1 T allspice
1 T cloves
1 T coriander
1 T crushed red chile flakes
1 T mustard seeds
1 T whole black peppercorns
5 bay leaves, crumbled
1 1/4 cups kosher salt, plus more to taste
3/4 cup sugar
1 T pink salt

Toast the spices & bay leaves, then bring to simmer with rest of ingredients with 8 cups of water. Bring brine mixture to room temp, add brisket and refrigerate for at least five days.  

Johnson recommends the following shepherd's pie recipe from finecooking.com: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/lamb-shepherds-pie.aspx

and there's another recipe the company recommended on Facebook from epicurious for corned beef: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/stpatricks/corned_beef_and_cabbage_recipe

Do you mark the holiday with corned beef? Tell us in the comments.

Editor's note: this article includes reporting by Caitlin Moran

Vicki Stiles March 16, 2013 at 06:53 PM
And don't forget to wear green while cooking it, or it won't turn out quite right!
Jeanne Gustafson March 17, 2013 at 01:15 PM
When you're cooking, you don't want that kind of pinch for forgetting the green apron, right?

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