Appetizers
March 6, 2009
Corned beef and cabbage

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Cardboard shamrocks are decorating the stores and beer-flavored popcorn dyed green has come into the office. Yes, the holiday at the end of the rainbow is upon us and that means one thing to us Americans trying our hardest but inevitably failing at Irish traditions - corned beef and cabbage.

Some argue that corned beef is more Jewish than Irish, but let's just call it a multi-cultural American tradition and pick up forks in a fellowship of food. Cosmo Café offers a modern take on the dish all-year long, using savoy cabbage, baby round carrots and fingerling potatoes, and house-brined corned beef that takes almost a week to make.

Cosmo chef Scott Rose will demonstrate how to make this signature dish at an appearance at Whole Foods Market on Tuesday, March 10. He also will sear sea scallops and smoke ham hocks. The event costs $35 and starts at 6 p.m.

And look for the Food & Wine section on Wednesday for some other spots in the area that dish up Irish fare. In the meantime, here's a sneak peak at Rose's corned beef recipe. That salsa verde adds a brightness to the lean medallions of corned beef.

Cosmo Café corned beef
Recipe by Chef Scott Rose
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the brine:
½ gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoons pickling spice, available in most grocery stores
2½ pounds beef brisket
1 tablespoon pickling spice

For the vegetables:
1 head savoy cabbage
8 baby carrots
2 pounds fingerling potatoes

For the salsa verde:
¼ cup shallots, finely diced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

For the brine:
Combine all the brine ingredients in a pot large enough to hold the brisket comfortably. Bring to a boil, making sure the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove pot from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled.
Place the brisket in the brine for 5 days, weight it down with a plate to keep it submerged if needed.
Remove the brisket and rinse under cold water.
Place the brisket in a pot and add water to cover by 3 inches. Add the remaining pickling spice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours or until tender.

For the vegetables:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. The water should taste of the sea.
Peel, trim and halve baby carrots.
Place just enough carrots in the pot so the water continues to boil, do not over-crowd the pot. Blanch the carrots until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Halve the fingerling potatoes lengthwise and cook in the same manner as the carrots.
For the cabbage, remove tough outer leaves, quarter head, remove core and separate leaves.
Blanch the leaves in the same manner as the rest of the vegetables, making sure they don't tear or rip.

For the salsa verde:
Combine shallots, vinegar, and a little salt in a small bowl, and let stand 5 minutes. Add shallots and mustard. Stir in the oil and check for seasoning.

To assemble:
In a sauté pan, brown the carrots and potatoes in butter, add the cabbage and cook until heated through.
While vegetables are browning, remove brisket from liquid, slice against the grain, strain the cooking liquid and reserve.
Place cabbage and vegetables in the center of the plate, placed sliced corned beef over the cabbage. Spoon just enough of the reserved cooking liquid over the top of brisket and vegetables to moisten them.
Garnish dish with grain mustard, salsa verde and virgin olive oil.


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