St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner so now is the time to make THE BEST Baked Corned Beef!
I am a big fan of corned beef and usually do a traditional Irish boiled dinner of Corned Beef & Cabbage with carrots and potatoes.
I’ve tried a couple of other methods (slow cooker with pickle juice was interesting and easy but not the best texture), so I was slightly wary when my friend Cody insisted that I try this recipe and bake the corned beef.
But he was so right! I am here to say that hands down, this was THE BEST corned beef I’ve ever had.
This is tender, flavorful, and super easy to make. However, if you’re scrolling down the recipe and wondering about the mustard and brown sugar topping, let me reassure you that the corned beef comes out tasting nothing like mustard or brown sugar. I think they really help offset the saltiness of the corned beef.
I did a fully scientific study at dinner last week and baked 1/2 with the mustard coating and 1/2 plain. Guess which one was completely gone? No leftovers at all. Mustard and Brown Sugar coating for the win.
Here’s what you need:
Corned Beef Brisket, Whole Grain Mustard, Honey Mustard, Brown Sugar, Black Pepper (optional)
This is a 5 pound corned beef brisket that I have cut in half for quicker cooking (and for our experiment). Most corned beef that you get at the store (and not at Costco) will be in the 2½-3 pound range.
However, corned beef shrinks up like crazy when you cook it so I think a 3 pound corned beef would feed 4 people one serving each with no leftovers. Our 5 pound corned beef fed 4 hungry people with 2 small leftovers. Corned beef is GREAT leftover – Hello, Ruben Sandwiches! – so why not get a big one or buy 2 while they are on sale and cook them at the same time.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the corned beef from the package and set aside the little packet of peppercorns and seasonings. Discard any liquid from the package.
RINSE the corned beef under cool water to remove the slimy packing liquid and also to remove some of the super salty flavor.
Pat the beef dry with paper towels.
Sprinkle the contents of the little spice packet over the beef OR use plain peppercorns or coarsely ground black pepper.
The little spice packet usually contains peppercorns, pickling spices, bay leaves, etc. so I like to use it as the seasoning for the meat.
In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup whole grain mustard and ¼ cup honey mustard. Stir to combine.
If you have a 2-3 pound corned beef, this is enough mustard to coat the top AND have some extra for serving.
If you’re making the bigger, 5 pound corned beef, you will use all the mustard. You can make a little more for serving or set out a jar of spicy brown mustard.
I found that this was so flavorful, that it didn’t need any extra mustard at the table.
Place your corned beef on a large sheet of extra heavy duty aluminum foil with the fat side facing up.
Spread the mustard mixture over the meat and then sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar. You will need to increase the sugar to 3-4 Tablespoons for a bigger piece of meat.
Loosly wrap up the corned beef leaving a large air pocket on top. Be sure the foil is sealed really well to keep all the juices in the packet while cooking.
There should be space between the beef and the top of the foil.
Place the foil packet in a large baking pan and cook at 350° for 2½ hours or until very tender.
Be VERY careful when you open the packets or you will steam your fingers. I used tongs.
To get the crispy topping, open the foil and place the corned beef under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.
Allow the baked corned beef to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing, then cut across the grain into thin strips.
For the vegetables, you can always boil cabbage, potatoes, and carrots together on the stove top.
I am going to make this again on Thursday and my plan is to bake the corned beef first then pour off the cooking liquid that is in the foil packets and put it in a pot with additional water to boil the veggies. This way, you get all of the corned beef flavor rather than plain boiled veg.
Everyone at the table agreed that this was THE BEST Baked Corned Beef!
Trust me when I tell you that you’ll want leftovers!
Here’s the recipe: Adapted from Family Spice
UPDATE: Now with working recipe links! Thanks to all of you who emailed to remind me about this problem. – C