Corned Beef and Cabbage

Since March is unofficially 'Irish Awareness Month', I want to offer you the luck of the Irish by kicking off a St. Patrick's Day food tradition with Corn Beef and Cabbage...umm Irish-American that is, and not really part of the repast on the Emerald Aisle. 

Since the early 1900s, Americans proclaimed corned beef and cabbage to be their favorite Irish dish, even though it really never had graced dinner tables in Ireland. Since then, Americans have embraced it as the meal of choice for St. Patrick's Day, March 17th. Corned beef got its name before refrigeration, when meat was preserved using coarse grains of salt, called 'corn'. Today, beef is corned with spices strictly for flavor, not for preservation, so the meat must be refrigerated. Whether you're a wee bit Irish or not, boost your luck by celebrating St. Patrick's Day with friends and a feast. 

It is said that President Grover Cleveland once noticed the aroma of Corned Beef and Cabbage coming from the servants quarters at the White House. He asked to trade his dinner for that of the staff meal. He commented "that this was the best dinner I had had in months.."

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit, Gaelic for Saint Patrick's Day

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Corned Beef and Cabbage with Boiled Vegetables

Serves six-eight 

chefgeorgehirsch.comGeorge Hirsch Lifestyle

3 pound corned beef brisket 

4 cloves garlic, peeled 

Fresh ground black pepper 

2 Tablespoons pickling spices, 

3 bay leaves 

1/4cup sugar 

1/4cup cider vinegar 

1 large onion, peeled and quartered 

6 carrots, peeled 

6 Yukon potatoes, scrubbed 

3 turnips, peeled 

1 head cabbaged, leave core on and cut into eights 

Place corned beef brisket in a very large soup pot. Fill pot with cold water to cover meat. Add sugar, cider vinegar, pickling spices, bay leaves, and garlic. 

Bring to a boil over rather high heat. Boil for 5 to 6 minutes, skimming off the any scum that rises to the surface with a large spoon. 

Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and let simmer for 1-2 hours. Test the meat for tenderness with a large fork, it should have a little resistance, be careful not to overcook corned beef or the meat will become dry and stringy. If fully tender turn off the heat and let the meat rest in the liquid. 

One hour before serving and before the meat finishes, add all the vegetables in the pot with the meat. 

Timetable for the vegetables: 

• onions, simmer 1 hour 

• carrots, potatoes and turnips simmer 30 minutes 

• cabbage simmer 20-30 minutes 

Slice only as much meat as you will immediately serve, keeping the rest in one piece for future use. Serve with a variety of mustards and horseradish.

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Thanksgiving Tradition, Apple Brined Turkey

First, start with Turkey 101. Got that? Then, resume with my apple turkey brine tradition below.

Hands down, my Apple Brined Turkey recipe is an all time winner for a moist and flavorful turkey. Need more kitchen? If your oven is all jammed up – take it outdoors and grill it. Or, a Thanksgiving turkey solution: Cook 1 turkey in the oven and 1 on the grill.   

George’s Apple Brined Roasted Turkey

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

Brining is an overnight process requiring TWO days preparation.

If preparing a frozen turkey, be sure to thaw it in refrigerator well in advance. Brine the turkey in a large stockpot or a large food-safe-plastic bag.  The turkey needs to be completely submerged in brine, or you must turn turkey every couple hours. I prefer turkeys no larger than 12-14 pounds for best tenderness and flavor; and if grilling I have my butcher split the turkey for ease of brining and grilling. Cook additional turkeys if serving more than 12-14 people. As a guide, figure each pound of turkey on the bone feeds one person. 

STEP 1: First day

On the day prior to cooking: Brine for a 12-pound turkey; prepare a double brine recipe for larger turkey. 

Apple Brine Mixture

8 cups apple cider

1/4 cup Maple syrup

2/3 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely crushed

2 bay leaves

To prepare brine, combine ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool completely. 

STEP 2: First day

Add Flavor Ingredients to Apple Brine Mixture:

6 garlic cloves, peeled & cut in half

1 onion, quartered

1 rib celery, chopped into two inch pieces

2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled & sliced

3 each sage leaves, rosemary sprigs, thyme

4 cups ice

Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for making gravy. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Stuff body cavity with orange quarters, ice, onion, ginger, sage, rosemary and thyme. Place turkey in a large stockpot or food-safe-plastic bag. Pour apple brine mixture over turkey. Depending on size of turkey refrigerate for 6 hours for a split turkey, or 12 hours for a whole 12 pound, turning occasionally. Add one-hour bringing time per additional pound of turkey.

Spice Rub

1 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

To Roast:

1 yard kitchen twine

2 cups chicken broth or stock

4 Tablespoons butter

fresh ground black pepper

6 slices pancetta or bacon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Remove turkey from brine, discard brine and orange quarters. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place garlic, sage, thyme, parsley, onion, and broth in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place roasting rack in pan. Arrange turkey, breast side down, on roasting rack. Brush turkey back with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350º.

Remove turkey from oven. Carefully turn turkey over, breast side up. Put turkey neck and giblets in pan. Brush turkey breast with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper; lay slices of pancetta over breasts. Bake at 350º for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center meaty part of thigh registers 170º. 

Cover breast of turkey loosely with foil if it browns too quickly. Remove turkey from oven; let stand 30 minutes. Pour off drippings and remove turkey neck and giblets for gravy; cover turkey to keep warm. 

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Backyard Street Food

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

Join me multiple times weekly + 

Tune-in GHL CreateTV Sun 8:30AMWed 8:30AM/2:30PM

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A national dish of Indonesia, the satay, is a marinated skewered meat with sauce, usually spicy. Satay is often served in Malaysia by street-side vendors. It's an easy and quick solution to backyard grilling. I thought this would be a fun dish to cook street-side on 67th Street in NYC on Live! The three of us had a blast making this on a NYC street - just imagine the fun you and your guests can have in your own backyard. It's also one of those informal dishes that doesn't require a fork and a knife. 

TIP: I always prefer using metal skewers as I find the food cooks faster and more uniformly. But, when in a pinch and when cleanup of the skewers is not practical, bamboo skewers are very handy. Just make sure to soak the bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes prior to threading, to avoid the skewers from burning up on the grill. 

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Pork Satay with Sesame Dipping Sauce

Makes 6 servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 3-inch-long pieces 

For the Marinade:

1/3 cup sweet onion, chopped fine

1 teaspoon tumeric

1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped 

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil 

2 Tablespoons oyster sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce) 

2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted 

Juice from two limes 

3 cloves garlic, chopped 

2 teaspoons each soy sauce and sesame oil 

1 green onion, chopped 

6 long skewers

Mix marinade ingredients in medium bowl. 

Cut pork lengthwise into thin 1/4-inch slices. Tip: It is easier to cut meat when it is very cold. 

Thread pork onto each of six skewers. Reserve 1/3 cup of marinade in a small bowl. Brush remaining marinade over both sides of pork. Cover pork, refrigerate for one hour. 

Preheat grill to high heat. Grill pork until cooked through, two-four minutes per side. Brush pork with reserved marinade. Serve on a fresh banana or ty leaf if available and top with chopped green onion or red onion.

Although it is very common to serve a peanut dipping sauce with a satay I find my Sesame Dipping Sauce to go better with the pork. 

For the Sesame Dipping Sauce

Recipe George Hirsch | Makes one cup

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar 

 1/4 cup lite soy sauce 

 2 Tablespoons honey 

 2 Tablespoons ketchup 

 1 Tablespoon sesame oil 

 2 cloves garlic, chopped 

 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped 

 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl one hour before serving. Serve as a dipping sauce for Satay, steamed dumplings or summer rolls. 

Optional: to make spicy add 1 teaspoon chili sauce or hot pepper flakes.

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