I almost was going to make Corned Beef and Cabbage until I thought about it. There are a million other blogs posting Corned Beef and Cabbage recipes this time of year, and when I think about it, other than the Corned Beef it is not that good. I am sure that some versions are better than others, but often I find myself digging through soggy cabbage, carrots and potatoes to get to the good stuff, the corned beef!
So, I ended up just making the corned beef. That way, I can use it in other ways that I actually like. In this case, I ended up making two different types of Reuben Sandwich. The first day I made the standard Ruben sandwich – corned beef, swiss cheese, rye bread and home made thousand island dressing. The second day with the leftovers I made what was basically a Reuben Strudel, which was the Reuben ingredients wrapped in puff pastry, with the dressing on the side for dipping. It turned out delicious! I know, corned beef and sauerkraut is basically corned beef and cabbage, but so much tastier.
I cooked the meat in an Irish Stout broth, so it still ties in with the season a bit. Give it a try and serve it any way that suits your fancy.
Rinse a 2-1/2 to 3 pound coned beef brisket, pat dry, then brown lightly in your pressure cooker in a couple tablespoons of oil. Remove to a plate. Do this over medium-high heat. If using an electric model, use sauté mode on high.
Lower heat to medium and sauté a chopped onion until translucent.
Add in some garlic, salt, pepper, pickling spice and cinnamon stick, stirring often for about a minute. I was going to use individual spices, but I decided to just use a pre-mixed pickling spice which gets you the same basic result, but save a lot of time. The pickling spice that I use (Penzey’s) doesn’t have cinnamon so I threw in a cinnamon stick as well. I suggest you do the same. It will make your kitchen smell super yummy.
If your corned beef came with a spice packet, you can use that if you must, but a good quality pickling spice is so much better. Also some of those packets that come with the meat are so small, it might be put to better use as a sachet for a nightstand drawer.
Now dump in some mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, liquid smoke, a cup of Irish Stout, a cup of water and 1 heaping teaspoon of beef base, such as Better Than Bouillon.
Place the brisket back in the pot, lock on the top and bring to high pressure. On an electric, set it to manual mode for 90 minutes at high pressure.
Whenever I post a recipe for any type of brisket, such as this one, I have to give this explanation: Yes, 90 minutes sounds like a lot of time for a pressure cooker, but using conventional methods it takes up to 3 or 4 hours to get the super tender texture that we are looking for. I have found 90 minutes to be the magic number for any type of brisket, be it corned or non-corny. It turns out like buttah, buttah I say!
When the time is up, let the pressure come down on its own (around 20 minutes). When pressure is released, transfer to a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes. I know you will be tempted to cut into it right away, since by this time the aroma in your kitchen will be almost too much to take, but it’s only five minutes. You can do it!
This photo is from the leftovers the next day after being refrigerated. It may look a little dry now, but once it is reheated, yum!
Ok, now slice thin slices and server however you wish. For me, nothing beats a good corned beef sandwich.
If you would like to use the fragrant juice from the pan, just pour it through a strainer and do with it what you will. Off the top of my head, I think it would make a tasty au jus, or a good liquid to cook some veggies in.
Corned beef and cabbage? Bah, humbug! Wait, I think that saying is for a different holiday, Is Saint Patrick’s Day even a holiday? I don’t get a day off for it. Of course, many people call in sick the day after it.
If you tell someone from Ireland that you are making corned beef and cabbage because it is Saint Patrick’s day, their reaction is likely to be, “Um, huh?”
I’m led to believe that Steak and Stout pie is something you might actually be able to find in Ireland, at least in the pubs. And if I ever visited Ireland, most of my time would most likely be spent in pubs, so I would probably come across this quite often.
In this in-depth article (really, really in depth) it is explained that there is some corned beef in Ireland, but it isn’t even close to being the national dish. Though, some places do serve corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s day, they are serving it for tourists.
What the heck am I going on about corned beef for? This recipe isn’t for corned beef. I guess the point I am trying to make is that there are other things you can make for your St. Patrick’s day party. Take this Dublin Coddle recipe I posted last year, for example. Or this Steak and Stout Pie I hope to eventually get around to talking about.
You can use any stout you like, but I don’t recommend anything labeled as “extra stout” or “imperial stout”. These are higher in alcohol, and since the pressure cooker doesn’t let any steam escape once it reaches pressure, it will be too strong of a flavor and these stronger ones can also result in a bitter flavor.
This recipe is kind of a hybrid recipe, as the filling is made in the pressure cooker but then is cooked in the oven to cook the crust. I use frozen puff pastry for the crust, so it is still a relatively quick recipe. It is best to let the filling cool for an hour or so before putting the crust on top because if the crust becomes too warm it will not be flaky, and as anyone will tell you, I know flaky.
I like to use frozen pearl onions, but if you can’t find them, or already have onions on hand, a large chopped onion will work fine. The onions mostly break down during the cooking time anyway, I just think the pearl ones lend kind of a nice, sweet flavor to this recipe.
Cut about 2 pounds of chuck into 1-inch cubes. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium heat. Put as much of the meat as will comfortably in the pressure cooker pot and brown on two sides. I usually only brown about half of the meat. That is enough to add the browned flavor and it saves a little time. Remove this to a plate.
Now brown the onions. Add another splash of oil if necessary. Sauté the onions until they start to caramelize. Remove these to a bowl. Do not remove these to a plate unless you would like to chase pearl onions around your kitchen (don’t ask me how I know this).
Next, sauté a chopped shallot and four cloves of pressed garlic until the shallot starts to soften. Add the carrot and sauté for a few minutes until it softens slightly.
Now add a couple teaspoons of Herbes De Provence, a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, a tablespoon of tomato paste and some ground black pepper. Don’t add any salt at this point, you can adjust that later. Between the cheese and the beef bouillon, you may not need any additional salt at all.
Add 1/2 cup of stout and stir everything together.
Dump the onions and meat back in.
Add 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon (you can substitute 1 cup of beef stock for the 1 cup of water and the Better Than Bouillon.
Put the cover on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.
When high pressure is reached, set the timer for 20 minutes.
While this is cooking, it is a perfect time to grate 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, then after the cheese is grated, make a slurry of two level tablespoons of flour and 1/4 cup of water. Now that you’ve got those two things out of the way, grab what’s left in that bottle (or can) of stout and relax for a few minutes until the timer sounds.
When the timer sounds, quickly down the rest of the beer, then go over and take the pressure cooker off the heat. If you have an electric pressure cooker, turn it off. Let the pressure come down naturally for ten minutes, then do a quick release.
Uncover the pressure cooker, then put over medium heat, or put on “medium” sauté setting on your electric pressure cooker. Stir in the flour and water mixture and continue to stir for a couple minutes. Stir in about half the cheese, stirring in a little at a time. Continue to stir for about five minutes more to cook out most of the flour taste.
Now, at this point you have a pot of Steak and Stout Stew, and if you really want to (or if you are pressed for time) you can stop now and serve over mashed potatoes or with good bread, but you should keep stirring over medium heat for about another five minutes to make really sure that the flour taste is cooked out. But hey, you’ve come this far, you might as well take it all the way and go for the whole pie experience.
Let the filling cool for 60-90 minutes if you have time. This is where a little foresight would have come in handy and you would have bought an extra can of stout. If that is the case, open that baby up and enjoy.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Set a sheet of puff pastry out to thaw. It should be pliable enough to work with but still cold. If it gets too warm, the layers will meld together and your pastry won’t be puffy and flaky. On a floured work surface, roll out your dough until it is an inch or so wider than your pie pan.
Pour filling into a pie pan or au gratin dish about 9 or 10 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the filling. Place the crust on top of the pan. Trim the edges to round it off. Roll the edges up until they only slightly protrude over the edge of the pan. Brush the top with beaten egg. Score the top in a cross-hatch pattern then pierce the top a few times.
Place the pan on a baking sheet (it is certain to bubble over, and better a baking sheet than the bottom of your oven). Set the timer for twenty minutes. Check on it after about fifteen minutes just to be safe. When the timer goes off, check that it looks brown and flaky. If not, give it another few minutes.
Take the pie out of the oven and let it cool for about five minutes. Cut the crust into four pieces and serve.