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cooking corned beef- question

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I am making a corned beef (slow cooked in the oven). I've read mixed notes as far as the liquid. How high do I fill the pan with liquid- halfway up the meat, just to cover, cover by an inch???
I want very tender meat of course.

Also, any great recipes let me know- I'm still deciding. thanks

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  1. My mother always cooked this in a huge pot on the stove. It came out incredibly tender every time. Basically, all she did was throw it in a pot with all the juices & spices that came in the bag. She added a bay leaf, carrots, and an onion. Water to cover it by a few inches., Brought to a boil, then simmered, covered, for at least 3 or more hours. My dad loves corned beef, so we had it often growing up. I would think the oven might dry it out a bit. Why not just do it on the stove?

    3 Replies
    1. re: mschow

      I've done it both ways, and the main advantage to the oven is that you can leave it unattended, which I'd never do with something over a flame. As for drying out, meat inside a covered pot doesn't care from which direction the heat is coming; in fact, moderate heat from all sides can do a better job than intense heat applied to the bottom.

      If you're doing a brown-and-braise you'll want liquid just halfway up at most. If you're doing just a version of the regular simmered dish, add boiling liquid to just cover, and check it once or twice to make sure it's not going dry. Starting with cold meat in cold water is how you make good broth, not good meat.

      1. re: mschow

        I always cook my corned beef in the crock pot.I fill it up with liquid just enough to cover the meat. I cook for 6-8 hours on high, depending on the size. With an hour to go, I add cabbage, carrots and potatoes. It is always falling apart by the time I take it out and there is lots of yummy juice for the potatoes.

        1. re: Gluten Free Girl

          I heartily agree with cooking corned beef in the crock pot. I throw mine in the pot with a can of beer and spices (laurel leaf, peppercorns) and cook it on low for 6 - 8 hours. I sometimes throw in some Yukon gold or new potatoes if I have some handy. This is an easy, brainless method of making perfectly tender corned beef.

      2. Hi Pamd, I always do mine in the oven. I am not a fan of boiled corned beef.
        I add very little liquid to the corned beef. I slather it in a mix of brown sugar, garlic, and mustard, and just about maybe 1/2 cup of liquid and the juice from the package.
        The meat will render and shrink. I cover it with foil, 325 for about 3-4 hours depends on the size.then add the veggies according to cooking time at the end. You don't need alot of water to roast the cabbage, potatoes and carrots, onions. Also put the pickling spices in a little cheese cloth ans swish it around every so often....Sure does make your house smell good too!

        1. thanks everyone, this helps. I've done the boiling method & not as tender as I like, so that's why I want to try this way.

          Will- I'm confused about your last sentence, do I not want to use cold liquid & cold meat right from the fridge?

          1. turned out tender & wonderful! I ended up using the slow cooker instead of the oven. I rarely use it, but since it was suggested & I had a hectic day planned out of the house with my kids, I went for it since it's safer. I rubbed it with brown sugar & dry mustard, poured a can of beer in, & added a few peppercorns. I cooked it for about 6-7 hours.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pamd

              I'm a died-in-the-wool on the stove top corned beef cooker; but I'm going to try the crock pot. A trick that I learned from my Mother was to add an orange (peel and all) cut in half to the cooking water. It doesn't leave an orange taste; but it sure helps to "brighten" the flavor. I have to assume it's the acidity.

            2. I've done it on the stove (I had to be home anyhow, so could keep an eye on it), in the oven (the way I usually do it), and in a pressure cooker on the stove. All 3 worked equally well, although the stovetop with a conventional pot seemed to me to be the most labor intensive. I do find the addition of beer (mentioned by many) does help with both the flavor and the tenderness. One of these days I have to try it in a crock pot.