You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~ My Brown-Sugar-Crusted Corned Beef Sandwiches ~

IMG_0013Everyone I know associates corned beef and cabbage with St. Patrick's Day, but, tick-tock, I'd rather show up a day or two later for a corned beef sandwich.  Truth told, Joe and I like corned beef sandwiches enough for me to buy corned beef a few times a year.   That said, I typically don't serve them Rueben-style (with the 'kraut).  We two prefer to eat ours made grilled-cheese-style with a big scoop of Russian- or Thousand Islands-dressed potato salad or cole slaw to the side.  Having made Rachel sandwiches for our green-for-a-day holiday, I was thrilled to find corned beef BOGO'd yesterday because I knew what dinner and this blog post was going to be.

Meet my amazing sugar-crusted corned beef brisket:

IMG_9995What does "corned" mean & what is a corned beef brisket?

6a0120a8551282970b0147e2f8418d970bA bit about corned beef:  Corned beef is beef brisket that has been brine-cured in a solution of salt and water typically used for pickling or preserving food.  Brisket is the cut of beef taken from the breast section under the first five ribs.  It is sold without the bone and divided into two sections.  The flat-cut has minimal fat and is more expensive than the more flavorful point-cut. 

Brisket requires long, slow cooking and is best when braised.  The term "corned" comes from the English use of the verb "corn", meaning: a process in which small particles, such as grains of salt have been added to liquid.  Two types of corned beef are available and depend upon the butcher and/or the region.  Old-fashioned corned beef is grayish-pink in color and very salty.  New-style, the kind that is vacuum-sealed that most of us purchase, has less salt and is a bright rosy red.

Cooking corned beef in any slow cooker works great, but: 

6a0120a8551282970b022ad3b31910200bMeet Crockpot's Casserole Crock. For me, it's my latest acquisition in a long line of slow cookers.  I now currently own ten different brands, models and sizes -- which is odd because, me, not-the-queen-of-crockpot-cooking, uses a slow cooker, maybe, five-six times a year. While Crockpot rightfully peddles this one as a casserole crock (because it is essentially a 13" x 9" x 6a0120a8551282970b022ad393e564200d 22" casserole), and, it's intended to make-and-take slow-cooked casseroles (it's got lock-in-place handles and a stay-cool handle for carrying the entire contraption), I saw it as a vessel for cooking two corned beef briskets, side-by-side and in a single layer, to cook evenly, in comfort -- spa-style -- I love it when I trust my gut, as it worked beautifully.  There's more:

At about $45.00, it wasn't that big of an investment.  The crock is the shape of a 13" x 9" x 2" casserole, with the inside bottom dimensions of the crock being approximately 11" x 7" x 3".

Making Corned Beef in Crockpot's Casserole Crock:

IMG_99491  cup water

2  3 1/2-4-pound flat- or point-cut corned beef

1 1/2  cups diced yellow or sweet onion

3/4  teaspoon ground allspice

2  whole bay leaves

1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4  teaspoon ground cloves

1/2  teaspoon garlic powder

1/2  teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4  cup dark brown sugar

1  28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 1/2-3  cups additional dark brown sugar, for finishing under broiler

IMG_9954 IMG_9954 IMG_9954 IMG_9954 IMG_9954 IMG_9954~Step 1.  Remove brisket from package (discard seasoning packet) and rinse meat under cold water.  Spray inside of Crockpot casserole with no-stick cooking spray, add 1 cup water to the crock, then, place the corned beef, side-by-side without overlapping, in bottom.  Distribute and scatter the onions, all of the spices, the brown sugar and the crushed tomatoes on top of the two roasts.  Cover and cook on high for four hours.

IMG_9973 IMG_9973 IMG_9973 IMG_9973 IMG_9986 IMG_9991 2~Step 2.  Uncover the crock.  Using a fork and the aid of a spatula, carefully flip the meat over.  Put the lid back on and continue to cook on high for two more hours.  Turn the crockpot off.  Using the fork and spatula, carefully transfer each brisket to a plate to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Spoon 3/4-1 cup brown sugar over the surface of each brisket*, then, use your fingertips to pat and press it down to form a thin coating over the surface. 

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c771f1cd970b~ Step 3.  Place each sugar-crusted brisket on a rack in a 13" x 9" x 2" casserole containing about 1/4" tepid tap water in its bottom.  

Note:  Adding the water to the bottom of the casserole will prevent any melting sugar that drips to the bottom of the dish from smoking or burning on contact, which in turn makes cleanup a lot easier.  

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c771f220970b~ Step 4.  Place one or both casseroles* on center rack of 350º oven until sugar is bubbling and golden, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest, uncovered, about 15 minutes, to allow the sugar to harden and form a crunchy crust.

*Note:  I sugar-crust and bake one, storing the uncrusted one in the refrigerator to use later or freeze.

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d0fbf417970c~Step 5.  After the meat has rested, carve the corned beef by first slicing it in half, with the grain (which keeps it from falling apart), to form two easier-to-manage pieces.  Next slice each half, as thick or thin as you like it, cutting it against the grain (which gives it a shred-y kind-of falling-apart texture). Serve it warm, at room temperature or even cold:  It's fantastic.  To make the sandwiches:

IMG_9811 IMG_9811 IMG_9811 IMG_9811 IMG_0003 IMG_0003 IMG_0003~Step 6. For each sandwich, cut 2 slices of rye, pumpernickel or swirl bread in half to form 4 pieces.  In a 10" nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over low heat.  Add bread to skillet and immediately top each half-slice with 2-3 very-thin slices Lacey Swiss cheese per half-slice.  Increase heat to medium-low, to slowly grill the bread on the bottom and melt the cheese on the top, about 1 1/2-2 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat or turn the heat off.  Heap thinly-sliced sugar-crusted corned beef atop two halves, top with the remaining two half-slices of cheese-topped bread and serve.

Serve ASAP w/Russian-dressed potato salad & pickles:

IMG_0020My Brown-Sugar-Crusted Corned Beef Sandwiches:  Recipe yields 2 corned beef briskets, and, enough meat to make 4-6 thick, hearty sandwiches per brisket.

Special Equipment List:  fork; spatula; Crockpot casserole; cutting board; chef's knife; 10" nonstick skillet

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d1be3dad970cCook's Note: I never make just one corned beef brisket.  Simply stated: It is 100% counter-productive. While I can make two in my crockpot casserole, in one big pot, in three hours, I can make three:  one to eat that day, one for sandwiches during the week, and, one to cube and freeze in 3, 1-pound packages, which, is enough to make 3 hearty corned beef hash breakfasts. Check out my recipe for ~ The Lazy Lady's Corned Beef Hash ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment