Guinness Braised Corned Beef with Kale Colcannon

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! May the luck of the Irish be with you and you be half way to heaven before the devil knows you're dead!

And all other lovely Irish one liners. 

I'm a wee bit late (see what I did there?) but maybe you're planning to throw your St. Patricks Day dinner celebration on Saturday or perhaps you are just couldn't take on the long process of cooking a brisket today when you were tirelessly at work or maybe you just had too many beers to get the darn thing cooked. We're late, but that's ok, braised corned beef is still delicious the day after St. Patricks day or any other day. It's especially delicious the day after you've made it and it's cold and you shave it thin and you put it on a rye with some grainy mustard... mmm, yes, see, you do want to make this. If in case you really just want to dig into some veggie packed mashed potatoes, skip to colcannon recipe here.

Honestly, this is a pretty easy recipe it's not as easy as say, boiling a pot of water, plopping in a brisket and opening a seasoning packet but it is still pretty easy. It's also delicious and well worth the little bit of extra effort. 

That little tiny packet of seasoning that comes with your brisket is probably not nearly enough to flavor the whole thing for the whole brisket, so we're going to make our own packet and if you can part with two Guinness beers, we're going to need those too. You can drink one while you cook if you're so inclined.

Seasoning Packet:

1/8 tsp ground cloves (whole if you have them)

1/4 tsp caraway seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 ground ginger
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsps whole allspice
1/2 stick cinnamon

Mix and set aside. 

For the Brisket/Braise:
2 1/2 to 3 lb brisket
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 15oz cans Guinness
1 medium onion, halved
2 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, top trimmed
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 cups veggie or beef broth (more if needed)

Mix brown sugar and beer together in an oven-safe pot just large enough to hold your brisket until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add brisket, onion, carrots, celery and bay leaves to the pot. If the beer is not enough to cover your brisket add 2 cups (or more) of broth until covered. Preheat oven to 350 and bring the pot to a simmer on the stovetop. Leave the cover off, cleaning beer off your stove top is not fun, so keep an eye on it so that it doesn't boil over. Once at a simmer, remove from heat, add seasoning and stir well. Cover tightly and move to your oven for 2.5 to 3 hours or until fork tender. 

Allow brisket to cool and strain braising liquid through fine mesh, discard everything but 2 cups of braising liquid. You'll use this liquid to make gravy, if you'd like, and to boil the shredded cabbage and kale for your colcannon.

See, you got to watch three episodes of House of Cards while that was in the oven, drink a nice cold Guinness and you got a flavorful, juicy corned beef out of the deal. Trust me, and the luck of the Irish. 

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