The Grillin Fools tackled this three different ways. The first was my take on the classic dish which can be found by clicking here. The second was cousin Tom’s BBQ’d corned beef. This is the third installment which was done by my father, Greg – Smokin’ on the Water, Thomas. He took one of our favorite methods for doing pork loin or brisket of inserting slivers of garlic into the meat as well as a fairly standard brisket mop sauce to make the traditional corned beef into something a little unconventional. His tribute to Raichlen’s grilled cabbage is truly worth reading about…
Take a peek at this first photo—it’s a crime scene:
So after a couple months of colder than normal winter, St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and it’s time to get the grill fires going.
***Editor’s note ~ I can’t think of a better time to cook than when it looks like that, but I’m a little twisted!?***
This effort will include a corned beef flat, cabbage, and ‘b’ size potatoes all done on the grill.
Corned Beef Ingredients:
1 – 3 lb. Flat
1 garlic clove, slivered
seasoning packet (came with beef)
1 cup beer
1 cup white vinegar
An important ingredient for the celebration is beer—for the griller and guests of course! I chose Smithwick’s (pronounced Smittix I’m told) Irish Ale:
It was quite tasty and not as heavy as some of the stout varieties.
Smoking wood chosen was Pecan—this has worked well with earlier brisket efforts so I thought I’d give it a go here:
Click here to see more than 50 different things you can use to smoke meats.
I soaked the Corned Beef in warm water for approximately 4 hours, changing water every hour making sure to rinse the meat each time, to remove the salt from the brine. Not leaching the salt out will cause the beef to be practically inedible.
Next I cut slits in the beef with a thin sharp knife and inserted slivers of garlic in each slit:
***Editor’s note ~ The process of leaching the salt out of meat with water will make the meat looked washed out and gray but don’t sweat that. It will look plenty red when you grill it. Even more so than if you were to boil it***
I decided to grill the beef in a foil pan and apply a mop sauce every half hour. The mop sauce consisted of one cup of beer, one cup of white vinegar, and the seasoning packet that arrived with the beef:
No rub applied—I figured we I had enough going on with garlic, mop sauce, and smoke flavor—after all, this is an experiment.
One 3 lb. Head
¼ Stick of Butter
One small Onion diced
4 slices of Bacon diced
Coarse Salt and Pepper
One tbsp. of butter was added to a skillet along with the onion and bacon and simmered till it was just beginning to brown:
That mixture was strained and the onion and bacon added to the core of the cabbage along with the remaining butter which had been cubed:
I then painted the outside of the cabbage with the remaining drippings from the straining:
2 lbs. ‘b’ size Red Potatoes
The potatoes were quartered and drizzled with olive oil and dusted with salt and pepper:
I had a bit of the drippings left from the butter, bacon, onion mixture so that was added also—no sense wasting pork fat! This was all placed into aluminum foil and a packet created for the grill:
This will go on the grill during the last 45 minutes to an hour of the anticipated grilling time for the beef and cabbage of 3 hours.
The old Charbroil was set up for indirect grilling with coals on the left and the beef and cabbage on the right. In retrospect, I probably should’ve used the flank method and placed the beef and cabbage in the center. Either method will work:
The cabbage on a foil ring and the corned beef in an aluminum pan fat side down:
One hour in and the cabbage in getting rather charred on the outside so at Scott’s urging I foiled it for the remaining cooking time:
It was hard to tell how the brisket was doing—the temps ranged from 275 to 350 and fluctuated a bit with the breeze flowing through the drafty old grill. More briquettes were added and the lid closed and we’ll check it a bit later.
After an hour and a half I’m getting nervous. I’m considering foiling the beef for the last hour:
Now 2 hours have passed and I’m foiling the beef and adding the remaining mop sauce and pan juices to the foil tent. The packet containing the potatoes was added to the grill over direct heat:
The 3 hours are up and we are starving by this time. We’ve decided to serve sandwich style so I purchased some onion buns at the local grocer, buttered the inside, and toasted them on the grill:
Here is the meat after a rest of about 15 minutes ready to carve:
The cabbage was very browned on the outside so I’m thankful that I listened to Scott about foiling it:
I peeled the outer leaves off to make it more presentable but I did not try those outer leaves and probably should have:
And here are the potatoes:
All three plated:
The final result was rather tasty—Mimi enjoyed it so I must be happy too. She added mustard and horseradish to her bun and I took mine ‘straight’ trying to determine how the flavors came through.
The beef was good but I couldn’t pick up much of the garlic flavor and could’ve added more in hindsight. The cabbage was done completely through and was quite tender with still a slight bit of chew to it and full of flavor from the smoke wood and the mixture applied. To test for doneness on the cabbage you can pierce with a wood skewer—if it goes in easily—it’s done. The potatoes were right on with flavor and doneness after approximately 45 minutes on the grill. Oh, the beer? It was a fantastic complement to the meal. No wine pairing considered—after all—it’s for St. Patrick’s Day! Have a great holiday everyone!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email.