Beef brisket can be a tough cut, but the price point is often alluring. This Irish style boiled dinner recipe will help you overcome the challenge in style.

3-1/2 to 4 pound beef brisket
2 12-ounce bottles dark, robust beer
1 – 3 cups water
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 – 6 cloves garlic, cleaned and chopped
2 – 3 cups leeks, well washed
1 large onion, cleaned and sliced
3 – 4 large carrots; scrub and chop into 2 – 3-inch pieces
4 – 6 small red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1-pound medium to small turnips; peel and quarter
2-pounds green cabbage, choose 2 small heads if possible

Prepare the garlic, leeks and onion by washing, cleaning and chopping as necessary. Wash and chop the parsley and give the brisket a quick rinse. Put the olive oil in a lidded heavy bottom Dutch oven and sauté the garlic, leeks and onion over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.

When the vegetables in the Dutch oven begin to become tender, add chopped parsley, bay leaves and peppercorns. Sauté for 1 – 2 minutes. Add salt and the rinsed brisket, beer and enough water to bring the liquid level up 3/4 – 1-inch above the brisket. Leave the heat on medium high, but don’t let it boil. Watch the pot. When it begins to come to a lively simmer, adjust the heat to bring it to a slow simmer, cover and reduce the heat further to maintain a slow simmer. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and simmer slowly for 3-1/2 – 4 hours, approximately 1 hour per pound of meat.

Approximately 25 minutes before the meat is finished cooking, add the carrots and potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes and then add the turnips and cabbage. Add salt and pepper to taste; simmer 15 minutes more.

Remove the brisket from the pot and allow to sit, covered, on a nonporous surface, such as a glass or porcelain plate. If rested on a wooden cutting board, the board will drain some of the juices from the meat. After a 10 minute resting period, transfer to a wooden cutting board and slice thinly, 1/4″ or less, across the grain.

Arrange the sliced meat on a warmed plate or shallow bowl. Ladle the cooked vegetables and some of the broth over the top. Serve with a nice dollop of prepared horseradish and a chunk of crusty bread.

Yield: 10 – 12 servings

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