This isn’t your mother’s boiled corned beef! Made in a slow cooker, or your oven, this Crispy Corned Beef couldn’t be easier!
Crispy Corned Beef beginnings
I’ve always loved corned beef sandwiches, but not the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of boiled corned beef and cabbage, also known as a New England Boiled Dinner. Mmm… you boiled my dinner. No. That method of cooking just doesn’t do it for me. If I’m going to make my own corned beef, it has to be done my way: highly seasoned, with a delicious crispy crust. Because most foods are better with some crispy bits.
I first came up with the idea for this version of corned beef a few years ago, when I auditioned for Masterchef in New York. I wanted to make something that represented the Southern-Irish half of my DNA, so I served up my Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy with homemade corned beef hash. Using corned beef I cured myself, then crispy braised, using the method I’m about to share with you. It’s that good.
Spoiler: Chef Ramsay’s culinary team definitely loved my food and advanced me to meet with the producers, but I was ultimately disqualified because I was a professional baker at the time. Ugh. The world really missed out 😩
What are the ingredients for this Corned Beef?
- Corned Beef I am not going to ask you to go through the five day process of curing your own corned beef. Not many of us are that obsessed. Thank goodness! I used a 4 pound corned beef from the Mega Market, the kind that comes in a bag with a little spice packet. If you have an excess of fat on top of your corned beef, you can trim that down a bit, but you do want at least ¼ inch of fat. It melts down and adds more flavor to the meat as it cooks.
- Dijon Mustard I mean, corned beef is best friends with mustard, right? Also, the mustard will help your spices adhere to the top.
- Sugar and Spice Definitely makes everything nice here. You’ll combine the spice packet that came with your meat along with garlic, brown sugar, black pepper, and fennel seed to create a flavor garden on top of your corned beef. This is one of the only times I’ll ever tell you not to include salt, because the meat is already cured in salt.
- Apple Juice (or cider) and Apple Cider Vinegar These two together complete the flavoring of the meat in a way you just can’t get with a traditional boiling in water.
How do I make Crispy Corned Beef?
- Season the meat You’ll brush the mustard on top of the meat (fat trimmed, if desired) and pat your sugar and spice combination all over the top.
- Leave it alone If you’re using a slow cooker, you’ll pour the apple juice and vinegar into the bottom of your slow cooker insert, place the spiced meat into the slow cooker, cover, and cook for 6-7 hours, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Alternatively, you can bake this in your oven. Just place everything in a baking pan, cover, and bake at 325°F for 50 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145°F.
- Crisp under the broiler You’ll move the meat to a sheet pan and place under the broiler for about five minutes to let the top crisp up. That’s eat. Slice and serve. You’ll never go back to your boiled dinner again. Sorry, New England.
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Crispy Corned Beef
- 3 – 4 pounds corned beef with spice packet
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper coarse ground
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 cup apple juice or apple cider
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Season the Corned Beef
- Rub 2 tbs of Dijon mustard on the top (fatty side) of the corned beef. Mix the spice packet with minced garlic, brown sugar, black pepper, and fennel seed and sprinkle on the top of the mustard.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Pour the apple juice (or apple cider) and apple cider vinegar into the slow cooker. Add prepared corned beef, seasoned side up, to the pot of your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
- Just before serving, place corned beef on a small foil-lined sheet pan and place under a broiler (6-7 inches away) for 5-6 minutes to caramelize and crisp the top. Keep an eye on it, as it browns quickly.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Pour the apple juice or apple cider and apple cider vinegar into the bottom of a roasting pan. Add prepared corned beef, fat side up, and cover the pan with a lid or with aluminum foil . Cook for about 50 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Take off the cover and place pan under the broiler for 5-6 minutes, or until your corned beef is browned and crispy.
- Serve sliced for sandwiches or with cabbage and potatoes. You can also dice or shred with a fork and make your own corned beef hash!