My P.S. (Princely Spouse) was on a roll the other day and challenged me to make a lasagna out of corned beef. He suggested a Reuben-type lasagna with “corned beef, sauerkraut and something like a Swiss cheese sauce”. He envisioned it between layers of noodles. I suggested we add cubed rye bread to the layers to cover all of the Reuben’s flavors.
This first post is on how I made the corned beef by braising it in the oven. Later I’ll post how I used the leftovers to make Reuben Lasagna. This year I changed my cooking method up and braised our yearly corned beef feast in the oven. I’d read a few recipes and was willing to let the oven do the work instead of a crock pot. Plus I’d already made 3 meals in the crock pot that week and I was tired of washing it. Simple things.
I seared both sides of the corned beef over medium heat in a skillet then laid it in a baking pan on some sliced up onions. I laid the remaining onions over the top and added about 2 cups of chicken broth to the pan. I sealed the pan tightly with foil and slid it into my preheated 325°F oven. I set the timer for 3 hours.
Strange but I’d just walked into the kitchen to check the timer when it went off. Handy! I pulled the pan out of the oven, removed the foil and was happy with the looks of the corned beef roast. I added half a large cabbage, cut into chunks, around the corned beef. I salted and peppered liberally.
Next I scrubbed and cut 5 medium potatoes into smaller chunks and tossed them with salt, pepper and a generous glug of canola oil in a bowl. I put them around the roast as well, on top of the cabbage. The cabbage got to bathe in the broth and juices; the potatoes would get nicely browned and hopefully a little crispy.
I returned the pan to the oven minus the foil and set the timer for another hour and a half. After an hour the fork went in with a little difficulty so I left it in the oven the cook the last half hour. 30 minutes later when the fork went into the potato easily, the food was ready. I put the roast onto a platter to set for 5 minutes Allowing the meat to rest keeps the juices in the meat, otherwise they bleed out if the meat hasn’t rested.
I covered the potatoes again with the foil to keep them warm. I could have returned them to the warm oven to keep them warm but I was baking brownies for dessert. Using the foil and letting them set on the warm back burner of the stove kept them warm anyway.
The food was excellent, the corned beef tender and falling apart moist. Pagan that I am, I put butter all over my potatoes and cabbage. It’s my thing. We had plenty of leftovers and of course I needed to accept my P.S’s challenge to make a Reuben lasagna. I made the lasagna the next day and that will be my next post!
Oven Braised Corned Beef
4 lb corned beef roast
2 cups chicken broth
1 large onion; cut into slices
½ large head of cabbage; roughly chopped into chunks (about 6 cups after chopping)
5 medium potatoes; scrubbed and cut into 1” chunks (about 4 cups after chopping)
2 tablespoons oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and sear both sides of the corned beef until browned.
Slice onion and lay half of the slices into the bottom of a baking pan. Lay roast over the onions and top with remaining onions. Add 2 cups of broth to the dish, cover with foil and slide into the oven. Set timer for 3 hours.
When the timer buzzes, add cabbage chunks to the dish, placing them in the liquid around the corned beef.
Toss potato chunks in a bowl with oil, salt and pepper. Place around the corned beef on top of the cabbage. Return dish to oven, uncovered for 1 1 /2 hours.
Insert a fork into a potato chunk to test doneness. Remove from oven when fork tender.