Recipe #14: Jamaican Corned beef and Cabbage

17 Mar

When I was growing up we always ate the quick and easy dish of corned beef and cabbage, but the corned beef we always ate was the corned beef in a can, the bulla(y) beef.  Mom would cook it down with some cabbage and white rice and that is what I knew as corned beef and cabbage. It wasn’t until I was with a friend on St. Patty’s Day, we were eating at this Irish Pub and I ordered corned beef and cabbage.  It looked completely different, I realized that the corned beef and cabbage I ate growing up was a completely the, “I am not a chef version.”  LOL. So I went searching in The Cookbook, I figure, if I ate it while growing up, it must be because it is a traditional recipe that my mom transformed….lol. And guess what I found? A recipe for corned beef! Just so happens it is also St. Patrick’s Day!

Here is the recipe from the book:

  • 12 Pimento berries
  • 2 stalks scallion
  • 3 slices hot pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 3 table spoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saltpetre
  • 3 lb leg, loin or silverside of beef

Pound the pimento berries in a mortar.  Add the scallion, hot pepper and garlic and pound these almost to a puree, then combine with the black pepper, thyme, salt and saltpetre and mix well.

With a sharp, long, narrow-bladed knife, make incisions all over the meat.  Place a little of the seasoning mixture in each incision, leaving some to rub over the outside of the meat.

Place the seasoned meat in a glass, china or earthenware container, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it for 2-3 days in the bottom of the ridge.

When the mean is to be cooked, transfer it to a large pot with plenty of water.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and gently cook until it is tender.  This should take about 2 hours.  the corned beef should be tender but not falling apart.

OK here is what did:

First, luckily it was St. Patrick’s Day week. I was able to find an already prepped beef loin, so I didn’t have to worry about the saltpetre.  Image

I took the pimento and the scallion and pounded them in a bowl.  Very similar to what I did for the jerk rub. But I made a much better mixture.


I added a whole hot pepper, sliced, pepper, garlic, pepper and  less salt since the corned beef was already salted. Pounded everything all together and got a great smelling paste.


Then I made the incisions in the beef and stuffed the mixture into each incision, I rubbed the remaining mixture all of the beef.  I covered the beef and let it sit in the fridge for 2 days.


Once I was ready to cook, I placed the beef in a pot, and filled it about half way with water.


I brought everything to a boil, lowered the heat and cooked this for about 2-3 hours.


This is smelling delicious at this point.  My mother kept lifting the pot. After about 2 1/2 hours I removed the beef.

I let it rest for a few minutes, and then sliced it up.


This is beautiful because you can see all the seasoning that you stuffed into each incision when you slice it.


To make the cabbage, I simply added onions, and carrots to an oiled hot skillet and cooked that until the onions were translucent. I sliced up cabbage and added it to the onions and carrots.  Here is the kicker! I added the juice from the pot the beef was in and poured it over the cabbage.  I let that cook down until the cabbage was tender but still had a crunch.


This was so delicious. I think my favorite recipe. Very flavorful beef. My mom even loved it and she actually is not a beef lover.  My dad was not a huge fan, only because corned beef has the red on the inside.  He kept asking if it was actually cooked.  I informed him that canned corned beef is also red on the inside.  My brother LOVED the cabbage, and he never compliments anything so I know that was a hit!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!


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