Glazed corned beef & crispy bacon crumb

by Paula McIntyre

The classic Irish dish made with fresh corned beef and served with grilled cabbage


For the corned beef:
100g sea salt
100g demerara sugar
1 mace
4 juniper berries
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
4 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp oil
1kg brisket
2 onions, peeled and quartered

For the cabbage and bacon crumb:
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, chopped
25g sourdough breadcrumbs
A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 
1 hispi cabbage, cut into quarters through the root
6 spring onions

For the ale and honey glaze:
200ml ale
2 tbsp honey


First prepare the corned beef. Simmer 1 litre water with the sea salt and sugar for 5 mins.

Toast the mace, juniper berries, coriander and mustard seeds and cloves in a dry pan until they pop. Add to the brine with the bay leaf and allow to cool. Submerge the brisket in the brine for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Remove from the brine, wash in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Pre-heat the oven to 150C. Heat the oil in a casserole dish until smoking hot and seal off the beef on both sides. Add the onions and 200ml water and cover. Cook for 3 hours or until fork tender, then allow it to rest while you prepare the cabbage.

Cook the bacon in a dry frying pan, over a medium-high heat, until crisp and the fat has rendered down. Add the breadcrumbs and fry until golden. Add the parsley and mix well.

Boil the cabbage wedges in salted water for 3 mins, or until just tender. Drain well and pat dry on kitchen paper. Brush with oil.

Cut the spring onions in half length ways and brush with oil. Heat a ridged grill pan until very hot. Cook the cabbage for 1 min on each side.

Place on a platter or in a bowl. Cook the spring onions to mark and wilt—about 45 secs each side, then scatter them over the cabbage. Sprinkle on the breadcrumb mixture and keep warm while you finish the corned beef.

To make the glaze for the beef, boil the ale and honey until it becomes a thick syrup. Add the rested meat and spoon the glaze all over. Slice the beef and spoon over any remaining glaze, serve with the grilled cabbage and spring onions.

Recipe: Paula McIntyre