Never did I EVER think that I would cook a corned beef, or brisket, or is it both?
I really do not know. I think they are kind of the same thing, but corned beef is seasoned and a brisket is not. I have no idea, but I used an unseasoned corn beef brisket and it was pretty awesome.
And I know it seems stupid, but I was so scared to cook this. For some reason I just felt like it was something I could not do, or at least not any better than say… someone’s grandma.
But then I had this idea and I shoved those fears to the side because I really wanted to make this savory stuffed french toast. Plus my broken brother, Creighton came home from the hospital yesterday. I really wanted to give this a try for the poor guy since I know he loves corned beef. Thank you to all who inquired, he is doing well and we are all grateful for his good prognosis.
Originally when I thought of doing a savory stuffed french toast a month ago I was going to go all veggie style, and I will definitely be trying that, but then time passed and it never got made. So last week when all the briskets went on sale for St. Patrick’s day, a meaty, cheesy french toast just seemed fitting. It’s basically a grilled cheese, but the bread gets a dunking in some eggs first. If you are freaked, don’t be. It turned out great and Creighton loved it!
Ok, so as I said, I was super nervous about cooking this brisket. I knew I did not want to use any seasoning packets that sometimes come with the beef because, to be honest, those sort of gross me out. So I did my thing, not really knowing how it would turn out. It is definitely not traditional, but it is also so good and a really great way to switch up the same old brisket that can sometimes be dry and not so flavorful.
Oh, and when in doubt low and slow is always the way to go with cooking meats. Or at least I think so.
I cooked the brisket in the crockpot in a sort of sweet, but mostly savory, sauce to help keep things extra moist. I let it cook ALL DAY long on low. Literally, I cooked it all day. I think it was the best idea because the meat came out so tender and flavorful. You do not have to cook yours that long, but if you can I would recommend it. It is super easy to throw in the crockpot in the morning because there is no searing involved. Just throw everything in and go.
Plus, the house smelled all kinds of amazingness all day.
Once the meat is ready to go you just need to toss the slaw together and assemble + fry the french toast.
There is going to be a lot of sauce left in the crockpot and I highly recommend pouring it into a bowl to use for dipping. It’s so good and in my house extra sauce is never a bad thing.
As for the bread to use, I used the soda bread from yesterday. It was kind of the perfect combo, but you can use whatever you prefer. I think something hearty and whole grain would be really good here though.
Lastly, if you happen to be a vegetarian reader and you want a fun sandwich to eat I would make the bread, the Kale Pesto Slaw and grab some really good Irish Cheddar. Obviously skip the brisket, then layer your sandwich with the kale slaw and lots of cheese. That right there is still going to be a sandwich anybody would go crazy for. I mean, kale pesto + lots of cheese + savory french toast?
Savory Corn Beef Brisket + Irish Cheddar French Toast with Kale Pesto Slaw.
Yields: 4 FRENCH TOAST SANDWICHES + EXTRA BRISKET
- Corn Beef
- 4 pounds corn beef brisket
- 2 cups stout beer (I used Guinness)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- Kale Pesto slaw
- 4 cups raw kale, cut into shreds
- 1 large jalapeno, seeds removed + chopped
- 1/4 cup [basil pesto | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/greek-steak-and-pesto-salad-gyros/]
- 1/2 a lemon, juiced
- French Toast
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 slices of your favorite bread (I used this [Soda Bread | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/beer-rye-irish-soda-bread/]), cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 8 ounces Irish Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- butter, for the pan
!To make in the Crockpot
Place the corn beef in the bowl of a crockpot and pour the beer over top. In a medium bowl whisk together the garlic, brown sugar, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, soy sauce, paprika and minced chipotle pepper. Pour the mixture over the corn beef. Add the bay leaf to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or on high 6-8 hours.
!To cook in the Oven.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the corn beef in a large heavy bottomed pot and pour the beer over top. In a medium bowl whisk together the garlic, brown sugar, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, soy sauce, paprika and minced chipotle pepper. Pour the mixture over the corn beef. Add the bay leaf to the pot. Cover and bake for 3 1/2-4 hours or until the meat is tender and shreds easily.
!To make the Kale Pesto Slaw
Add the kale and jalapeño to a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons pesto and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Massage the pesto into the kale with your hands until evenly combine. Taste and add more pesto if desired.
!To make the French Toast for the sandwiches
Grab a 9x13 inch pan and whisk together the eggs, milk, parmesan, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Now grab 2 pieces of bread and place some corned beef on one slice. Drizzle the beef with some of the sauce from the crockpot (save the rest for serving). Then add the kale slaw and Irish cheddar cheese. Add the top slice of bread. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
You are now going to soak the sandwich in the egg mixture (already in the 9x13" pan), soak 1-2 minutes then flip and soak the other side.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and coat generously with butter. When the skillet is hot, cook the sandwich in batches (do not overcrowd) until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove and serve immediately with the remaining kale pesto slaw and any sauce from the crockpot.
Oh, and don’t forget the thick cut fries, or chips as I believe the Irish call them.