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Hearty Irish brisket is slow-cooked with cabbage, leeks, carrots, potatoes, and turnips. Beer gives depth and richness to the broth without lending any beer flavor.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 5 minutes


  • One 3 1/2-pound fresh beef brisket
  • Two 12-ounce bottles lager beer
  • 2 cups water (or enough to cover)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups chopped and rinsed leeks (white parts only)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 pound large carrots, cut into large pieces
  • 3/4 pounds small red potatoes
  • 1 pound turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 2 pounds green cabbage, cut in sixths (secure with toothpicks)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Place an 8- to 10-quart stove-top covered casserole on the burner and add the beef, beer, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, and salt.

Heat a frying pan and add the butter or olive oil. Saute the garlic, leeks, and yellow onion for a few minutes and add to the casserole. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 3-1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. (This will normally take about 1 hour per pound of brisket.) In the last 25 minutes of cooking, add the carrots and red potatoes. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the turnips, cabbage, salt, and pepper.

If the vegetables are not done to your liking, cook them longer, but do not overcook. Remove the toothpicks from the cabbage before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Source: The Frugal Gourmet On Our Immigrant Ancestors by Jeff Smith (William Morrow & Co)
Reprinted with permission.

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