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A question about a recipe: Suzanne Goin's Corned Beef and Cabbage with Parsley-Mustard Sauce

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I have a question about the recipe "Suzanne Goin's Corned Beef and Cabbage with Parsley-Mustard Sauce" from Genius Recipes.
Ok, I always wonder this, so please help me cement it in my brain. This recipe calls for 6 pounds of corned beef brisket which is cooked for 4-41/2 hours. But if I buy 3 pounds of beef what about the cooking time. Usually the diameter is the same but... This same question comes to mind when I say cook a beef tenderloin or a roast. I know I can judge it but for planning I'd like to get this understood.

asked by tbrooks over 4 years ago
4 answers 1870 views
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Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

I have a 3 lb in the oven right now and I plan on cooking the same amount of time but I do mine at 300, I get around the same size every year and find that it takes at least 4 hours if not a bit more. IMHO!

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Miranda Rake

Miranda is a contributor at Food52.

added over 4 years ago

I'm not sure that I am understanding the question, but for a cut of meat that is half the size I would start at half the cooking time, and then, very unscientifically, I would check the meat periodically to see if it's done. Alternatively ( and I am a big fan of this method!) I like to talk to my butcher about what I plan to do and get his/her insight about any alterations I might be making to a recipe. I hope that is helpful!

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Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Creative Director of Food52

added over 4 years ago

Tbrooks, I used a 3-lb. corned beef a couple of the times I tested it, and the recipe halves very well. The simmering time depends mostly on the thickness of the piece of corned beef you're working with, as you mentioned, which can be similar whether you're working with 3 or 6 pounds of brisket.

So if it's a skinny-looking point cut piece that tapers into a thin triangle (about 1-1.5 inches thick, like the one in the recipe slideshow) it very well might need only 3 hours of simmer time, so just check it for tenderness early (and it should hold well between the simmer and bake stages if it does finish early).

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added over 4 years ago

tbrooks....I take issue with the incomplete answers you've been given in response to your query. In braising an item, which is a moist heat method of cooking; there are no definitive times. Just like your oven has an on and off switch, the temperature varies from time to time. I have yet to meet the oven that has a constant temperature. I take that back. I have met it. It weighs about 2 tons and is constantly on. And I know of 2 people who have them. Buckingham Palace (sorry not a person) and a highly regarded chef friend whose was custom built and installed over a years time. I'm guessing you don't have one of those.
So when braising an item there is a certain amount of carefree time you have. And then you need to check for doneness. It's as simple as that.
Roasting is a dry heat method of cooking. And the best guess-timate is 20 min per pound. Again inexact, so you have to check. Reason? What type of doneness are you looking for in that beef tenderloin? Rare certainly takes less time than well. Plus it's not a fatty cut so there's less time needed as well. And the difference in time between roasting fowl or beef or fish or pork can be substantial. Recipes are guidelines, but you can't take the human element out of them. If you could who would need a site like this, or restaurants et al?