Cook Mess-free Corned Beef with Sous-vide Method (with Bonus Recipe for Corned Beef Hash)



I love corned beef and always buy a few extra when they go on sale at St. Patrick’s Day. I keep them in the freezer for delicious sandwiches all year. The only part of corned beef I’ve never liked was emptying the big pot full of greasy cooking water. Certainly, it can’t be just poured down the drain, so I’d take it outside into a brushy area far enough from the house to not attract vermin. Then I had to wash the greasy pot. Ugh.

Last year, Jacques Pepin casually mentioned cooking corned beef sous-vide. Eureka!  Problems all solved and corned beef is more often on the table. It’s totally simple and I’ve never had a package leak. Here’s how you do it.

How to Cook Corned Beef Sous-vide

Get out a 6- to 8-quart, stainless or enamel pot. Do not open the package! Be careful to not damage the plastic in any way. If the corned beef is frozen, drop it in to defrost overnight. In the morning, fill the pot with hot water. Put it on a burner with high heat and bring to a slow boil. Turn down the heat a little, keeping the water at a simmer

Simmer the packet for 3 hours, checking from time to time that the packet is still floating in the water. When the time is up, turn off the heat and let the corned beef rest in the cooling water. Then pour the water down the drain.

When the package is cool enough to comfortably handle, cut it open over a big bowl. Pull out the meat, scraping off any loose pieces of undesirable fat. To dispose of the fat and brine, I put it in a plastic bag, toss in a few paper towels to stabilize it and then put it in the garbage. Your corned beef is completely cooked and ready to heat for a delicious meal or to chill for sandwiches.

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