After you've pickled your corned beef, you need to cook it.
Eveyone's got a favorite recipe; mine is fairly simple, but it does include one slightly odd ingredient.
In the past, I did a slow-cook method. After we moved to high altitude, I bought a pressure cooker for things like dried beans, and I thought that it might work well for corned beef. I never looked back. I like it better cooked in pressure cooker than any other method I've tried.
This time, I used my electric pressure cooker, which is a little different in that it regulates the heat on its own and it doesn't let off steam as it cooks, so it doesn't lose as much liquid as the stovetop pressure cooker that's constantly releasing steam.
My favorite veggies to go with corned beef are carrots, cabbage and potatoes, but you can certainly pick your own favorites. I cook the corned beef first, and while it rests, I cook the veggies in the same cooking liquid.
I cooked the corned beef with a quart of water, three tablespoons of pickling spice, and (here comes the weird ingredient) a quarter-cup of red wine vinegar.
Since I cook the veggies in the same broth later and I don't like fishing bits of bay leaf and odd crunchy bits out of the cabbage, I put the spices in a big teaball so it flavors the liquid but I can take it out later without having to do any straining.
For timing, check the manual for your pressure cooker (or your favorite pressure cooker cookbook) for the cooking time and adjust as needed. The cookbooks estimated anywhere from 50 minutes to 1 1/4 hours for a 2-3 pound corned beef, so that's a good starting point for timing.
It took a bit longer for mine since it was larger and I'm at high altitude.
As for serving, I particularly like the veggies that go along with corned beef, and I always make a lot of them. And I always serve the corned beef with horseradish for a little kick.
And of course, the next day, there are the options of corned beef hash, corned beef on rye, reuben sandwiches...or just another plate of corned beef and cabbage.
Cookbook author and food writer for Serious Eats, Whisk Magazine, and the Left Hand Valley Courier, among others. Columnist at American Recycler. Blogger at www.cookistry.com and reviews.cookistry.com.