Roasted Corned Beef

Roasted Corned Beef

After hearing about roasting corned beef, I finally did it. I can see why those who have raved about the results were so excited. The end result was a roast that was tender, flavorful and kind of pretty, too. I had searched the internet for directions and found a wide assortment of recipes. Most of the roasting temps were in the 300-325 degree range. Cooking times varied from 2-6 hours. All of the recipes I found added water to the roasting pan- but amounts varied widely – from a few tablespoons to several cups of water.

There were also all sorts of options for a spice/sweet rub. I used ingredients I thought would work with the corned beef and I was not disappointed. I used maple syrup, za’atar spice and some brown sugar. Recipe for the za’atar follows after the roasting directions.

I was concerned that the roasted corned beef would be too salty. It was not. A lot of the salt comes out in the water used in the roasting process. I tasted a piece of the roasted onion in the pan and it was super salty. The cooking liquid was, too. The roast was not too salty.

Sliced Corned Beef

Roasted Corned Beef

4-5 pound corned beef

1/2 c. maple syrup

2-3 tablespoons za’atar

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2-3 cups water*

Remove the meat from packaging. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. Discard the seasoning packet. Place a wire rack in a roasting pan and place the roast on the rack. Brush the roast with about 1/4 cup of the maple syrup. Sprinkle the za’atar over the meat and rub to cover evenly. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Rub the sugar into the roast. Place onions in the roasting pan and add about two cups of water. The meat should be above the water. Seal the roasting pan with foil or cover with a tight fitting lid. Place in a preheated 325 degree oven and roast for 2 1/2- 3 hours. Add more water, if needed. See note below. Pierce roast to make sure it is tender. Brush with the rest of the maple syrup and sprinkle with the rest of the brown sugar. Return to oven, uncovered, and cook until top of roast browns nicely, about an hour. Remove from oven. Let rest 15-20 minutes before slicing.

* The water amount became an issue for me. I thought the pan was sealed tightly, but at 2 hours, I smelled a faint burning smell. The roasting was was just out of water. I added more, replaced the foil and returned the roast to the oven for another hour. I had used a pretty big pan, in relation to the size of the roast- and obviously, the foil was not sealed as tightly as I thought. Check the roast a time or two – to be sure the water does not run out. By the same token, you don’t want the meat sitting in water. If you use a smaller roasting pan, or use a tight fitting lid, you might not need to add more water at all.

There are a number of variations of this recipe. This is the version that I made.

Za-atar Spice Mix

1 T. whole coriander

1 T. whole cumin

2 T. dried marjoram- you could use thyme instead

2 T. sumac- available at some specialty stores

2 T. sesame seeds- I toasted mine.

in small skillet, toast coriander and cumin until you can just start to smell them. Let them cool, then grind them up in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Combine this mixture with the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine well. Store in a cool, dry place.

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