Corned Beef and Cabbage

1 (2 -6 lbs) corned beef brisket
1 teaspoon peppercorn
2 dried bay leaves
1 -3 heads fresh cabbage
1 -12 medium red potatoes
1 (1 lb) bag of fresh carrots
Fresh parsley
Real butter
1 fresh garlic clove
1 medium fresh sweet onion
Yellow mustard
Irish soda bread
Harp lager beer (optional)

Use a large Dutch oven or stock pot that will hold everything all at once.
Place the brisket (best side up) in the bottom of the pot.
Add the spice packet (if applicable) or a teaspoonful of peppercorns and two bay leaves.
Cover the brisket generously with water and a bottle of beer (optional – adds flavor and is a tenderizer).
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Scrub and rinse the new red potatoes.
Remove any eyes and bad spots.
Leave as much of the peel as you can.
Quarter them (halve or whole if tiny).
Cover with water until ready for them.
Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage until the leaves are entirely light green, rinse and cut it into quarters through the spine so they stay together. Set aside.
Peel one carrot and cut it into quarters. Set aside.
Peel the onion and cut it into eighths. Set aside.
Rinse the bunch of fresh parsley and chop up just the tops into very tiny pieces.

After Brisket’s 2 hours is complete:
Add the potatoes on top of the brisket.
Add water to cover everything.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the cabbage on top of the potatoes and add onion and carrot on top of the cabbage.
Add water to cover everything.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Check the cabbage to see if it is tender.
If not, simmer another 5 minutes. You shouldn’t under-cook it and it’s hard to overcook it.

In a large serving bowl where you can stir the potatoes, crush the garlic clove and rub the inside of the bowl with it.
Place the potatoes in the bowl while still piping hot and add (at least) a quarter pound of butter and add a handful of chopped fresh parsley.
Gently stir until butter is melted, it coats all the potato pieces and the parsley is evenly distributed.
Put the rest of the parsley into a tiny serving bowl for those who want to add more to their potatoes.
Slice the brisket cross grain.
Let everyone help themselves.