It started 5 days before St. Patrick's day. I had a very nice beef brisket I got from Paulina Meat Market here in Chicago and it was ready to be brined. In a large pot I combined water, salt, pink salt, crushed garlic and hot pickling spice and brought to a boil. I let the brine completely cool before adding the brisket. To make sure the beef was completely submerged I used a large 2 gallon ziploc bag, placed in a deep roasting pan and placed in the refrigerator. It was very difficult to see the corned beef day after day, I just wanted to cook it up and eat it!
After a long 5 days, I was able to remove the brisket from the brine and rinsed it thoroughly. I placed the beef in a large stock pot, covered with water and added celery, carrots and onion. After simmering for 3 hours, the brisket was fork tender and looks gorgeous.
I was very happy with the results of the dinner, everything tasted great and the different items went together well. I was somewhat in disbelief that I've never had a dinner like this, growing up I always hear of friends' St. Patrick's Day dinners and they never described it as anything special. I can now say that I've had corned beef and cabbage and I'm definitely a fan, I might even make it part of my own tradition every year.