What is “Corned Beef” ?
A 1-pot meal made popular during wartime when everything was rationed and was referred to as a “boiled dinner”. Fast forward to the evolution of humanity and it is now made with cruelty-free vegan ingredients like meaty jackfruit and potatoes. Really, nobody has to die, right ?!
Vegan corned beef can also be made using seitan (say-tan) also called wheat meat or wheat protein, tofu or tempeh. For me the jackfruit is a way more convenient and healthier alternative that delivers incredible flavor and texture with minimal effort.
Traditionally the beef was “corned” by brining it up to 10 days with spices like: bay, allspice, whole cloves, ginger, black peppercorns and mustard seeds. Say whaaat ?
Not to worry at all as my easy corned jackfruit doesn’t require any of that. Instead it all goes in one pot and simmers together with the spices until all the flavors infuse the jackfruit, potatoes and the cabbage with the most wonderful aromas.
Super easy but so tasty, just the way I like my recipes to be!
- The Jackfruit: it’s really important that you use young unripe jackfruit here. I love the organic jackfruit pieces in bulk bags I order from Amazon, however you can use the canned variety packed in water Not syrup if you prefer. Just make sure to rinse it well before making the stew.
- Potatoes: any potato that you love that holds its shape during cooking is fine here. I prefer Yukon gold or small red potatoes for this.
- Cabbage: a small green cabbage is all you need here, make sure to cut it into small wedges and discard the core.
- Pickling Spices: this is what gives the corned jackfruit its distinctive flavor. Easiest way to go about this is to use a pickling spice mix that you love. Alternatively you can definitely make your own combining the classic pickling ingredients: coriander seeds, bay leaf, yellow mustard seed, dill seed, cinnamon, red chili pepper flakes, allspice, ginger root, black pepper and organic cloves. I used this pickling mix from amazon and also added more bay leaf, mustard seeds and more heat with extra chili flakes.
How to Make Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage:
- Start with the holy trinity: onion, carrot and celery and sautee until softened.
- Add jackfruit, veggie stock, pickling spices mix, a touch of smoked paprika, black peppercorns, extra bay leaf and mustard seeds then simmer away to infuse the jackfruit with all their aroma.
- Add potatoes and cabbage into the mix and continue cooking until everything is tender to your liking. Bump up the flavor with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast and brighten up the dish with fresh dill and cilantro.
- Alternatively you can slow cook everything in your slow cooker for a couple of hours on high, just until the jackfruit is tender and the potatoes and cabbage cooked to your liking.
Recipes to Make for St. Patricks’s Day:
Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage ~ Corned Jackfruit
- 2 lb jackfruit pieces green unripe
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 carrots sliced into rounds
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1 small green cabbage (cut into small wedges, core discarded)
- 3 qt vegetable stock
- 3-4 tbsp pickling spices
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika (omit or use less if you don't want a smoky flavor)
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp mustard seeds optional
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 lb Yukon gold or red potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast optional
- sea salt + black pepper to taste
- fresh dill and cilantro for garnish
- In a large heavy bottom dutch oven saute the onion, carrot and celery with a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes in a splash of veggie stock or a drizzle of olive oil until the onion is translucent. (Omit the oil for WFPB Plantricious diets).
- Rinse the jackfruit pieces well and add them to the pot together with the vegetable stock, pickling spices, bay leaf, smoked paprika, mustard seeds, peppercorns, onion powder and a good pinch of sea salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and cabbage and continue simmering until both the potatoes and cabbage are cooked to your liking and the jackfruit is tender. Stir in the nutritional yeast and adjust seasonings to your taste with more sea salt and black pepper. For a richer more authentic flavor finish with a drizzle of olive oil. (Omit all oil to make the recipe WFPB & Plantricious compliant)
- Serve hot garnished with fresh dill or cilantro, more chili flakes to your liking and nice piece of this crusty bread.
Slow Cooker Method:
- Sautee the onion, carrot and celery in your slow cooker until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients including the spices (except the fresh herbs) and slow cook on high for 2 hours or until the jackfruit, potatoes and cabbage are tender. Serve garnished with the fresh herbs.
- It’s really important that you use young unripe jackfruit here. I love the organic vacuum sealed bulk bags I order from Amazon but you can use the canned variety packed in water Not syrup. Make sure to rinse it well before making the stew. Do not use ripe fresh jackfruit!
- Use a good veggie stock you love here, I like to make my own with whatever aromatics I have in the fridge at the moment, nothing goes to waste.
- If you don't like the idea of the pickling spices floating in the broth, use a piece of cheesecloth to tie a little pouch holding them together.