Happy St. Patrick's Day!
For many years, I suffered eating the most tough pieces of corned beef imaginable, but no more. The cooking instructions on the package of corned beef brisket state 50 minutes per lbs, but that's a mere suggestion because of the little words right after that say "or until tender".
While buying my point cut of corned beef last night (plan for about 1 lb-1 1/2 of meat per person), I came across a man who was scrutinizing the packages of corned beef brisket he was about to purchase pretty carefully. And I said him, "It not like buying steak where you check for the amount of marbling. It really doesn't matter what they look like, you just have to cook the crap out of them." It's true because much of the fat melts away during the cooking process.
How to cook corned beef & cabbage:
Take one crock pot and place your corned beef in it barely covering it with water. Add the seasoning packet and cover. Turn on low and cook for 9 hours.
An hour before you're ready to serve, cut your head of cabbage in half, then cut those halves into thirds. Use small whole red potatoes and carrots cleaned and chopped in chunks about an inch or two. If you don't have the small, medium will work just find chopped in half. A serving size (a hardy bowl size) is two medium potatoes or 4 small potatoes and three cut carrots per bowl.
In a separate pot, layer the vegetables in this order: carrots, potatoes, cabbage. Add enough water to cover just the potatoes (this way the cabbage will steam cook and not get too mushy before serving), adding about a teaspoon of salt, cover with a lid and cook these on the stove on medium high heat for an hour. Drain the pot of cooked vegetables. Merge the contents of the crock pot (brisket plus liquid) together with the boiled vegetables that you drained and there you have it. The best corned beef and cabbage you ever ate.