Hard Cider-Braised Corned Beef with Mustard Reduction
  1. Scrape off pickling spice from corned beef and reserve.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the corned beef, fat side down, and sear until the fat is lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Turn the meat over, sear one minute, and remove from the pan. Add the onion, carrots, bay leaves and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Return the corned beef and reserved pickling spice to the pan, fat side up, and add 3 bottles of the cider and enough cold water to just cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low; cover and gently simmer until tender, 3-3 1/2 hours.
  3. While the corned beef cooks, combine the remaining bottle of hard cider, chicken stock, 2 tablespoons of the mustard and the sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until slightly thickened and reduced to 1 cup, 23-25 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon mustard, salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the corned beef to a cutting board and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain. Serve with the mustard-cider reduction.