Monday, 31 March 2014

Corned beef

Sometimes I get a hankering for a good old fashioned meat and three veg meal, nothing fancy just a plain meal. For me, corned beef is up there with the roast. I always buy a big piece so that I have plenty of leftover,it is great for sandwiches, as cold meat with salad or even reheated in the microwave. The silverside sold in delis and supermarkets doesn't do it for me like home made and quite thickly sliced. Traditionally, corned beef is served with cabbage, however, I am happy with cabbage or brussel sprouts.

For the sandwich enthusiast there is the Reuben, famous in New York. Corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and I think toasted. Growing up, it was corned beef and green tomato pickles or mustard pickles similar to Joy's Pickles, my preference these days, is for mustard and dill pickles

There are plenty of recipes around for cooking corned beef, there is even one in Neil Perry's book Rockpool Bar and Grill. I was tempted to make his recipe but in the end stayed true to the technique that I have used all of my cooking life.

corned beef, parsley sauce, mustard
new potatoes with butter and mint, carrots, beans and brussel sprouts instead of cabbage

I buy a big chunk of corned beef from the butcher, bring it home and rinse it under cold water. Then I blanch it in boiling water, drain and start again with fresh water. Put the meat in a large pot and fill it with water until the meat is covered., add 1/4 cup of vinegar, 6 or so peppercorns, 6 or so cloves, a couple of all spice berries and sometimes a star anise, and simmer until the meat is very tender, usually 3 hours or more depending on the size of the corned beef. Allow the meat to cool in the cooking liquid. If eating the same day at least 30 minutes before carving.

a perfect sandwich
corned beef on rye, swiss cheese, mustard, mayo, dill pickles and salad

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