Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Corned Beef Basics
Corned Beef Basics
The first corned beef was packed in salt, and sometimes spices, in order to cure it. It got its name from the corn kernel-sized grains of salt it was packed in.
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Today, corned beef is usually made by soaking a brisket roast in a brine of water, salt, and spices. While it's not traditional in Ireland, corned beef is what most Americans prepare for St. Patrick's Day feasts.
About the Beef
For centuries, corned beef was a food reserved for special occasions. Beef was considered to be a decadent indulgence up until the 20th century. It was only available to very wealthy people, because most cows were kept for their milk or for breeding.
About the Brisket
Brisket comes from the heavily exercised front limbs of the animal, and is consequently a tough cut of meat. When cooked properly--braised--this cut is tender, juicy and succulent. Corned beef and other forms of brisket need to be cooked for a long time with low heat and plenty of moisture in order to realize their full potential as the star of your dinner table.
•Beef Brisket Recipes
To cook prepared corned beef, place it in a large pot along with the liquid and spices that accompanied it in the package. Pour in enough water to cover the beef, then bring the water to a boil on the stovetop. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover the pot. A three-pound corned beef will take about three hours to become perfectly tender. Check the meat occasionally, adding more water if necessary. The beef is ready when it pulls apart easily. For a one-pot feast, you can add shredded cabbage and chunks of potatoes and carrots to the pot during the last half hour of cooking.
Guinness® Corned Beef
By: SHAMELESS Morrow
"I discovered this tasty St. Patrick's day treat when I attended an Irish Rovers Concert. My family and friend insist that it is a staple at get togethers any time of the year. Roast this Corned Beef slowly at a low setting for a melt in your mouth delight. The aroma is fantastic!"
4 pounds corned beef brisket
1 cup brown sugar
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Irish stout beer (e.g. Guinness®)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Rinse the beef completely and pat dry.
2. Place the brisket on rack in a roasting pan or Dutch oven. Rub the brown sugar on the corned beef to coat entire beef, including the bottom. Pour the bottle of stout beer around, and gently over the beef to wet the sugar.
3. Cover, and place in preheated oven. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.
During the last hour, you may put vegetables in the roasting pan as well. Try a wedge of cabbage, new potatoes, onion, carrots, etc. You may need to add a little more beer with your vegetables.
Slow Cooked Corned Beef for Sandwiches
"This is an excellent recipe for party sandwiches. I always make 2 (and sometimes 3) briskets because it goes so fast. The meat should cook slowly for a minimum of 4 hours--cooking longer will just make it more tender. It sounds like a LOT of garlic, but no one has ever complained that it tasted too garlicky. Serve with brown mustard on rye or kaiser rolls. Can also add cole slaw to the sandwich for a uniquely delicious sandwich."
2 (3 pound) corned beef briskets with spice packets
2 (12 fluid ounce) bottles beer
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup peppercorns
1 bulb garlic cloves, separated and peeled
1. Place the corned beef briskets into a large pot. Sprinkle in one of the spice packets, and discard the other one or save for other uses. Pour in the beer, and fill the pot with enough water to cover the briskets by 1 inch. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic cloves. Cover, and bring to a boil.
2. Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 4 to 5 hours, checking hourly, and adding more water if necessary to keep the meat covered.
3. Carefully remove the meat from the pot, as it will be extremely tender. Set on a cutting board, and allow it to rest until it firms up a bit, about 10 minutes. Slice or shred to serve. I discard the cooking liquid, but it can be used to cook cabbage and other vegetables if desired.
Amount Per Serving Calories: 229 | Total Fat: 15.1g | Cholesterol: 78mgPowered by ESHA Nutrient Database