Wednesday, November 13, 2013

corned beef hash

It wasn't something I planned on doing, but standing in the butcher shop a few weeks back, I spied a lump of meat labelled corned beef. And feeling in an adventurous mood, I picked it up. I got home and googled how to do it and was taken aback at the preparation. It isn't hard, but the instruction to brine something for 10 days is a bit of a surprise when you don't know what is involved. I went with Alton Brown's recipe for corned beef, when in doubt he's a good go to.

Corned Beef (adapted slightly from Alton Brown)
8 cups water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 (3 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
2 lbs ice
1 small onion, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
In a large saucepan or stock pot, add the water, salt, sugar and spices and cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the ice and let cool. To a large zip lock bag, add the meat and the brine solution. Put the bag into a container and place in the fridge for 10 days, checking periodically to make sure the meat is submerged in the brine solution. (Note: the recipe calls for salt peter which I didn't have, which keeps the meat pink. Mine stayed pinkish with out it).
After 10 days, remove the meat from the brine and rinse well in cool water. In a pot just big enough to hold the meat, add the meat, onion, carrot and celery and enough water to cover the meat completely. Bring to a boil over high heat and then simmer over low heat for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until the meat is tender. Slice thinly (if your meat doesn't fall apart) and serve.
I served the corned beef with roasted potatoes and carrots for supper. Then a couple of nights later I made corned beef hash with the leftovers.
Corned Beef Hash (inspired by a variety of sources and the memory of one my mum used to make)
4 c frozen hash brown potatoes
 1 lb of corned beef, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
a handful of button mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 small dill pickles, diced
1 tsp of worchestershire sauce
1/2 c vegetable stock
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and add the onions and peppers over medium high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the mustard, pickles, worchestershire sauce, potatoes, corned beef and stock and let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every so often to keep everything from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more stock if the mixture gets too dry. Serve with or without a fried egg on top. It is completely worth brining your own corned beef to make corned beef hash. Delicious.

No comments: