The low-down of corned beef……
It’s that time of year when everyone is Irish for a day and corned beef and cabbage is plentiful in the markets! I have to admit I only make corned beef and cabbage once a year and it is on St. Patricks day. The kids lick their plates clean and so does my husband. Supposedly, he never liked corned beef until I cooked it for him. I serve it with a horseradish sauce and an assortment of mustards. Red potatoes, fresh carrots and a small head of cabbage and the house smells amazing. I serve with plenty of lemon water to drink as not to get too dehydrated the next day. 😉
Corned beef is a cut of beef that is cured in salt and brined over a period of a week or so. *According to Wikipedia, “corned” is derived from the term “corns of salt” which are large grains of rock salt that the beef is cured in. The brine is a combination of salt, water, garlic, peppercorns, cloves and some other spices. The brining process breaks down the beef or poultry rendering it leaner and more flavorful.
At times I have stood in the refrigerated meat section of the grocery store and contemplated what cut of meat to buy when it comes to corned beef. One person says this, one article says that…..blah blah blah. I still stand there in awe…. so let me give you a few examples of the various cuts, where they come from and what each one looks and tastes like. Perhaps you are cooking it for the first time and have no idea or are the experienced cook and may be looking to try something new.
There are three different cuts of corned beef – brisket point, brisket flat and round. A brisket in general is a tough cut of beef because of the location of the meat on the cow which is heavily exercised. Unless you are buying the entire brisket, you will need to choose between the flat part or what is referred to as the point.
The point cut is easy to notice because it is the point of the brisket and comes to a point. It is a bit fatty as far as marbling throughout the meat and when cooked it will almost shred apart like a pulled beef.
The flat cut is much leaner. This is the easiest to find in the market and has that typical layer of thick noticeable fat that encases one side of the meat and holds the moisture in while cooking. If you are looking for a cut that will slice up nicely, this is your go to.
The round cut is very very lean and requires a slow method of cooking with a moist heat as with the above but you need to babysit it a little longer as to not “dry” it out. The round cut is the hardest to find and is not typically sold in the market in the fresh meat section. You may be more opt to find it at the deli counter for slicing for a NYC style corned beef on rye sandwich or a delicious grilled Reuben sandwich.
Now that you have learned the different cuts of meat you can buy, next let’s discuss 3 different cooking methods to cook this cut of meat. As noted, corned beef is a rather tough cut of meat and should be cooked low and slow with a moist heat.
The first method is on top of the stove in a large pot or Dutch oven in water. Remove corned beef from the packaging place in a large pot of water and if you are feeling extra Irish maybe add a can of Guinness! Bring to a boil for about and hour. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer for about another 45 minutes per pound. The last 45 minutes, add some baby red potatoes, carrots and some cabbage sliced in to wedges.
The next method of cooking would be a slow braise in the oven. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. In a Dutch oven or a large roasting pan place the corned beef right from the package in to the pan. Cover with about 3 or 4 cups of water or beef stock, a can of beer (optional), juices from the packaging and the pickling packet and cover with the Dutch oven lid or cover with aluminum foil if using a roasting pan. Cook meat for about an hour per pound. Check frequently to insure more liquid does not need to be added. If it begins to look dry, add more liquid. For the last hour, add potatoes,carrots and cabbage. Remove from oven when meat begins to pull apart. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
The third method is slow cooked in the fool proof crock pot. Remove the meat from the package and place in the bottom of the crock pot. Add the liquid from package, the pickling packet, and a 1/2 cup of liquid – i.e: water, beef stock, red wine, dark lager type beer and cover. If you are cooking a 4lb corned beef it should cook for about 4-5 hours on high heat or 7-8 hours on low. During the last hour of cooking add baby red potatoes, carrots and cabbage cut in wedges. Cover and finish cooking process.
Overall, anyway you slice it corned beef is plentiful this time of year and is a tasty St. Patrick’s Day delight. I hope you have learned some different cuts of meat and methods of cooking them. Please note: cooking times may vary and the various cuts may or may not be available in certain grocery stores.
Enjoy your day and Happy Cooking!!!
4 (5oz) skinless Atlantic salmon fillets
2 small zucchini sliced
2 small yellow squash sliced
1/2 small white onion sliced
1 clove garlic chopped
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 large vine ripened tomatoes chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
4 sprigs of fresh tarragon
Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 sheets of aluminum foil into about 17″ in length.
- In a small bowl toss the zucchini, yellow squash, sliced onion and garlic with 1tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place veggies equally in amongst the 4 sheets of foil in the middle of each.
- Take the salmon fillets and brush each with the remaining olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place fillet on top of veggies on each foil packet and place a sprig of tarragon on each fillet.
- In a smaller bowl mix chopped tomatoes, chopped garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Place on top of salmon in each packet.
- Wrap sides of foil inward and then fold up the ends to make a little package.
- Place on baking sheet and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on thickness of salmon.
- Remove from oven and carefull open foil packets and serve.
Banana Crumb Muffins
3 over ripened bananas
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Pre-heat oven to 375. Line muffin/cupcake tins with liners.
2. Take a mixing bowl and mash bananas until fine. Add egg, oil and vanilla and mix with a wisk until combined.
3. Add cinnamon, baking soda and flour. Combine well.
4. Fill muffin tins to 2/3 full in tin. Should yield about 12 muffins
5. Using your fingers put crumb topping on muffins so top is covered.
6. Put muffin tins on a baking sheet and put in oven. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until firm and toothpick comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven and cool. Serve warm with butter!!!
1. Melt butter in a glass bowl.
2. Add brown sugar, flour and cinnamon and combine well with an fork. You may need to use your fingers to crumble it up in to pieces.
Bag O’ Apples….
As I am perusing through my daily dose of weekend FB posts; I noticed many of you have gone apple picking with the family. Note to self…must go before all the apples are gone.
I am sure many of you are wondering what to do with the bags of apples you and the kids picked. Of course an apple pie is first on the list, maybe an apple cake. But once you have made a couple of those and you can feel the pounds adding up as you eat the 4th piece of pie; there is still that last bag the kids picked because they just didn’t want to leave…one more bag mom! PLEEEAASSEEE! What to do with those apples that the fruit flies have started to emerge upon????
My suggestion is to make some applesauce!!! Grab some novalty mason jars, a large saucepan and brew up a batch of applesauce. It is so easy and if you have never made it you will be so glad you did. Below is the recipe.
1 dozen medium sized Macintosh apples
1 cup apple cider
2 cups water
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1. Peel, core and slice apples so the are all the same size.
2. In a large saucepan add the sliced apples, water, lemon juice and cider until apples are just covered and turn stove on medium heat.
3. Simmer over medium heat stirring frequently until apples are tender about 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and add sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and return to heat. Stir frequently for another 15 minutes until apples begin to cook down in to a sauce.
5. Remove from heat and with a potato masher or back of a spoon mash the apples until they are all combined. At this point it is up to you as far as how chunky you want your applesauce.
6. Remove from heat and let cool for an hour or so. You can serve warm or cold.
7. I like to fill mason jars and give to family and friends. It will last about 2 weeks in the fridge!
Happy Apple Picking and Sauce Making!!!
Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
I had the pleasure of being the guest chef on last weekend’s Let’s Eat segment on News Channel 13 morning show with Dan Bazile. I love doing the segments and I always get positive feedback from them. Many of you have asked for the recipe for the doughnuts that I made. Here it is…….they are soooooo goood. They are best eaten the day they are made!
Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup butter melted
1 Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease a small doughut pan with a non stick spray.
3. In the bowl of a mixer add flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda. Mix together.
4. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, milk and melted butter.
5. Turn mixture on low and mix until combined. Do not overmix or the dough will get tough.
6. Spoon mixture into doughnut pan and be sure to wipe away the dough in the middle to ensure there is a doughnut hole!
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until donuts spring back when touched.
8. While the doughnut is warm remove from pan and dip in glaze or cinnamon and sugar and top with colorful fall sprinkles. Serve immediately.
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup butter melted
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Beat Sugar, melted butter, water and vanilla together in a small bowl until combined.
2. Dip warm doughnuts in glaze and let excess drip off. Top with sprinkles
Cinnamon and Sugar Topping
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl or ziploc bag.
2. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a glass dish.
3. Dip warm doughnut in melted butter and then dredge in cinnamon and sugar until coated!
Follow the link to see the show: www.wnyt.com click on Let’s Eat!