Sunday, March 4, 2007

Corned Beef and Fried Cabbage

St Patrick's Day is only a couple of weeks away, and in Chicago you can find Corned Beef in most of the Grocery Stores, and Butcher Shops. We have a Butcher shop in our area called Orchard Prime meats which cures it's own briskets at this time of year. So we like to eat it a couple of times in March, and get the craving out of our system.

Originally "Corned Beef and Cabbage" was a traditional dish served for Easter Sunday dinner in rural Ireland. The beef, because there was no refrigeration at that time was salted or brined during the winter to preserve it, it was then eaten after the long, meatless Lenten fast.
Since the advent of refrigeration, the trend in Ireland is to eat fresh meats. Today this peasant dish is more popular in the United States than in Ireland. Irish-Americans and lots of other people eat it on St. Patrick's Day, Ireland's principal feast day, as a nostalgic reminder of their Irish heritage.

The Best Corned Beef I have ever had was from a butcher shop in Seattle that does nothing but Corned Beef, and Pastrami called Market House. Market House, located in the Denny Regrade, was started back in 1948, and specializes in curing beef briskets for 14 whole days which is the old fashioned way of doing it in a barrel. Corned Beef today is mostly injected with an industrial needle and cured in that fashion. The best, and most traditional Corned Beef is barrel cured.

Most people boil Corned Beef, but I don't. I follow the Market House Recipe, and roast it in the oven for around 3 hours depending on the size of the brisket. A full size brisket can take as long as four hours.

Market House Corned Beef

Corned Beef Brisket
Coca Cola, or Dr Pepper

Place the brisket, fat side up in a roasting pan with water, and 1/2 can Coca Cola. Tent with foil, and roast for at least three hours at 350 degrees depending on the size of the brisket. Take off foil for the last 1/2 hour of roasting. You can also add a Sweet Mustard Onion Glaze at that time if you choose. I can't remember where I picked up adding the Dr. Pepper, or Coca Cola to the braising liquid, but it supposedly helps tenderize the brisket while it is cooking.

Sweet Mustard Onion Glaze

1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1/8 cup Whole Grain Mustard
1/4 cup Honey
1 oz Cider Vinegar
One Onion
1 tsp Sugar
Olive Oil

Saute onions with olive oil until they are translucent. Add a teaspoon of sugar to caramelize the onions at higher heat. Keep cooking till they browned and caramelized. Set aside to cool. Combine the mustard's, honey, caramelized onions and blend together. thin with a little cider vinegar and you have your glaze.

Fried Cabbage

Boiled Cabbage is really boring, but Fried Cabbage is simple, and fantastic. Even though you are using bacon it never tastes greasy. Fried Cabbage is a great low carbohydrate side dish by the way that is filling, a nutritious.

One Head of Cabbage
Two Onions
4 Strips of Bacon
Lots of Ground Pepper
Kosher Salt

Dice Bacon and cook till browned. Slice Cabbage, and Onions thinly. Fry the Cabbage, and Onions in the drippings with plenty of Cracked Black Pepper, and Salt to taste.

O'Brien Potato's

Once again we aren't into the boiled cabbage, and potato's, but we keep it Irish by making our special type of O'Brien Potato's when we are not watching the carbohydrates.

Diced Cooked Potato's (Cooled)
Diced Onions
Diced Sweet Green Peppers
Diced Sweet Red Peppers
Olive, Vegetable Oil, or Bacon Drippings

Corned Beef Hash

When we make a big brisket, we slice the best, and hash the rest. Corned Beef Hash is an excellent treat for breakfast. We always make sure we have some leftover to make hash. On a large brisket we usually reserve the tip, and fattiest portions for the hash.

Cooked Corned Beef

If you have a meat grinder you can simply grind up all the ingredients together and mix. I prefer to carefully chop and dice each ingredient by hand to give it more texture. How you prepare it is your preference. Once it is ground, or diced and mixed together we simply fry it in a pan till crispy brown, and serve. A note on the bacon, don't use a maple bacon, it doesn't mix that well with the corned beef.

1 comment:

FranMike said...

I'l try it tomorrow. what are the proportion of everything?????