If you ask any British person if they would like corned beef for lunch, don't be surprised if they are not that eager. In this matter New Zealand and Britain prove they are poles apart. The corned beef of which I speak is no reconstituted canned nightmare, but proud and noble beefy goodness.
I was very happy to recently rediscover how much I like this homely and simple food. Let me tell you how Corned beef and I became reacquainted :
Master W., with whom I work, came back from the butcher with a large piece of meat.I called mum for her recipe, because I wanted to try my hand at reproducing the corned beef of my memory, and thank goodness I did! Mum asked me if I wanted the mustard sauce recipe too. This sauce is the best thing with corned beef, I wonder if in a way I wanted corned beef so I could have this sauce?
"What have you got there?" I inquired.
"A piece of corned beef" he replied.
"Oh my goodness I have not had that in years, maybe not since granddad died," I cried in excitement, "tell me how you are going to cook it!?"
He explained how he was going to carefully put it in the crockpot with some vegetables and spices, cover it with water and cook it slowly for hours until it was tender and able to be sliced with a spoon. "This," he continued, "will be perfect on Sunday after the Saturday night I have planned."
My mouth was watering and I knew then that I too would have to get a piece of corned beef for Sunday.
Mum's Corned Beef with Mustard Sauce
Rinse the piece of corned beef and put it in a Crockpot or large pot with a couple of washed carrots cut in half, an onion cut in half and studded with cloves, a strip of orange peel, a few peppercorns and cover with water. Cook on low or high, according to your schedule, until the beef is cooked and threatening to fall apart, maybe 6 hours or so.
Leave any leftover beef to cool in the liquor, or indeed make this ahead of time, leaving to cool in the liquor and reheat gently when you are ready to eat it. Use some of the liquor for the mustard sauce, below, but do not throw away the rest of the liquor. This liquor makes a fantastic stock for soup. It seems that corned beef is not as salty as it once was, but you may not need to season the resulting soup.
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of flour
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
1 cup of corned beef cooking liquor
1/4 cup vinegar
Beat the egg with the sugar, then stir in the flour and mustard. Mix in the liquor and vinegar and cook, stirring well, over a medium to low heat until thickened, as you would a custard. Season with white pepper. Serve hot with the corned beef and cold spread in your corned beef sandwiches.