Sunday 29 July 2007

Corned Beef

Granddad would have been proud!

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.
"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.
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?
Mum's Corned Beef with Mustard Sauce

Corned Beef

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.

Mustard Sauce

1 egg
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
white pepper

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.


feistyurchin said...

I only ever make corned beef so I can have the sauce! There's something totally granny about corned beef that is very nostalgic and, well, good.

Anonymous said...

This is the exact way that we have corned beef and mustard sauce too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emma,

I met you a while back at Wesley church last year in Wgtn and have since then popped onto your webpage once and a while to see what your up to. I love your philosophy of slow food and after reading the corned beef recipe I am definately going to give it a try.

Keep on filling us up with salvating recipes in the tradition of old

Elizabeth said...

Rats! I was hoping you were going to say how you make corned beef itself and how easy it was!

All I know is that it involves salt and spices and a large stoneware(??) covered jar...

The recipe you gave does sound awfully good though. I particularly like the idea of the orange peel.


Emma said...

Alison - And why not indulge our inner grannies!

Anonymous - Is there any other way?!

Rosie - So nice to hear from you, I think we absolutely need to keep making these dishes, or else how will the next generation know what they might be missing! I hope you try it and let me know what you think. Meat on Tory is a great place to get the corned beef and they now deliver.

EJM - I hope to make my own soon, I just got Charcuterie . . . I'll let you know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

I came across your recipe when looking for a mustard sauce for hot beetroot. The corned beef sounds delic and i'll make it soon - before it gets too warm. Of course, we'll try the mustard sauce too. I don't think you can have too much sauce!
thanks - Xiner

Anonymous said...

sounds great but I am looking for a recipe to deal with the rest - I am full up with cold in sandwiches and with salad
Good to cook in summer for use cold