I’ve always loved corned beef. Something about the salty tang of the meat and the zing of a fine hot mustard between two thick slabs of proper rye bread just speaks to my soul. As a result one of the first things I tried during my journey into Charcuterie was a from scratch home-brined brisket of corned beef in honour of St. Patrick’s day. Here’s what I wrote last year over on the sister site.
For the record, I do know that Corned Beef actually isn’t that traditional an Irish dish. It certainly is a transplanted Irish dish however and has always been popular as a St. Paddy’s treat on this side of the pond. Personally as a Winnipegger it’s always been a favourite for sandwiches as well. Give me a proper Winnipeg Corned Beef on Rye with hot mustard over almost any other sandwich in the world (Montreal Smoked Meat being an exception of course.) Yet for some reason it had never occurred to me to try making it from scratch. I guess I’d always assumed it was something for which a commercial kitchen was required.
Since that magical day I’ve been spreading the gospel of the home made corned beef but it’s been a while since I’ve done it myself. I couldn’t let St. Patrick’s pass without doing one and so last night I pulled from the brine a delicious 4 lb brisket, boiled it up and when I get home tonight it’s time for corned beef, cabbage and new potatoes.
If you’re interested in trying it out at home you really only need one special ingredient (that you can order online, or skip with some reprecussions) and the total active time and effort involved is more or less an hour.