Monday, November 23, 2009

Corned Beef

Our winter garden has been a huge success and as I pondered how to fix cabbage in yet another way, corned beef and cabbage popped into my mind. I love corned beef but haven't eaten it in years because of all the ugly preservatives they add to it. My sister also informed me that it is expensive, that I wouldn't know since we don't buy meat! Being that I have an over abundance of roasts in my freezer this seemed like a plan.
After doing some reading I realized how easy it would to make at home. I absolutely love Penzey Spices and they have a premixed corned beef spice. I know I could have mixed my own or used regular pickling spices but....
I thawed a rump roast and put it in a brine of 1 cup salt to 8 cups water that had cooled. I used a glass bowl and weighted the roast down with a plate that fit inside the bowl. I let it brine for 5 days. There seems to be mixed thoughts on the length of brining, anywhere from 3- 7 days so I just chose 5! After 5 days I took it out of the brine, washed it with cold water and put in in a heavy pot with the spices and water to cover. I simmered it for several hours. When it was almost done I added big chunks of our potatoes and carrots. When they were tender, I added wedges of cabbage. Wow! It was a huge success. Everyone just raved over it. The veggies cooked in that broth were heavenly and the roast was falling apart tender. I had hoped to have enough leftovers to make Reuben sandwiches. Not so. Will have to make another!
Now that being said, I would make a few changes. I would probably only brine 3-4 days. The meat was fairly salty, I know it should be but will experiment on that. I would also put the spices in a bag or tea ball to eliminate crunching down on a piece of bay leaf. The other seeds and spices cooked down but I think I would probably still do this. All in all it was a grand success. I just don't know why I never thought of it before. Happy corning!

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