in praise of Corned beef
Very often my day to day home cooking is driven by request, but most, often memory. These memories rarely come from a restaurant but from simple home family cooking.
My mother Fay did an awesome corned beef with vegetables in parsley sauce and, sometimes, even better the following day were the sandwiches buttered fresh white bread thick slices of corned beef with either mustard pickles or Dad’s pickled onions.
I had some notes about cooking the corned beef and remembered that Mum used to use a pressure cooker. I do have one but I don’t very much like the taste that pressure cooked meat has and opted for the slow method. Best advice take the corned beef out of the fridge before you go to bed and make a start first thing in the morning…expect about 10-12 hours. The result was worth the patience. So probably better to cook the corned beef the day before you want to eat it.
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AO 31 MAY 2022
Corned Beef with Steamed Vegetables in Mustard and Parsley Sauce
Serves 10 with plenty of corned beef
For the corned beef
2.5k – 3kg corned topside
50g peeled weight shallots finely chopped
50g Leonardi white balsamic
100g Vine Valley white wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
1 sprig of traditional thyme
5g whole black pepper
Select a large heavy based saucepan with a lid, large enough to hold the corned beef and plenty of water. Rinse the corned beef under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel.
Put the shallots, vinegars, bay, thyme and pepper into the pot. Scrape free an area area as large as the corned beef and place it in the pot. Cover the corned beef by about 5 cm with cold water, cover with a baking paper cartouche and sit a plate on top to hold the paper down and cover with a lid.
We are an induction kitchen which makes getting to 70ºC a slow, but perfect process – cook for approximately 10-12 hours.
Yes you could cook the corned beef sous vide but we think it tastes a whole lot better poached and the stock can be used for winter soups.
This is a personal preference, but basically anything much will do and how much? We love vegetables so I usually allow [per person] a couple of potatoes, 3 medium carrots [split lengthwise] and a nice chunk of cabbage. We fry up anything left over with any remaining parsley sauce…it’s delicious!
White cabbage, cut into about 4 cm chunks
Medium carrots, peeled and split lengthwise
For the parsley sauce
80g unsalted butter
50g cleaned weight, finely sliced leek
5g Maldon sea salt
White pepper, freshly ground
1L full cream milk, heated to almost boiling point in the microwave
Big handful of parsley, washed, dried, leafed and finely chopped
Tarragon leafed and chopped if you have it
Melt the butter on medium heat, add the leek, salt and pepper and cook the leek until it just starts to colour. Immediately stir in the flour and continue stirring for a couple of minutes. Add the milk a little at a time until completely incorporated. Continue stirring until the parsley sauce comes to the boil and cook stirring for a couple of minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before stirring through the herbs.
Vegetables are cooked a la minute, progressively added to the steamer starting with the potatoes and kept warm until plating.
The sauce can be made in dance and re-warmed on very low heat.
Quality Dijon seed mustard
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