Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cooking with Drew

Two years ago I wrote this post in relation to corned beef in cabbage.  Back then I said i wanted it to become a tradition of sorts.  I did not make one last year unfortunately so Drew and I have been talking about having some more corned beef for the past couple of years.  He was a big fan and was very excited to have some more.  He wanted to take photographs of the process and it was a pleasure to have him there with me as we relived this experience.

I started with 5lbs of beef brisket I picked up from Paulina Meat Market. To make this into corned beef I brined the brisket in a combination of 1 gallon of water, salt, pickling spice, garlic, sugar and curing salt.  I brought this combination to a boil and let it come to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator.

Once the brine was cold I added the brisket and let it sit in the liquid for 6 days, the salt and spices worked their magic during this long wait. This is what the brisket looked like days after going in:

on day 6 I removed the brisket from the brine and rinsed it.  I placed the corned beef in a large stockpot and covered with water and boiled slowly with carrots, celery and bay leaves.  I added potatoes part way through.  After a few hours I served the corned beef simply with boiled potatoes and carrots.  

As an extra side dish I made a quick soup by cooking down cabbage in a combination of caramelized onions and the cooking liquid from the corned beef.  I added mustard and vinegar to compliment the richness of the meat.  This is very good the next day reheated with chopped up pieces of corned beef added in.

Coming back to this meal was significant in many ways.  2 years ago making this corned beef was a very important and enjoyable learning experience. Having Drew in the kitchen with me documenting one of his favorite dishes also served as a reminder that cooking truly is a labor of love and why I feel inspired to continue learning.

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