07 June 2020

B-Kyu cooks: Not our mother's corned beef recipe

A recipe for spiced corned beef, but not how our mother's would make it.

A 'no we are not panicking' shopping trip was fruitful when the only left over meat on the shelves were two things we love to cook - beef cheeks and corned silverside. The beef cheeks were slowly braised into a ragu and the corned beef got the following treatment.

We do love corned beef, or salted beef, or corned silverside. It makes a good stand by to have in the fridge, as it has a longer shelf (or fridge) life because it has been brined beforehand. It also makes multiple meals out of one big hunk of meat, from eating it hot with vegetables, to slabs piled on bread with mustard, to chopped and thrown in with fried rice. Filipinos make a damn fine fried corned beef silog or hash which we might also throw into our cooking repertoire.

So how to cook it?

First of all take yourself off and get a slab of ready corned beef, at least a kilo and preferably on special. Give it a rinse with cool water to wash off any residue.

Next you'll need at least two big tablespoons of seasoning. We buy a bag of this pre-made mix, filled with star anise, cassia bark, dried mandarin skins, fennel seeds, Sichuan pepper, licorice root - everything you need to flavour up beef. It's useful for making all sorts of braised beef dishes.

Pack the mix into a small teabag like soup bag, which makes it easier to fish out at the end and all the bits stay neat and don't float around in the pot.

Add 1/3 cup of Chinkiang vinegar. This helps balance out the salted beef. You can also add a lump of rock sugar if you like a bit of sugar balance.

Put all the ingredients into a large pot and add cool water to just cover the meat. Also throw in about three cloves of garlic and if you have it, a knob of ginger. We find this is an excellent way to use up those strange left over bits of ginger that you just can't be bothered to peel or the tiny cloves that are too small to peel and chop.

Free bonus side recipe! 

Have any leftover bits of spice mix? Mix with salt in a grinder or a mortar and pestle for a flavoured salt that has endless uses.

So after cooking for about an hour and a half on a low simmer, the beef should be done.  In the last 20 minutes of cooking, roll cut some carrots and toss them in, and some chopped green bok choy or sliced cabbage leaves in the last 5 mins.

Your beef is ready to eat hot, or cooled down for easier slicing. Serve with hot mustard (English, Korean or Japanese work well, you want that up the nose tingle), veg and some of the broth. There will be plenty left for sneaky slicing off and nibbling later.

1 comment:

Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).