My Corned Beef Hangover
I spontaneously decided to go all out this year and make a corned beef brisket in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not of Irish extraction, nor do I particularly like flat green beer served in plastic glasses, but I do like a bit of corned beef and cabbage this time of year. In all of my years of cooking, I’m afraid to admit that I’ve never made one—we’ve always gone out to a restaurant for it.
It all started last Thursday when my husband and I decided to run to Culvers for a quick dinner. I had a Reuben which made me think about corned beef and the upcoming holiday. I was determined to try and make it this year. So after dinner we went next door to Sentry and picked up a small packaged brisket. I studiously went online searching for recipes—they are all remarkably the same—meat, accompanying spice packet, bottle of beer, slow braise and you are done. The process seemed to be one that would translate well to a slow cooker. So before I left for work on Friday morning, I put a small cabbage cut in wedges, some halved potatoes and the meat into the crockpot and covered it with a bottle of amber ale and water. Set it to cook for 8 hours, and I was off to work.
Now you remember the weather on Friday, right? Sunny, warm and a tad bit humid. Now imagine coming home to a closed up house where corned beef and cabbage were simmering all day. I opened the door and actually took a step back. Our house stunk like a Soviet gulag. After opening all the windows and starting a fan, I went to finish dinner. When I ladled it out for serving, I was rewarded with grey cabbage, grey potatoes and some vaguely pink boiled meat. It tasted about as good as it sounds.
Needless to say, we had quite a bit of beef left over. My husband tried it in a sandwich on Saturday, but found it to be too soft. Being of a frugal nature, I wasn’t about to toss the remaining meat out. So I decided to use the leftovers in a corned beef hash for Sunday brunch. The recipe below is one I put together on the fly this morning using the ingredients I had to hand—(the red pepper was a left over from a stir fry earlier in the week). And actually, the hash turned out pretty good. Next time I’m going to try it with some asparagus.
But I think I’m done with corned beef for 2012. See you next St. Patrick’s day.
Did you have a celebration with any of the traditional Irish goodies? How do you make your corned beef? Please share!
Corned Beef Hash
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut in ¼ inch cubes
Approx. 12 oz cooked corned beef, (or whatever amount you have left over) cut in ½ inch cubes
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely minced
½ red bell pepper, finely minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the potatoes for 4 minutes, drain and rinse under hot water. Set aside to continue to drain.
Meanwhile, sauté the onions, red pepper and red pepper flakes with a pinch of salt in the olive oil in a non-stick 10 inch skillet. When soft, add the corned beef and let it sit a bit before stirring to allow the fat to render and the meat to crisp up a bit.
Add the potatoes and stir gently to combine all ingredients. As with the beef, let the mixture brown a bit before stirring. Cook to your desired crispness. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Goes great with a lightly fried egg.