Charcutepalooza Challenge: Corned Beef

It’s Meat Day again! The most frabjous day of the month! Ok, so it’s a day late, but I’m smack in the middle of writing my Master’s thesis so I’m allowing for a bit of leeway.  Corned Beef is seen here, or at least in my understanding, as an Irish-American thing. While you’ll get the best stuff in Jewish delis around the city, Pastrami has been relegated as the pinnacle of Jewish eats, Corned Beef as the Irish. At least, that’s how it seems to me. That being said, I live in New York and they are both plentiful and delicious and I don’t care who people think ‘owns’ them. Fact is, people have been salting meat and serving it different ways forever. And I freaking love both and when this month’s challenge came up I was very excited.

When I saw the options for this month I knew corned beef was a shoe in – it’s one of my favorite things ever. I love me some Pastrami (mmmm Katz’s…) but I’m a little scared of trying to set up a smoker in my apartment. I might have to get over that for this next month’s challenge. I had a really good time with this though and it was surprisingly easy, except for losing a good chunk of the fridge for a few days.

And as this month’s challenge was brining, I made pickles too. The first batch of pickles was done a few days ago, but the rest won’t be done for a bit yet. I’m pickling green beans and have every intention of putting them in a Bloody Mary. But I really just want to talk to you about my meat. Because it’s hands-down the best corned beef I’ve ever had. Not falling apart like at Katz’s, but the most flavorful thing I’ve ever made. Seriously. I mean, look at that. That is why you want to date me.

I cooked the meat pretty simply- just in some water for about 3 hours and let it cool. What color! What flavor! I renounce my plan to get a Master’s degree and want to wallow in the deliciousness forever. Ok, so maybe that last part isn’t true,but it’s close. It’s seriously worth buying a good piece of meat (from the farmer’s market if you can! I did. And oxtails…but that’s a story for a different day) and making this on your own. It’s likely much cheaper than buying it at the store and you can do it. I promise. You just have to be willing to sacrifice some fridge space. Tomorrow this delicious meat is going on some bread with homemade mustard and I’m having epic sandwiches of awesome. Unless I eat all of it right now, which is unlikely but entirely possible. And you should head over to Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day and check out the bread I’ve been playing around with. It’s quite good.

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About Wish

A graduate student with two cats and a passion for good food and good conversation, both preferably shared with friends.
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