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While the February cover recipe of whole wheat pancakes was a little too “wearing Birkenstocks w/ socks” healthy for me, at least it was quick and easy. This was not the case for the March cover, the sandwich involved corning your own beef, which is an 8 day brining process. It also involved getting a beautiful Prime grade brisket from Savenor's, 3 different spices that I don't have on hand (pickling spice, whole allspice and cardamom seeds) and 2 different kinds of beer (lager for the brine, Guinness for the cooking). After taking up critical real estate in my fridge for 8 days, I finally cooked it this weekend. The corned beef was definitely delicious. It was so tender and richly flavored. Although, to be honest, I don't know how much is from the brining, as opposed to the Prime grade of the meat. The veggies (Cabbage, potato, carrot) that were cooked with it were also great. Soft and tender, and seasoned throughout with the cooking liquid. I probably enjoyed the potatoes just as much as the meat; I couldn't stop eating them.


If that wasn't enough work, I still needed to make the sandwich. That required sweet onions, fontina cheese and Rye bread. Put it all together and grill it in a fry pan till the fontina is nice and melty. My sandwich looks nothing like the cover; I opted not to use the Insta Cure, which is a preservative to keep the meat bright red.


Was it a great sandwich? Yes, most definitely. Was it worth the trouble? I don't think I'll be doing it again any time soon. However I will definitely used the thinly sliced sweet onion and fontina on a sandwich again.


I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw April's cover: lemon raspberry cupcake. Those I can handle in my sleep.


 


 

homemade irish corned beef and vegetables Bon Appétit | March 2008

Spicy horseradish cream and malty Guinness mustard amp up the flavor of this home-corned beef. You might need to special-order the brisket from your butcher, and you'll have to start brining the meat eight days before you cook and serve it. The Insta Cure No. 1 is optional, but it's nice to use because it gives the meat its traditional pink color. Save the leftover corned beef and vegetables for the sandwiches and hash.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Bruce Aidells

 ingredients

Brine:
6 cups water
2 cups lager beer
11/2 cups coarse kosher salt
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Insta Cure no. 1* (optional)
1/4 cup pickling spices
1 6- to 8-pound flat-cut beef brisket, trimmed, with some fat remaining

Corned beef and vegetables:
1 12-ounce bottle Guinness stout or other stout or porter
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 whole allspice
1 dried chile de árbol,** broken in half Cheesecloth
12 baby turnips, trimmed, or 3 medium turnips or rutabagas, peeled, quartered 8 unpeeled medium white-skinned or red-skinned potatoes (about 3 pounds)
6 medium carrots, peeled
4 medium onions, peeled, halved through root ends
2 medium parsnips, peeled, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 2-pound head of cabbage, quartered

Horseradish Cream
Guinness Mustard
 preparation

For brine:

Pour 6 cups water and beer into large deep roasting pan. Add coarse salt; stir until dissolved. Add sugar; stir until dissolved. If desired, stir in Insta Cure No. 1. Mix in pickling spices. Pierce brisket all over with tip of small sharp knife. Submerge brisket in liquid, then top with heavy platter to weigh down. Cover and refrigerate 4 days.

Remove brisket from brine.

Stir liquid to blend. Return brisket to brine; top with heavy platter. Cover; refrigerate 4 days. Remove brisket from brine. Rinse with cold running water. do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Wrap corned beef in plastic, cover with foil, and refrigerate.

For corned beef and vegetables:

Place corned beef in very large wide pot. Add stout and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Wrap cheesecloth around bay leaves, coriander seeds, allspice, and chile, enclosing completely, and tie with kitchen string to secure. Add spice bag to pot with beef; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 1/4 hours. Transfer beef to large baking sheet.

Add turnips and all remaining

vegetables to liquid in pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until all vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to baking sheet with beef. Return beef to pot and rewarm 5 minutes. Discard spice bag.

Cut beef against grain into 1/4-inch thick

slices. Arrange beef and vegetables on platter. Serve with Horseradish Cream and Guinness Mustard.

*Insta Cure No.

1 is a mixture of sodium nitrate and salt that is used in cured and smoked sausages to prevent botulism. In this brine, its only purpose is to prevent the meat from turning gray, so you can certainly leave it out. You'll find Insta Cure No. 1 at sausagemaker.com.

**A thin, red, very hot three-inch-long

chile; sold at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Latin markets.
 
Pour 6 cups water and beer into large deep roasting pan. Add coarse salt; stir until dissolved. Add sugar; stir until dissolved. If desired, stir in Insta Cure No. 1. Mix in pickling spices. Pierce brisket all over with tip of small sharp knife. Submerge brisket in liquid, then top with heavy platter to weigh down. Cover and refrigerate 4 days.

Remove brisket from brine.

Stir liquid to blend. Return brisket to brine; top with heavy platter. Cover; refrigerate 4 days. Remove brisket from brine. Rinse with cold running water. do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Wrap corned beef in plastic, cover with foil, and refrigerate.

For corned beef and vegetables:

Place corned beef in very large wide pot. Add stout and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Wrap cheesecloth around bay leaves, coriander seeds, allspice, and chile, enclosing completely, and tie with kitchen string to secure. Add spice bag to pot with beef; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 1/4 hours. Transfer beef to large baking sheet.

Add turnips and all remaining

vegetables to liquid in pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until all vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to baking sheet with beef. Return beef to pot and rewarm 5 minutes. Discard spice bag.

Cut beef against grain into 1/4-inch thick

slices. Arrange beef and vegetables on platter. Serve with Horseradish Cream and Guinness Mustard.

*Insta Cure No.

1 is a mixture of sodium nitrate and salt that is used in cured and smoked sausages to prevent botulism. In this brine, its only purpose is to prevent the meat from turning gray, so you can certainly leave it out. You'll find Insta Cure No. 1 at sausagemaker.com.

**A thin, red, very hot three-inch-long

chile; sold at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Latin markets.

 

 

grilled corned beef and fontina sandwiches Bon Appétit | March 2008


Serve these delicious, gooey sandwiches with dill pickles and plenty of coleslaw.

Makes 4 servings

Bruce Aidells

 ingredients

8 slices Jewish-style rye bread, divided Dijon mustard
1 pound thinly sliced corned beef reserved from Homemade Irish Corned Beef and Vegetables
8 ounces thinly sliced Fontina cheese
1/2 sweet onion (such as Maui or Vidalia), thinly sliced
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided

 preparation

Place 4 bread slices on work surface. Spread mustard on 1 side of each. Divide corned beef among bread slices. Top with cheese and onion. Cover with remaining 4 bread slices, pressing slightly to adhere.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in each of 2 large nonstick skillets over medium heat. Place 2 sandwiches in each skillet and cook until golden brown on bottom, pressing occasionally with spatula, about 3 minutes. Turn sandwiches over and cook until golden on bottom and cheese melts, about 3 minutes. Transfer sandwiches to plates, cut in half, and serve.


 

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