In my book, corned beef is much underrated. It is great for dinner – and even better next day in corned beef hash cakes – about which, more another time.
We often call corned beef “silverside”.
The way I do the corned beef is pretty straightforward. I rinse it off and then pop it into a large pot and cover it with water. I add a pinch of whole pepper corns (white or black), a couple of teaspoons of mustard powder (but any sort of mustard would be fine), a dash of vinegar and about 2 dessert spoonfuls of golden syrup (any sort of sugary thing like treacle, honey or maple syrup would work). Lastly a few bay leaves. No salt because there is enough in the meat as a result of the corning process.
I simmer that lot for at least a couple of hours (you could go up to 4 but then the results will be very fall apart but still taste nice). Then I add slices of carrot and small onions and cook until they are tender.
You could add the potatoes and/or sweet potatoes as well but I prefer doing them separately. You probably all know how to do mash. I boil the potatoes with some peeled cloves of garlic. I then add some mustard to the mash, along with oodles of salt and pepper and a large knob of butter. I don’t add warmed cream or milk but if you do, you will get a creamier smoother mash than mine. I prefer it not as smooth because the leftovers go better in the hash cakes the next day.
In parallel with all this I shred some cabbage and julienne a thumb of fresh ginger. Don’t substitute ground ginger – it won’t work. If you haven’t got fresh ginger you could try caraway seeds, parsley or pine nuts as well as the salt and pepper. But I like the fragrance the fresh ginger gives to the cabbage. I put it on with only a tablespoon or so of water, with the lid on for no more than 3-4 minutes. To be edible it is really important not to overcook it. Done very lightly it is light years away from the horrible cabbage many of us remember from our childhood.
To make the mustard sauce, I simply combine a little crème fraiche or sour cream with some prepared mustard – I like Dijon but whatever you fancy and add salt and white pepper. If I have a lemon handy I will add a little zest and a small amount of lemon juice to give it some tang.
Serve it on one big platter or on several. I make heaps because I then use the leftovers to make hash cakes both for the next day and to put in the freezer for a quick and tasty meal when I don’t have time or the inclination to start from scratch.
For another recipe, click here