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Thursday, 23 August 2012

I Can't believe it's Corned Beef! - My Posh Spiced Corned Beef.

Posh spiced Corned Beef

If the words ‘Corned Beef’ remind you of pink slices of meat served with white parsley sauce, then you are in for a flavour surprise! I found this recipe in the Courier Mail newspaper. At first it seems to involve a lot of hours but mostly it is allowing the beef to simmer happily - so it is my kind of cooking!

I thought this would be a really handy recipe for nights when you want to serve a hot roast style dinner, but due to time constraints, worry the meat might not be cooked through.  This is perfect as the corned beef is pre-cooked during the simmering stage and you just need to heat it through and baste regularly to achieve a rich glaze that doubles as the sauce.  Maybe this could be served instead of traditional baked ham for those awkward years when Christmas falls mid-working week. The rich orange-cloves sauce gives it that hint of Christmas spice!

I would suggest a dash of pre-dinner planning though. 
Do steps 1, 2 and the Sauce Preparation the day before - so all that’s left is baking the beef and cooking the accompanying vegetables, salads etc. 

Preparation: 20 minutes then 2 hours soaking. Followed by 1 hour simmering. So allow 3 and a half hours.
Final Cooking: 10 minutes preparation for final cooking then 1 hour in oven.

Ingredients to simmer the Beef.  Spices are a guide, if you are not a Fan of Cloves - only use a few.
1.5 kg to 1.7 kg piece of Corned silverside – not too fatty
2 medium carrots – chopped
2 stalks celery – chopped and include the leaves (whole) if you like
1 onion – chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon honey
20 (6 + 14 for later) whole cloves – depends on your taste preference – I use more as I love the flavour
Water for simmering

Ingredients for the Sauce.  Below are measurements for one batch of the basting / sauce.

I would recommend preparing a second batch to simmer/reduce on the stove as certain diners in my family drizzled it over their beef and potatoes and still went back for seconds – yummy sauce!

100 ml - freshly squeezed orange juice or good quality commercial brand.  Needs a fresh flavour
100g    -  brown sugar
2 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard.   Recipe called for 1 tablespoon, but too strong for me.
1 to 2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper.    Start with less; adjust to your taste during basting.

Step 1.

            You need a deep ‘stockpot’ type of pan with a lid (clear - toughened glass lid if possible) for step 1. 
            The same pan and lid will be re-used for step 2.
Rinse your piece of Corned Silverside under the tap.
Place the meat in the pan and fill with fresh cool water to cover the meat.  Cover pan with lid.
Allow to soak (no heating) for 2 hours.  This helps reduce the saltiness. 
Remove meat and allow to drain. Empty pan and rinse the pan ready to re-use for Step 2.

Step 2.
Place meat, carrots, celery, onion, cinnamon, honey and 6 of the cloves in the pan. (more if wanted)
Add fresh cool water so the meat is covered by the liquid.  The meat may rise to the top, so at this stage I put an old bread and butter size crockery plate on top of the meat to keep it under the water.  Again, this depends on your preference. 
Bring to gentle boil then reduce to simmer. Lid on. I like to use a toughened glass lid to easily check the beef is always covered by the cooking liquid. If needed, top up with more water to keep covered during simmer.
Simmer for 2 hours.
Then remove the beef from pan, allow to cool then wrap in alfoil or similar and refrigerate overnight.

Step 3  -   Sauce preparation
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl / jug. This will be the basting sauce for the meat.

If you are preparing a second batch to simmer/reduce on the stove, you will need a second helping of the listed ingredients to place in a saucepan, and then simmer them on the stove until reduced to a thick sauce.

Step 4  -  Baking the Corned Beef with Basting Sauce.
Remove the meat from fridge preferably 30 min – 1 hour prior to baking, so meat is not 'fridge cold' when placed in the oven.
Preheat oven to 180 C. 
Stud the piece of meat with the 14 remaining cloves.  (or a few more / less - if you like)
Place the meat in a roasting pan, a bit bigger than the meat allowing for the sauce as well.
Cover the meat with the sauce and place the pan in the oven.  Cook for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Regularly baste the meat (every 10 mins) with the pan juices to develop the rich sticky glaze.
Remove from oven. Rest in a warm place for 5 minutes (the meat, I mean!). 
Slice and serve with the saved pan sauce and if desired, stove-simmered sauce.
Serve with whatever you prefer – roasted potatoes, pumpkin or steamed potatoes and vegies. 
Or salads. Everything will taste delicious and I would be surprised if any sauce was left over!

Enjoy!         Colleen

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