Saturday, March 19, 2011

An Acquired Taste

St. Patrick's Day has come and gone and we celebrated it with our typical St. Patrick's day fare:  corned beef and cabbage.  I look forward to this all year, and I'm not exactly sure why I ONLY make it on St. Patrick's day, but I do.  This year I found a recipe in Epicurious for Chocolate Guinness Goodness which of course I had to give a try.  Then I was left with all the eggwhites so I found a recipe at Epicurious  (again) for an Orange Chiffon Cake which I also made.  I was in a "makin'" kind of mood.
Anyway, I was on facebook and was a little taken aback at the number of people who not only don't like corned beef and cabbage, but DETEST it.  I guess it's one of those meals that you either love it or hate it.  I also wonder if it maybe people haven't had it prepared they way I prepare it.  I boil the meat in a pot with the pickling spices (and I add more than just the pkg that comes with the corned beef) for 2-3 hours.  When the beef is tender I remove it and strain the liquid to remove the spices, then I put it back on the stove and add red potatoes (unpeeled) to the liquid.  I cook them until the potatoes are almost done (and of course this will depend on the size) and add  a head of cabbage that has been cut into 6ths (with the core...it helps hold the cabbage pieces together) and cook until the core is tender.  Usually about 25 min.  I slice up the beef and serve with dry mustard that has been reconstituted with beer.  Caution:  this can be nasal clearing hot.  The potatoes I serve with butter salt and pepper.  The cabbage I serve with malt vinegar.  On the side I serve a rye/pumpernickel bread (no caraway seeds).
Here is a little known secret:  if you  plan correctly, you can turn this into a scrumptious meal.  I usually boil 2 corned beef roasts for this purpose:  to make reuben soup.  The original recipe came from Taste of Home but I rarely follow it to the letter.  Today, for example, I sort of doubled the recipe, I used all beef broth instead of a mixture of beef and chicken broths and I had two potatoes left over from St Patricks day so I diced those and added it to the soup making it a little heartier.  I also used the leftover rye/pumpernickel to make croutons which I sprinkled over each bowl of soup.
I don't ever remember not liking corned beef and cabbage.  I know my sister has never liked it.  I do know that over the years I have come to LOVE it.  Maybe it is an acquired taste.

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