My first experience with corned beef was while working as a clerk at our local hometown pharmacy. Yes, I said pharmacy. I spent many hours rearranging and dusting items that don’t really belong in a pharmacy. It didn’t make a great first impression. First of all, it was meat in a can with an unidentified brand name. Secondly, the can was a strange trapezoidal shape and it had a special key glued to the side for cranking open the can. The picture of the meat on the can was wholly unappealing; gray, speckled, gelatinous… Now I was no foodie at the time, nor was I a stranger to canned meats. I grew up in a large family with lots of mouths to feed. SPAM anyone? That canned corned beef on the pharmacy shelf between the aspirin and the ointments just turned me off to even trying corned beef for a really long time.
Fast forward a few decades, add a husband, two kids and a desire to cook new things while trying to make holidays fun for the family. Now, every March near St. Patrick’s Day, I pick up a corned beef brisket to make some of our favorite corned beef dishes. I buy it at the grocery store, not the pharmacy and it comes shrink wrapped, not in a tin can with a key. The recipe that I love to make, I discovered in my Cuisine at Home magazine (April, 2007). Surprisingly I make this same recipe over and over, which for someone who constantly tweaks and tinkers with recipes, says something. It is really good!!
Whiskey Glazed Corned Beef
I like to start with a corned beef that is 4 pounds or a little more. I make more than I think I’ll need to be sure to have leftovers in order to make the corned beef hash. (The four pounds was plenty for 2 adults, 2 kids and 1 grandma and we had enough leftovers.)
Corned beef, as I explained to my 8 year old, doesn’t have anything to do with corn. It is an old term for brining something. The corned beef you buy in the store is pre-brined. You just need to simmer it for several hours to make it tender. I have “brining my own corned beef” on my to-do list. I recently read a great blog by Cookistry on how to do just that.
All you need to start is the corned beef, the little packet of spices that comes with it and some water. Simmer the corned beef fat side up for about 3-3 1/2 hours or until it is tender. You can do this a day or so in advance and just refrigerate it in the cooking liquid.
Sweet-Hot Whiskey Glaze
I prefer to make double the recipe of this glaze so I have a little extra to drizzle on the corned beef after it’s sliced. It’s also great with the corned beef hash. Definitely make double!
Whisk the ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Trim the fat from your corned beef, glaze and bake. Make sure to slice it across the grain.
I always serve the Whiskey Glazed Corned Beef with this Sweet and Sour Coleslaw with Warm Bacon Dressing!
The glaze on the leftover corned beef adds great flavor to this hash. It has onions, sweet red peppers, sweet potatoes and golden potatoes. I like to make it in a big skillet that can go into the oven: the eggs finish cooking and the top of the hash gets a bit crispy and caramelized. We like it served it with hot buttered English muffins and a drizzle of Sweet-Hot Whiskey Glaze. MMM!
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I hope you enjoy the recipes! Thanks for spending some time in the cloud with me! Tina ( :