We recently began having our butcher (shout out to Golva Custom Meats in Golva, ND) save us the whole brisket. My Grandma Brown used to make corned beef and cabbage every year for Christmas Eve dinner, and now that we have sort of taken over that meal I wanted to continue the tradition. Alton Brown’s corned beef recipe on Food Network, and the fact that it is a crap shoot as to whether you can get a ready-made corned beef at grocery stores out here in the middle of nowhere, inspired me to try to make my own. The results were YUMMY.
I skipped the cabbage mostly because I hadn’t been to the grocery store to get any. BTW, I am LOVING my new 6-Quart Lodge Dutch Oven, which was an early Christmas present to myself this year. This was SO easy – just trim a bit of the fat from the outside of the thawed brisket, brine for 10 days in the fridge and boil with veggies following the Food Network recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/corned-beef-recipe/index.html. I guess I do follow recipes sometimes!
The best part? The left over corned beef. We had two more fabulous meals from this one great cut of beef: Reuben sandwiches yesterday and corned beef hash topped with poached eggs this morning for breakfast. Ok, it’s Saturday, so it was more like brunch. For the sandwiches, I simply bought a loaf of marble rye (yes, you can get that in Montana), sliced the corned beef very thin (using my new awesome Wusthof knives from my wonderful husband), slapped butter on one side and Thousand Island dressing on the flip side of each slice of bread, placed a slice of swiss cheese on the dressing side of each slice of bread, and piled the corned beef in between each yummy bread/cheese slice. Then I just toasted on my two-burner griddle until browned and melty and ooey-gooey. I left off the sauerkraut for my husband’s benefit, but these are great with or without.
Meal #3 was just a simple – cubed three medium sized spuds (potatoes, for those of you not from this area) fairly small, drizzled a little EEVO (from my new RR green EEVO bottle – thanks Mom!) on the same griddle, cooked the spuds with a little red onion, then added the diced remaining corned beef and diced roasted red peppers. At the same time I poached some eggs – so easy and so yummy, and actually the healthiest way to cook an egg. I topped the finished hash with a little swiss cheese and some bacon bits (so much for healthy), and then topped each plate of hash with an egg and served with Wheat Montana Ancient Grains toast. LOVE Wheat Montana – if you haven’t tried it yet, do it. Now. (www.wheatmontana.com). Make sure not to cook the eggs too long, so the yolk stays runny – when you break into the egg, the runny yolk mixing into the hash makes everything creamy, moist and SO GOOD. See?
I am looking forward to all the other new things I can do with this great cut of meat, the Brisket, which is also a pretty affordable cut of beef if you live where you have to buy it retail. If you can, buy your beef by the quarter or half from a local rancher instead. You will save money over buying individual cuts retail, and you will get a far superior and fresher product. More later on that important topic! Happy New Year everyone!