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Monday, January 11, 2010

Corned Beef - Jewish Style

Sorry there's no photo for this one - it was all gone before I realized I should have photographed it! But I promise you that this was perfect - simply perfect. The meat slid off the knife and the flavors were spot on. I researched the difference between Jewish and Irish Corned Beef - which I made once and it's on the blog: I couldn't quite tell why they were different other than the cabbage - at least from the recipes I was able to find. If you have some additional thoughts, I urge you to share them.

The term “Corned” comes from putting meat in a large crock and covering it with large rock-salt kernels of salt that were refered to as “corns of salt” This preserved the meat. The term Corned has beenin the Oxford English Dictionary as early as 888 AD. is beef that is first pickled in brine and then cooked by boiling. Usually, cuts of meat are used that feature long muscle grain, such as the brisket.

According to the History Channel, while cabbage has long been a traditional food item for the Irish, corned beef serving as a substitute for Irish bacon, first became traditional in the late 1800s. Irish immigrants living in New York City's Lower East Side learned about this cheaper alternative to bacon from their Jewish neighbors.

So you can see that there can't be a tremendous's all about the same! Regardless, I've tried to create the flavors that I know best from the many Jewish deli counters I've been to over the years.

I can honestly say there wasn't a morsel left over - and it really did taste great on a slice of rye with mustard and sauerkraut! Really! All I needed was a Dr. Brown's Cream Soda and a plate of greasy fries...

Jewish Corned Beef
2 Lbs. Corned Beef, Thin Cut
1/8 tsp. whole cloves
1/8 tsp. whole peppercorns
1/8 tsp. mustard seed
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
2 onions, halved
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2 1/2" pieces
3 celery stalks, chopped into 2 1/2" pieces
2 bay leaves

In a large pot, place the vegetables and the meat and cover generously with cold water. Add the spices and bring to a boil. Skim off the foamy white fat on top and reduce heat to a heavy simmer. Do not allow this to boil. Cover 90% with the lid and let it cook about 5 hours. Turn once about half-way through.

Bring the pot to room temperature and refrigerate overnight. Skim off any fat that has accumulated on top and reheat, gently, covered, for about 35 - 40 minutes. Slice thinly and serve.

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