Easy Corned Beef

Easy Corned beef
This Corned Beef recipe is amazing and really does work. To understand corned food you need to go back to Old England. The word corned, I used to think at any rate, meant ‘with added corn’. Actually it means ‘crumb’. This is why we often call wheat ‘corn’ in the UK. It is crumby. It was a bit of a shock for me that corned beef didn’t have much, if any, corn in it. It is simply cured beef, which, once it comes out of the curing process looking a little crumb-like.

How corned beef is usually made
The beef is cured for a week, in pretty much the same way as you would cure bacon or ham, and then it is minced and cooked in a pressed mould. The corned beef we have in tins in the shop is often packed with fat to seal and a few breadcrumbs to make it absorb the cooking materials. The cereal is there only to absorb flavour and is certainly not there to make a cheaper product. Actually, corned beef is as expensive as roast beef.

Easy corned beef
Home made corned beef can be made in many ways, and we have included a couple of recipes, but the one we use on a regular basis is very easy and very quick. It involves turning the corned beef making process on its head by using ready minced raw beef as the basis, curing this and then cooking the cured mince in a loaf tin.

You could, if you wish, use a bought cooking meat press for this job, which is basically a tin with a lid that is held in position and under pressure by strong screws.

7.5 g curing salt
3 g ground black pepper (half a teaspoon) 10 g
50 ml water – could be beer
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
50 g breadcrumbs

Mix the ingredients except the breadcrumbs together in a bowl.
Leave for an hour and them mix up with the hands again – repeat this a few times. The basic idea is you are getting the cure through the whole of the meat, over a few hours.
Then leave it in the fridge overnight.

The following day incorporate the breadcrumbs and mix well. The breadcrumbs are there to absorb the cooking fat, and keeping the loaf of corned beef evenly textured.
Line a loaf tin with baking parchment and press down the meat firmly into it. You might want to use another loaf tin on top to keep its shape.

Fill the top loaf tin with boiling water and put them both in an oven at 180 C for about an hour. Check the centre for cooking with a probe thermometer, it should be at least 75 C.

Corned beef a la cheap and easy. My first attempt was a little (though not that bad) tough, because the cooking fat came out leaving me with a more solid limp. That’s why I suggest the breadcrumbs.

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