Quick and Easy Corned Beef Recipes
Corned beef is generally silverside that has been cured with salt to preserve the meat. It may be viewed as old fashioned due to its enduring association with the two world wars but when made properly it is absolutely delicious and makes great leftovers. This is a childhood dish that conjures up memories both of the times it was done right and when it was done wrong, nonetheless I still make it regularly to this day.
For corned beef, the only way to do it is to cook it in water. You could use just plain water but for the best results it pays to add a few aromatics; herbs, spices, and vegetables to give it extra flavour and to stimulate the appetite. For the aromatics, any dried or fresh herbs will work such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, or bay leaves. For the spices, add anything you like but whole spices are best – I usually use peppercorns, cloves, and star anise. Vegetables to add include onion, garlic, carrots, potatoes, and turnips. You could even add greens like beans, peas or broccoli towards the end and cook them in the same liquid. Finally, it pays to add some white vinegar (of any kind) and sugar or honey to the water too, this will reduce the salinity of the corned beef and balance the flavour.
The traditional gravy that goes with corned beef is white sauce which might not be to everyone’s tastes, however, I will still include how to make it in the recipe. To sum it up it’s made in the same way as gravy but instead of using stock, milk is used, hence white sauce.
Leftover corned beef is one of the best things to have in your fridge. It makes for great toasted sandwiches and of course corned beef hash.
- 1-1.5kg corned silverside
- 2 carrots cut into large pieces
- 1 onion halved
- 1 whole bulb of garlic halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 star anise
- 5 cloves
- 1 tbsp of peppercorns
- a pour of white vinegar
- 1 tbsp of sugar or honey
For the white sauce:
- 1 tbsp of flour
- 50 g of butter (the same amount as the flour)
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 tablespoon of mustard, or horseradish cream
- salt and pepper to taste
Put the corned beef in a large pot and cover it with water. Add the vegetables, spices, herbs, vinegar, and honey. Cover and bring to the boil on a medium heat then turn the heat down and simmer for 2 hours or until tender to a fork.
Once cooked take the beef and vegetables out and cover in foil to rest, everything else can be discarded.
Meanwhile, make the white sauce. Heat the butter in a small saucepan, add the flour and cook for a minute or so while whisking till combined. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer till the sauce starts to thicken. Add the mustard or horseradish and seasonings.
Slice the silverside and serve with the carrots, steamed or boiled greens (you can do this in the same pot if you like). I also like to have baked potatoes with it to have something with a crunchy texture.
Corned Beef Hash
If you made too much corned beef this is a great way to use the rest of it, unless you were keeping it for sandwiches. It’s a simple hearty dish that combines the leftover beef with onions, garlic, and potatoes topped with a fried egg for good measure. This is very far from health food, but life is for living as they say.
The recipe for corned beef hash is said to have been brought to the USA by a recently arrived Irish immigrant but who can say for sure, either way, it is a quick and tasty and great for a mid-week family feed.
See our recipe for corned beef as this is a supplement to that dish.
- Whatever amount of corned beef you have leftover cut into cubes
- The same amount of potatoes cut into small 2cm pieces
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic diced
- Butter and oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 200’C fan forced, dice the potatoes and place them in a baking tray drizzled with oil. Add some salt and pepper and put into the oven for 20 minutes or so, checking to shake and make sure they don’t burn.
Put a saucepan on medium heat and add the butter and oil. Once bubbling gently fry the onions, stirring when needed till they are translucent and cooked. Add the garlic to the pan and fry for a minute or so while stirring.
Next, add the diced beef and fry till lightly browned. The potatoes should be cooked so remove them from the oven and add them to the saucepan, lightly season and remove from the heat.
While it rests add a small amount of oil to the same pan and fry an egg for everyone who is eating. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.
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