Monday, February 3, 2014

Corned Beef and Cabbage with Potato Mash

Corned beef and cabbage … True comfort food! Ever cooked it? Here’s how:

Corned Beef and Cabbage with Potato Mash:

Just enough water to cover meat
2-to-2-½ lb. (about 1 kg) corned beef bagged in brine
2 tbsp. prepared horseradish (optional)
Hunk of cabbage, coarsely chopped, as required
Mashed potatoes, as required (see Note)
Dijon-style mustard 

In a large pot, bring water to simmering point. Slip corned beef and brine in bag into water. For extra flavor and zing! add a little horseradish to the cooking water. Simmer, covered, about 3 hr., topping up water as needed. About 20 min. before corned beef finishes cooking, add cabbage to same water in which meat beef is simmering to let cabbage absorb flavor of meat and brine. Cover and cook cabbage 20 min., or until soft. Drain meat and cabbage well. Slice corned beef over mashed potatoes with cabbage on the side. Serve with Dijon-style mustard. 

Note: Surely you know how to make mashed potatoes? If not, here’s the basic recipe - nothing fancy, no roasted garlic, no cream, no bacon bits, no beaten-in lobster purée, no pretentiously named smashed potatoes  Just the real meal deal, take it or leave it. 

Potato Mash:

Russet or other all-purpose potatoes, as required
Butter or margarine, as required
Milk (I use skim), as required
Salt and pepper, as required

Rinse and peel potatoes. Quarter and add to large pot of cold water. Bring to boil over high heat, immediately lowering heat to simmer. Cover and cook 15-to-25 min., or until a small, sharp knife meets no resistance. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Mash with potato masher, removing as many lumps as possible (Purists use a potato ricer to do this job, but I live dangerously, happily eating gluey potatoes). 

Add butter, sampling as you go along. Potatoes should taste buttery - but not sickeningly so. Add milk slowly - too much will make potatoes slushy! Season to taste. Using an electric hand mixer, whip the heck out of this. Serve at once, directly from pot to the plate. So eat, already! Is that basic enough for you?

Tomorrow: Shredded Crab Salad.

Add the water: Simmer it.

Add the meat: The fat will simmer away.

Chop the cabbage into larger-than-normal chunks.

Simmer cabbage beside meat in last 20 min. of cooking.

Serve with mashed potatoes. Sliced thinly, is corned beef
is also great on rye bread with Dijon-style mustard.

For another excellent corned beef recipe, see Ron’s Corned Beef Hash, indexed under Brunches: Corned Beef.

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