Sunday, March 15, 2009

Corned Beef, 101.

St. Paddy's is right around the corner; we know that, given several recent indicators:
Is it the furniture stores declaring 'a pot 'o gold' in savings?
Was it the midget dressed as a leprecaun separating two wrestling opponents on TV?
It might have been the shamrocks taped to windows throughout residential neighborhoods.
Could have been news coverage of the river in Chicago getting dyed green.

For me, I know St. Paddy's is near when dwarfs, little people, midgets, whatever you wanna call 'em, are front and center of any promotion involving shady, seasonal 'deals.' Furniture, autos, payday loans and car stereo businesses incorporate midgets dressed as leprecauns for the month of March, then, the same schlub gets dressed as the Easter Bunny in April!
Aren't there better outlets for 'wee people?' In my home, we could use someone to scrape gum from under tables. Or how about a service to change your oil in the driveway? And who couldn't use some assistance finding things under kids beds? This is good, practical, solid, helpful work ideally suited for the vertically challenged.
Come to think of it, kitchen work would be perfect! Cleaning the backs of cabinets, shelving and storage areas is an untapped industry. They could clean ovens by being IN there, scrubbing away and whistling, too. All cooks hate that job and would pay dearly to have the ability to get the corners clean.

That's it: I'm hiring 'wee people' for temporary, short stints to do the work that we can't or won't.
I wonder if they need a 'Green Card...?'

Easy Corned Beef

1 piece----Corned Beef Brisket, size dependent on your hunger
water-----to come up half-ways on the meat
spices-----the little packet that comes with purchase or 1T Pickling Spice

Method:
Place brisket in a covered roasting pan and fill with enough water to come up half-ways on the beef. Right after the 10 o'clock news, place your brisket in the 250 degree pre-heated oven.
Go to bed.
At 6 a.m., remove covered pan from oven and place meat on a cookie sheet using your biggest spatula. Let cool for about 20 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to cool. Once cool, slice brisket to desired thickness for plating up. When ready to reheat, arrange slices on a cookie sheet and pop into a 350 oven to warm up and hopefully get a little crispy on the edges.

Need to hold the dinner while guests are having beverages? Not a problem! Corned Beef has the half-life of Uranium-232 and gets better as it sits and gets all steamy...

Serve with boiled red potatoes, wedges of boiled green cabbage and a healthy whack of wholegrain mustard. I make a veloute' sauce using chicken stock and place the mustard in that, then, drag ladles of this sauce over the entire plate! Better give you a quickie on a veloute':

Veloute' (French for almost gravy)
1/2 C. -----Flour
1/2 stick --Butter
1 qt. ------chicken stock
to taste ---salt

Method:
Place butter in a sauce pot on medium heat and melt. Add enough flour to make a 'wet sand' paste. To this, add 1/2 your COLD chicken stock and whisk by hand. Once it starts to thicken, add the remainder of the stock. Pinch your salt to taste. EZ.

A boiled dinner isn't really that spectacular unless you spent 7 years in a Hanoi POW camp. So, elevate your game by making the mustard sauce using a veloute' base AND get your reheated corned beef CRISPY! Texture can either doom or rescue a dish.

Happy St. Paddy's to one and all,
Take care, God bless and remember,

"Food, Faith, Family and Friends,
the Best Things in Life Aren't Things."

Chef BQ.

1 comment:

Bill said...

I miss those corned beef sandwiches you'd occasionally make. Hot damn, those were good.