I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Old Fashioned Corned Beef

Fondest Childhood Food Memory

One of the first food challenges on MasterChef was to recreate a dish that conjured up the fondest childhood food memory.  After the challenge my mum asked me what I would have made?  I had to ponder on this and at first I couldn't think what I would have made.  A couple of dishes then came to mind - one was what we now endearingly refer to as "Spaghetti and Chicken" and the other dish was a good old fashioned comfort dish - corned beef, mashed potato, peas and mustard sauce!!!  Bet you can conjure up this in your own food memories can't you?

There are many ways to cook this dish - some cook it in a pressure cooker, some boil it in a saucepan.  I cook mine in a crock pot!!  I also have come to realise that there are many accompaniments to the good old corned beef.  Cabbage, Colcannon, boiled potatoes.... the list goes on.   Here is the recipe for my "Fondest Childhood Food Memory". (FCFM)

1- 2 kg piece of corned beef
2 carrots, diced into 3 large pieces each
1 onion, quartered
6 whole cloves
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbs brown sugar

Into the crock pot place the carrots, onion, corned beef, cloves, brown sugar, and vinegar.  Cover with water.  Put the lid on the crock pot - put it on low.  Walk out the door - have fun, go to work..... and come back 6-8 hours later to the wonderful aromas, and a cooked piece of corned beef.

Now to serve my "FCFM" you must have mashed potatoes (and I know you all know how to make that so I won't bore you with the "how to").  Peas and carrots are our usual accompaniment.  Then there is the all important mustard sauce.  Now there are as many variations on this are there are families that eat this dish.  Some make a white parsley sauce, others a tangy mustard sauce, but  "the darlings" they like a sweet mustard sauce. Last night, as they were at camp, and I was trying to make a sauce that didn't use flour as a base I did it a little differently.

Into a saucepan I put one small chopped onion, covered this with approximately 1 1/2 cups of milk and gently simmered it for 5-10 minutes to impart the onion flavour to the milk.  I then strained this and added to the milk, chicken stock powder, mustard powder, ground pepper and a squeeze of honey mustard (just to give it a little sweet tang.  I thickened it with cornflour that had been mixed with a little milk.  Now as I have said, this is a very "personal taste" sauce - so you must add whatever component gives it the flavour that you like.

There you have it my "FCFM".

Dear Readers there is nothing better than coming home on a cold night to the smell of corned beef wafting through your house.  Tell me what smells do you love to come home to on a cold winter night?

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