The Mysterious Corned Beef

Corned Beef in a can vs Brisket Corned Beef

A long time ago, when I first arrived in the USA and I was catering for my local neighborhood families, I vividly recall one of my customers asking if I could add her mother’s favourite to the menu at least twice a month. I asked her what that favourite might be and the answer was “Corned Beef with Mashed Potatoes”.

I found it to be a strange request as the only “corned beef” I knew about, came in a can, funnily enough, made in my country “Uruguay” out of beef leftovers and exported! Never, ever had I eaten corned beef in my life and found no reason to do so, which actually takes me back even more years to an event that happened in Nova Scotia, Canada, but I will save that story for another day 🙂

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Anyway, back to the “Corned Beef and Mashed Potatoes” story, I diligently prepared this dish and delivered it, and a couple of days later I asked my customer if her mother was pleased with her dish and the answer I got was, well yes but she would rather have the “real” corned beef! I kind of mumbled an apology, offered her a free meal and ran back home to figure out what she meant about “real corned beef”!

After a little bit of research I discovered that there is such thing as “real”corned beef brisket, which turns out to be pickled brisket (pickled in a salty brine solution) and surprise surprise, there is no “corn” involved in the process, the name comes from using “Corns of Salt”!

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It is a tradition here in the USA for the Irish-Americans to have Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patricks day, but please note that this dish does not exist in Ireland, or at least was not initiated there. History says that the original dish was supposed to be made with bacon and corned beef ended up being the poor mans bacon substitute! This now explains why in all the years that I lived in London, I never came across the infamous Corned Beef and Cabbage dish 🙂

What is known in America as Corned Beef, is known in the UK as Salted Beef.

So with this story in mind and the fact that I found a Corned Beef Brisket on Sale after St. Patricks Day, I decided to subject my Uruguayan/British/Norwegian/American family to a good ole Irish/American Corned Beef dinner ❤

Dinner was kind of enjoyed, they did make a comment about the beef being the wrong color (son stated it was very undercooked), so I had to explain it cooked for 3 hrs in a slow oven so for sure not undercooked! But all in all, for the first time round, I claim success at a lower level 🙂

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I found a few recipes on how to make my own homemade version and thinking I might give it a go –

So with that note, I hope you enjoyed my little story on Corned Beef! I love finding out the origins of traditional dishes ❤

 

 

 

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