BETTER-THAN-A-DINER CORNED BEEF

It’s that time of year. You feel obligated to celebrate the holiday in one way or another. If downing gallons of green beer or donning green from head to toe isn’t your thing, you might be inclined to indulge in a little corned beef action that will make you feel as though you’ve got the luck of the Irish.

Before we get into today’s recipes, here’s some thoughts about corned beef and cabbage. The dish is associated with St. Patrick’s Day – but only in the United States. Don’t expect to see corned beef and cabbage on a menu in Ireland, unless you’re in Killarney or some other touristy place – the preferred way to serve cabbage in Ireland is with pork or bacon. More than anything, corned beef and cabbage emerged from the descendants of the Irish immigrants who came to the US in the mid-1800s. Corned beef was more affordable than pork in the late 19th-century, which is why it ended up getting served with cabbage.

Sad to say, but when corned beef and cabbage gets slammed out, it  is not that exciting to me. But when prepared with great ingredients and attentions to detail, the dish can be a treat. In keeping with the season, Gateway Market is offering a three-day corned beef and cabbage special (Friday, Mar. 15 through Sunday, Mar. 17) available in the cafe and from the hot case. Our kitchen is using Angus corned beef, which makes this Gateway special something worth checking out. Don’t miss this one!

Corned beef can do a lot more than dress up cabbage. I have some suggestions on the best way to prepare your corned beef not only for St. Patty’s Day, but any time you want to create those diner classics at home.

A well-made Reuben Sandwich can be great any time of year.

Toasted Reuben Sandwich

To make my version of the classic Reuben, we’ve got to start with an uncooked Boyle’s corned beef (a better-than-average corned beef available at Gateway Market).

The best way to prepare corned beef is covered in an oven at 275 degrees.

Ingredients

  • 1 3-to-4 pound corned beef
  • Water for braising
  • Butter for bread slices
  • South Union Bakery Jewish Rye Bread
  • Enough slices of Swiss cheese for your sandwiches (two slices per sandwich)
  • Sauerkraut (about a half cup per sandwich)
  • 1 tablespoon or so (per sandwich) of Thousand Island dressing

This corned beef blasts your drab diner variety out of the water.

Preparation

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Place corned beef with enough liquid to cover the meat in a cast iron Dutch oven with a cover.

Cover and bake for about 3 and 1/2 to 4 hours. Most important, you want to reach an internal temperature of 205 to 210. Hold uncut corned beef in the cooking liquid to cool.

(If I am slicing Katz Deli style, I roast to 205 degrees; for hash I roast to 209 degrees.)

I like to make my Reuben sandwiches in a cast iron skillet.

Slice the corned beef with a slicing knife.

Butter one side of each slice of rye bread. Place buttered side down on a cast iron skillet or griddle.

Build sandwich by adding Swiss cheese, slices of warm corned beef, heated sauerkraut and thousand island dressing, more Swiss and top with another slice of the rye bread, butter side up.

Toast sandwiches on both sides and serve.

One of the tastiest corned beef treats – an egg on corned beef hash.

Corned Beef Hash

I’m really excited about how this recipe turned out – it’s better than any corned beef hash you can find these days in a diner. But remember: the best ingredients make the best dishes.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups finely diced or shredded cooked corned beef
  • 1-1/2 cups diced russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dry minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced dry garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dry English mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons of butter

It’s important to not overcook your potatoes and corned beef.

Preparation

Boil potatoes for about 3 minutes. They should still have a bit of crunch to them. Drain the potatoes, place in a bowl and season with the next seven ingredients and salt if needed.

Heat butter in a cast iron skillet or a non-stick skillet. Add hash mixture.

Cook hash until lightly brown careful not to burn. Serve with sunny-side up fried eggs and hollandaise sauce.

Homemade Hollandaise Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until foaming. (Exactly 140 degrees.)

Remove pan from heat. Put egg yolks and fresh lemon juice in a tall narrow bowl or bowl of a food processor or blender. Using an immersion blender or food processor, slowly add the melted butter in a thin stream and blend until creamy sauce forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper and with more lemon juice if needed. Hold warm until serving.

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