In March, when corned beef is on the brain, I was looking to make my own. I love the taste of corned beef, but I often end up with a headache after I eat it—that and ham. Now it could be that the vast quantity of salt that I’m ingesting is making me dehydrated is giving me a headache. And yet, I don’t get a headache when I eat a half (er, whole?) jar of pickles! That leads me to believe that it’s the sodium nitrite that’s the culprit. Sodium nitrite is used to prevent botulism in preserved meats and gives them a pink color. I wondered if I made corned beef that wasn’t pink if it would still satisfy the craving of my few Irish genes. I found this recipe and gave it a try. I used a rump roast instead of a brisket, I didn’t have any juniper berries, and I only let it brine for 7 days. I boiled it for 3 hours and added carrots, potatoes and cabbage for the last 30 minutes.
|The brine smelled delicious.|
|Ready to go in the fridge for a week.|
|The meat was good and tender.|
The verdict? SALTY! Though the aromatics could be tasted faintly at first, you are then walloped in the kisser with salty beef. Only the distinct flavor of the boiled cabbage helped make it an almost-corned-beef dinner. Not as satisfying as I hoped, but a fun experiment nevertheless. Maybe I will try again next year.
Oh yes, my mom invited us over for a real corned beef dinner. Did I get a headache? That was several weeks ago and I don’t remember!
I dyed Easter eggs today using things around the house like onion skins, frozen fruit, and spices. I can’t wait to see the results tomorrow..hopefully I'm more punctual writing about it!