I finally dredged the corned beef up out of its briney depths in the refrigerator and cooked it yesterday. Wow! It was delicious and evidently safe (alluding to the saltpeter issue in earlier missives) because no one got sick last night and the unmentionable body parts of the men in the family all seem to be functioning properly — at least no one’s complained. My friend Gayle gave me a great tip for the cooking broth — she adds a half cup of tamari sauce (or soy sauce for those that don’t worry about gluten) — talk about your cross-cultural corned beef. . . . I think her Japanese mom taught her that trick. For the basic corning and cooking recipe, you’ll need to go to FoodNetwork.com because I’m not sure what the copyright deal is with them and I don’t want to step on any toes. Type in “Corned Beef” and it should be the Alton Brown, 2007 recipe. And as I said earlier, you’ll probably have to obtain the saltpeter online.
To cook, I added 1/2 cup of tamari sauce to the water, carrots, celery and onion, and threw in some leftover leeks as well. After the meat cooks 2 1/2 to 3 hours, you can either pull it out and slice it across the grain, or turn it into a watery stew, which is what I did. I plopped in some big wedges of white cabbage, 3 carrots in big chunks, 3 small potatoes in big chunks, 1 turnip in big chunks and cooked it for about 1/2 hr. until the vegetables were tender.
Good news on the recipe front: my friend Martha, whose a great cook and deeply immersed in German culture, is going to rustle through her German recipes and find me some good ones for our next region. And both Martha and my friend Mercy were encouraging me to run out and buy a raclette pan for a fabulous Swiss cheesey and potato dish, but it may not be the right time of the year (new potatoes are evidently a must, so spring would be better) and the special raclette cheese may have too much lactose for us. I’m still thinking on this one.
Keep those recipes coming, please!