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The Versatile Corned Beef

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
Photo by Gregory Son

This is the time of year for Leprechauns, Blarney stones, lucky shamrocks and Corned Beef. It is Saint Patrick’s Day! This is the time when Corned Beef has its annual fifteen minutes of fame.

Corned Beef is traditionally served thinly sliced, on a large platter, surrounded by steamed cabbage quarters, boiled potatoes and carrots. Mustard and horseradish are served as condiments.

Fortunately, for those who enjoy Corned Beef, it can be found in many incarnations throughout the year. The kind that celebrates all things Irish begins as a cut of beef known a Beef Brisket. It then undergoes a corning process in which the roast is cured in such a way as to impart the flavor of salt and pickling spices (mustard seeds, bay leaf, and pepper corns) into it. This beefy delight is boiled until it becomes very tender. The roast labeled Flat Cut tends to be the tenderest choice.

After Saint Patrick’s Day, this same Corned Beef becomes sandwiches such as Corned Beef on Rye Bread, or a Reuben Sandwich (Corned Beef, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut with Russian Dressing on Rye Bread), and finally as Corned Beef Hash (shredded Corned Beef, chopped onion, and potato, all browned into crispy goodness, and sometimes topped with a fried egg).

Corned Beef is loved in many other parts of the world, even in the Philippines, where Corned Beef becomes Cornsilog. No matter where this adored, delicious delicacy is served, somehow, right now, it brings out the Irish in everyone. Erin go Bragh!