There is something distinctly summery about having a meal of cold corned beef brisket with mustard and an array of salads. Left-over corned beef keeps well in the fridge and is great for sandwiches.
I was under the misconception that corned beef is only readily available around Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17) when it is served hot, as a traditional Irish feast, with cabbage. I have now discovered that it can be bought at many supermarkets year round.
The piece of corned beef I prepared wasn’t quite the size or shape I would have chosen – and the pickle flavoring was slightly different from what I am used to. It was, however, delicious. The corned beef I have seen here seems to be cut into flattish slabs of meat, which is very practical for carving and serving.
This led to my thinking about more South African cold meat meals – a large piece (corner cut) of corned beef, pickled tongue, gammon and cold leg of lamb – all (summer) Christmas time-holiday favorites! So far I have not had much luck finding an ox tongue – fresh or pickled – but who knows, it must be available here too:)
- 2-4 pound piece of corned beef
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large carrot, chunked
- 2-3 celery sticks, cut into pieces
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 6-10 black peppercorns
- 5-8 whole cloves
- Rinse the corned beef under cold, running water.
- Place in a large, heavy-based saucepan, add all the ingredients and cover with cold water.
- Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and turn the heat down to keep it at a steady simmer until done – 45-50 minutes per pound. It should be very tender when tested with a skewer or fork.
- The meat should be left in the liquid while cooling and also when refrigerated.
- Remove from the liquid, and carve, against the grain, just before serving.