For many of us, cooking corned beef is a once-a-year ritual done to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but for Jake Cohen, author of the cookbook "Jew-ish," a big corned beef roast is a much more frequent addition to the celebratory table. "I Could Nosh," his most recent book, features a recipe for pineapple-mustard glazed corned beef that almost feels like a kosher-friendly answer to pineapple ham.
If you're looking to cook more corned beef at home, you might be struggling to decipher what type you should use. There's canned beef, sliced pre-cooked beef from the deli counter, and brined beef in the butcher section, and they all claim to be corned beef. While each has its purpose, Cohen told us in an exclusive interview that the brined (but uncooked) corned beef is what you should reach for to use in recipes. He likes it because, in terms of effort, it's halfway between corning your own beef and buying pre-cooked deli meat. "You know it's safe because it's gone through an industrial process of corning and preservation," he says. "All of the levels are going to be right in terms of keeping the cure. From there, you drain it, boil it, and cook it."
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Curing Your Own Corned Beef Is Possible, But It's Tricky
For those of you who want to try your hand at preparing corned beef all the way from scratch, we have a recipe for home-cured corned beef. If you have multiple days to brine the beef and you're precise about measuring the curing ingredients, it's doable, but there are some safety concerns if you don't follow the instructions exactly. Per Cohen, "I have corned my own beef. It was a project. I loved doing it. I am not preachy enough to be like, 'No, no, no. You need to be corning your own beef if you want to have good corned beef.' I'm also not looking to spread botulism across America."
He also said that if you really want to, you can ask the person at the deli counter to slice you a thick chunk of pre-cooked corned beef instead of boiling your own, but the results won't be as good. If you stick with the brined stuff from your butcher, the hardest part (brining), is already done, and you get to enjoy the juicy texture and succulent flavor of freshly-boiled beef.
"I Could Nosh" is available today from Amazon and other booksellers.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.