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BS: the people who make the corned beef

GUEST,leeneia 11 Mar 05 - 01:20 PM
GUEST 11 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Mar 05 - 01:32 PM
PoppaGator 11 Mar 05 - 01:37 PM
Rapparee 11 Mar 05 - 01:38 PM
Tannywheeler 11 Mar 05 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,MMario 11 Mar 05 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,skipy 11 Mar 05 - 02:39 PM
Rapparee 11 Mar 05 - 04:42 PM
Liz the Squeak 11 Mar 05 - 05:39 PM
DougR 11 Mar 05 - 05:50 PM
PoppaGator 11 Mar 05 - 06:36 PM
Rapparee 11 Mar 05 - 07:05 PM
Layah 11 Mar 05 - 08:49 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Mar 05 - 09:30 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Mar 05 - 09:33 PM
DougR 11 Mar 05 - 10:56 PM
Manitas_at_home 12 Mar 05 - 02:35 AM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Mar 05 - 07:04 AM
John MacKenzie 12 Mar 05 - 07:47 AM
Layah 12 Mar 05 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,leeneia 12 Mar 05 - 09:39 AM
GUEST 12 Mar 05 - 10:02 AM
Rapparee 12 Mar 05 - 10:03 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 12 Mar 05 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Giok 12 Mar 05 - 02:07 PM
kendall 12 Mar 05 - 05:40 PM
DougR 12 Mar 05 - 06:33 PM
Rapparee 12 Mar 05 - 09:37 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 13 Mar 05 - 12:22 AM
DougR 13 Mar 05 - 12:58 AM
NH Dave 13 Mar 05 - 02:06 AM
Manitas_at_home 13 Mar 05 - 02:47 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Mar 05 - 08:51 AM
Uncle_DaveO 13 Mar 05 - 11:11 AM
Rapparee 13 Mar 05 - 12:22 PM
Uncle_DaveO 13 Mar 05 - 01:25 PM
Dave'sWife 13 Mar 05 - 08:40 PM
Layah 13 Mar 05 - 09:04 PM
DougR 13 Mar 05 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Mar 05 - 12:06 AM
Davetnova 14 Mar 05 - 07:20 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 14 Mar 05 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,Uncle DaveO 14 Mar 05 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Mar 05 - 12:40 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 14 Mar 05 - 01:02 PM
GUEST 14 Mar 05 - 01:44 PM
Dave'sWife 14 Mar 05 - 02:42 PM
Layah 14 Mar 05 - 02:50 PM
Dave'sWife 14 Mar 05 - 03:47 PM
Dave'sWife 14 Mar 05 - 04:01 PM
Rapparee 14 Mar 05 - 06:44 PM
Layah 14 Mar 05 - 08:07 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 14 Mar 05 - 09:13 PM
Dave'sWife 14 Mar 05 - 09:33 PM
Once Famous 14 Mar 05 - 09:37 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 14 Mar 05 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Mar 05 - 11:41 PM
Layah 15 Mar 05 - 08:29 AM
Rapparee 15 Mar 05 - 08:46 AM
Layah 15 Mar 05 - 09:22 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Mar 05 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Mar 05 - 10:35 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Mar 05 - 11:35 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Mar 05 - 11:38 AM
Layah 15 Mar 05 - 12:28 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Mar 05 - 01:11 PM

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Subject: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 01:20 PM

Preparations are underway as leeneia and the DH (dear husband) host their traditional St Patrick's Day party. First there will be a dinner with corned beef & cabbage, mashed potatoes and Irish soda bread. Then the gang will split in two, with musicians heading for the living room to play Irish music, while the non-musicians stay at the table to chat and play Scrabble. If you put down a word of Celtic origins,you get to double the points.

In River City, and probably in most of the U.S., corned beef is not available all year. Instead, large quantities of it appear around March 17th, and it's all on sale. The people in the corned-beef manufacturing business must have an unusual way of life.

They make the move to River City every year in mid-February. The orders for beef brisket, cry-vac plastic and mysterious spices, most of them shaped like little balls, have to be placed. Then, about March 1st, the frenzy begins. Grandpa and Dad operate the huge vats of beef and brine. The teenagers operate the cry-o-vac units and put the finished product into cases for shipment to jubilant supermarkets. Grandma and Mom take the orders and make sure payments are received. Nobody gets much sleep, but the shop is cheerful. Family members sing "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" and similar dubious tunes as they work.

The little children play about in the office, whistling their tin whistles and shooting stray, ball-shaped spices at one another with pea shooters. (The pea-shooter work enhances their playing ability.)

Work doesn't stop just because March 17th comes and goes. Grandpa says, "Sure, and aren't leeneia and the DH having their party on the 19th this year. Don't slack!"

When it's all over, they close the shop and head who-knows-where for another eleven months. They will lie on the beaches of Florida, hike in the rain forests of the Northwest, perhaps go down to Cajun country to hear some good tunes.

It's a wonderful life.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM

hmmm - every place I've lived in around the US it's been different then you describe -

corn beef is available year round - but the price (even when the signs say "sale" go UP the two weeks preceding St. Pat's!!!!

Come to think of it - cabbage prices usually go up right about then as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 01:32 PM

The trouble with buying corned beef (at any time of year) is that commercial corned beef is usually made with second-rate cuts of beef. It's far better if made with better cuts.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 01:37 PM

As I understand it, Corned-Beef-and-Cabbage is an Irish-American dish, not particularly well-known in Ireland itself, where ham is more commonly served with cabbage.

Irish immigrants in the large American port cities supposedly learned about corned beef from their Jewish immigrant neighbors, and found that this delicacy, available from the local Kosher butcher, was more than acceptable as a substitute for ham.

I suppose the seasonal effort to produce corned beef concentrates on areas with little or no Jewish population (meaning much of the US outside the large coastal metropolitan areas). In the bigger cities, good corned beef ~ like pastrami, bagels and lox, and other such delicatessen goodies ~ is always available.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 01:38 PM

We're hosting one on Saturday as well, but NO corned-beef-and-cabbage! Soda bread, a good lamb stew, and a dessert, with Irish music on the stereo (oh, heck, a little from each of the Six Nations will creep in).

As for corned beef, why not make your own? (NOTE: the saltpeter was added by the Catholic Church to prevent concupiscience on a Holy Day.)


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 01:40 PM

Hubby has taken on cooking of various sorts as a hobby. In a sausage-instruction book, he read several "corned" beef recipe/instruction entries. He now makes our own -- buys a good-size brisket and makes brine and weights the meat -- the whole schmear. Pretty darn gooooooooooooooood.                Tw


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 01:41 PM

actually you will probably find that the abscence of saltpeter means that without a great deal of care you will have very unattractive colour in the finished product. It's the major function of saltpeter in most cured meats.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,skipy
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 02:39 PM

anagram of corned beef:-
BE ENFORCED

Skipy.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 04:42 PM

Yeah, I know that, MMario. But there are all those tales about the mashed potatoes and things....


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 05:39 PM

AH.. one of the mysteries of life explained.

Corned beef contains saltpetre... one of the ingredients of gunpowder.

Explains the explosive qualities of corned beef sandwich farts.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: DougR
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 05:50 PM

PoppaGator: I think you are right. The absolutely WORST (without a doubt)corned beef and cabbage I ever tried to eat in my entire life was in Dublin, Ireland last October. Ugh! They brought me a tough piece of beef smothered in a white gravy that, in the U. S., would more likely have covered a Chicken-fried steak. The the bill came for $20 U. S.

Tanneywheeler: did you check out the blue clicky provided by Rapaire? Is your recipe similar to that one?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 06:36 PM

Dang! White gravy in Dublin? On tough corned beef??!!

The world is surely going to hell in the proverbial handbasket.

For real authentic down-home Irish tenant-farmer fare, go for the lamb (not beef) stew.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 07:05 PM

I've got a recipe from Ireland for corned beef -- I'll try to remember to post it, as it's at home and I'm not.

As a side note about the saltpeter -- which is, chemically, potassium nitrate. When my youngest brother discovered that hot dogs contained sodium nitrate (which can also be used to make gunpowder) he wondered if you could explode them. After he experimented he decided that you can't do that. However, putting a firecracker into one and exploding the firecracker whill throw bits of hot dog a pretty fair distance.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 08:49 PM

Irish corned beef is really different from Jewish corned beef, so while they may have originated from the same thing, nowadays the availability of Irish style corned beef probably isn't related to the Jewish population, who will prefer Jewish corned beef. It's unlikely the stuff they sell near St. Patrik's day is kosher either.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 09:30 PM

Uncle Dave-O, corned beef is brisket - if it is "made" from any other cut of beef, it simply isn't corned beef. The cut comes from behind the first few ribs of the cow. It is tough, it is supposed to be. There are two "cuts" that are available - the flat cut, which is a bit leaner, and the corner cut which has more fat but it has more flavor. The word "corn" comes from an English word that describes the process of brining - adding salt to meat to help preserve it.   

There have been references to corned beef found in Irish poetry from the 12th century. There are also writings from the 16th century that talk about corned beef being served in Irish homes during Easter celebrations . The Irish were known to brine cuts of meat in order to preserve it. The meat was also exported around the world. It does appear that bacon joint and ham replaced it in Irish homes during the 18th, 19th and 20th century.

The Jewish version is pastrami, which is not salted but rather cured with sugar and smoke.

Somehow it became a dish of Irish-Americans. Like spaghetti and meatballs which has roots in Italy but is not an Italian dish, Corned Beef & Cabbage will always be considered an Irish dish here in the U.S. and in other parts of the globe.

I spend too much time watching Food Network and reading cook books!


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 09:33 PM

By the way, as many of you cooks and barbeque fiends will recognize, brisket is also the staple of good ole American barbeque. Instead of brining (or corning) the beef, the expert barbeque chef will add spices or a marinade and slow cook it for hours.   Again, it goes back to people trying to find a way to make a tough cut of meat palatable. The cooks on the range during the 1800's helped create the recipe for smoked brisket.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: DougR
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 10:56 PM

Hmm, Ron, I'm a skeptic in reference to your last post. Since smoking brisket requires a very, very, long period of slow cooking, and the cattle heards had little time to spend waiting on "Cookie" to prepare meals, I doubt very much that the trail cooks had much to do with the "invention" of BBQ. Maybe the ranch cooks, when not on a cattle drive. might have contributed to developing BBQ, but ...
Now, Chili, that's a different thing..

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 02:35 AM

For the people on the European side I think it should be pointed out that the corned beef described above is what we would call salt beef. Corned beef to us is a sort of compressed mince usually served cold and sliced from tins imported in huge numbers from Argentina.

I've always associated the traditional Irish meal with bacon and cabbage. Again, that's not rashers of bacon but lumps of boiled bacon. PJ at the Chevy Chase is threatening to serve some for the musicians at next Friday's session - he already serves some home made soda bread with the sandwiches.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 07:04 AM

From reading my cowboy books and watching John Wayne movies, I learnt that the drover's cook went ahead and set up camp, cooking the meal while waiting for the others to catch up. This is the way many Aussie cattle drovers do it too.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 07:47 AM

How did that Hoppy keep up with the chuck wagon.
Like others on this side of the ditch I've never heard of corned beef and cabbage being a traditional Irish dish. The corned beef mentioned by Manitas is also salt beef, just that it's canned, which they tend not to do with salt beef in the states. The only place I can remember salt beef sandwiches in the UK was a place called [I think] Isow's just down from the Windmill theatre in Soho, and very nice they were too.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 09:15 AM

Ron Olesko, Jewish corned beef and pastrami are two very different things. I have no idea how they are prepared, but corned beef is kind of bland and has very obvious grain in the meat, pastrami is spicy with pepercorns and things imbedded in it and fairly smooth (probably cut in a different direction than corned beef).


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 09:39 AM

I think we all know that corned beef & cabbage is Irish-American, not Old-world Irish. (That's why the people who make it sing inauthentic songs.) I can see that lamb stew would be more authentic, but lamb is rarely found here, and when it is, it's expensive. Most of my friends wouldn't like the taste.

As for making my own corned beef, I tried it once, and it did not seem worth the effort. Also, one has to keep the meat completely underwater for three weeks. I worry that a corner will slip out and start to spoil.

When the time comes, I will cook the corned beef ahead, cool it, and cut out whatever fat I can. This year I intend to change the cooking water and see if that doesn't remove some of the salt. The cabbage gets steamed separately, just for a short while. This year I am considering sprinkling a little dill on the cabbage.

I should mention that I cook the corned beef in a slow cooker. It's amazing how tender and delicious it is.

What do you think we should serve for dessert?


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 10:02 AM

Don't forget to serve the cabbage water in a jug. Bacon is more authentic than lamb stew with cabbage.

And bake a huge barmbrack, with lashings of real butter for when the dinner has 'settled.'!


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 10:03 AM

DougR, such historians of Old West cooking as Ramon F. Adams specifically mention brisket as being cooked in Dutch ovens. It might, for instance, be put out to cook overnight or put on when the cook got up (around 3 or 4 a.m. on a drive or roundup), cooked as long as possible, and the hot Dutch oven (minus the coals!) carried to the "nooning" spot or even to the evening campsite. Beans were cooked in the same way.

Check out Adams' Come an' get it: the story of the old cowboy cook or several others on old-time cowboy life. The cosi is always mentioned, and often there are also recipes.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 12:19 PM

"I think we all know that corned beef & cabbage is Irish-American, not Old-world Irish. (That's why the people who make it sing inauthentic songs.)"

Well, I think that your first point has been proven wrong, but even if the dish is simply "Irish-American", does that make Irish-American's "inauthentic"??    Cultures develop and celebrate their heritage in many ways. Irish-American culture is different from Irish culture.

While it has not been popular in Ireland, corned beef did originate in Ireland (as discussed above). It has become "adopted" as part of the Irish-American celebration of St. Patrick's Day, so you would be wrong if you say it is "inauthentic".


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 02:07 PM

Soak it in cold water overnight to remove some of the saltiness. I make my own dry cure bacon and that gets pretty salty, so I have to do the soak thing for about 3 days changing the water each day, but it works.
You've got to weigh your beef down if you do it yourself, so's a corner doesn't surface without permission.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: kendall
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 05:40 PM

Now Doug, that meal you had in Dublin was bad and over priced, but surely a republican like you wouldn't begrudge a guy trying to make a profit? It's the American way!


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: DougR
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 06:33 PM

Nope, Kendall, I don't mind the Publican making a profit at all, but he/she should serve a decent meal for it.

Rapaire: I think we are comparing apples with oranges. To me, BBQ is very slow cooked meat exposed to smoke. The heating source is separated from the meat so that it is actually baked in smoke. That's the way we do brisket, pork and beef ribs, and pork butt roasts where I live out here in the old west.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 09:37 PM

Okay. I was thinking you were talking about range cooking, such as was done on the roundups or cattle drives.

Yeah, they might have done that at the ranch but not out of the back of the chuck wagon.

Hey, I can get the fixin's for a good sonuvabitch stew, if ya want to come up. Brains, lights, marrow gut -- all of it. Gimme a couple days advance notice so's I can arrange for the slow elk.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 12:22 AM

DougR - It is hard to trace the history of barbeque, but there are histories that show the cattle barons did not wish to spend money on expensive cuts of beef, so the cooks learned that slow cooking the brisket made a tasty meal.   A form of barbeque can also be traced to the "pig pickins" that occured in the South before and after the Civil War. The BBQ that you mention can trace it's roots to these events.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: DougR
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 12:58 AM

Yes, Ron, I agree. I think the beggings of BBQ (the smoked kind)
probably originated in the southern states.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: NH Dave
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 02:06 AM

If the trail cook had the time to cook beans to tenderness, he certainly had time to cook corned beef. It is my experience that dried beans need 4-6 hours of cooking to become tender. Soaking them overnight will reduce this time a bit, and cooking them with some of the spices in a pressure cooker for about an hour does the trick nicely. Pressure cookers didn't seem to be on the trail cooks wagon, however.



Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 02:47 AM

Giok, maybe the canned corned beef is salt beef but it's definitely not the same sort of salt beef you get in the East End. It doesn't have the same look, texture or taste at all.

Corned beef is ok for serving in sandwiches but Salt beef is marvellous served with mustard and sliced gherkins on a beigel or platzel.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 08:51 AM

When the white people first landed in Australia, they found a bunch of guys sitting round a smoking fire. When they asked the name of the place, they were told "Barbaquaria"


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 11:11 AM

BEEF CORNED IN WINE

   Corned beef is, traditionally, corned in wine, a rather low-brow sort of dish. But, prepared as described here, it reaches epicurean heights.
   
   The first point of difference is the cut used. Even the best commercial corned beef uses brisket. In this recipe use chuck or rump, bottom or top round, or, for a particularly festive occasion, rib roast boned and rolled.

   Not too large a piece, because the beef should be thoroughly corned all through--5 or 6 pounds at most. Put meat in a large crock or vessel (not aluminum); pour in a mixture of 1/2 dry red wien and 1/2 water to half cover the meat. Remove the meat and add 1 cup salt, 4 bay leaves, 1 teastpoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning for each quart of liquid. Stir until salt is dissolved. Return meat to liquid. Keep at room temperature for at least 72 hours. Turn frequently.

    Simmer in corning liquor until tender. Time will depend on cut of meat used, about 20 to 30 minutes per pound. Do not "freshen" as this takes away the wine flav or.

    Red cabbage, quartered, may be added to cooking liquor 20 minutes before beef is done.

    If a pressure cooker is used (and this method of cooking prevents loss of wine flavor), cooking time is about 5 minutes per pound.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 12:22 PM

The very cheapest cuts used by the cattlefolks were OP's. The standing joke was that you went to a "feed" at your neighbors to see how your beef tasted.

The young lady from the city paper went out searching for the best cut of beef. So she asked an old cowboy, figuring that he, if anyone, would know.

"Walp," he said, turning his chaw over in his cheek, "I reckon that would would tongue. Yup, it's all meat and no fat, tender, and don't got no bones. Yup, tongue'd be it."

"YEW!" she exclaimed. "I'd never eat anything that had been in a cow's mouth."

"'Spect you've never et no egg," the old fella replied.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 01:25 PM

In my last post, somehow the text got posted when all I wanted to do was have a preview. It didn't have the last paragraph, nor the attribution.

The last paragraph of the recipe:

    When done, remove meat and reduce 2 cups of cooking liquor by boiling until it begins to thicken. Pour over beef and cabbage, and serve. Remainder of cooking liquor may be placed in covered container and saved for future use.

    This is from The American Wine Cook Book, by Ted Hatch, 1941, which I bought in probably 1956, at its list price--are you ready for this?--$3.75! Wonderful cookbook!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 08:40 PM

For what it's worth (not very much, I'm sure)..My Irish-American Family from NYC always prepared a Baked Ham for Easter, bone in. None of that canned nonsense. I suppose Southerners would call it 'Country ham' as it was usually a smoke cured Ham.

With the Baked Ham, we got Colcannon or Champ, new peas, braised celery & carrots, pearl onions in cream, soda biscuits and whatever else the ladies felt like putting on the table. We then ate the leftovers for weeks the way other Americans eat Turkey for weeks after Thanksgiving. Barmbrack would, to my mind, be an inappropriate dessert choice for St. Patricks day or the Spring-time. I'd go with a Gooseberry Cream Tart, a baked Banana Pudding, a nice dark Gingerbread w/double cream or my hubby's favorite, Coconut layer cake with boiled icing.

My Grandfather's family emmigrated in the Nineteen-Teens I believe, with most of them getting here by 1918 or 1920. Don't know if that has anything whatsoever to do with our traditional menu choices for certain holidays - it probably doesn't! It wasn't until I was a teenager that I discovered other people had Corned Beef on St. Patrick's Day.

I make a decent Corned beef, and just because it's on sale this week for an insanely cheap price, I'll probably make it sometime soon, but not on St. Patrick's Day! I'm a Corned Beef Refusnik on the 17th. I also don't watch the Oscars and go to the movies instead on that day. I suppose I have a contrary nature! When I do make mine, I like to marinate the meat for a couple of days in a Brine/Beer mixture with Juniper berries, Various assorted peppercorns, Mustard seed, Laural leaf, caraway seed, peppercinci, chopped onions, a few chilis, a little white wine vinegar, and an assortment of other spices. As usual, I'll most likely be making HAM for the 17th.

I've never had a good BBQ'd Brisket. I'd like to try it. Nrisket can be wonderful if cooked slowly.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 09:04 PM

I read a book about food cultures of three immigrant groups who all immigrated around the same time: Jews, Italians, and Irish. The biggest change was in America meat was much cheaper and more available, while all three groups had meat rarely or for special occasions back home, so what we think of as traditional food for the three groups is not actually what they ate on a day to day basis before they immigrated.

The very interesting thing about the Irish though was for the other two groups there was an elite they had looked up to, and so when they came to America they copied the kinds of foods those people had eaten. In Ireland the elite were the Protestants, and very hated, so they didn't have a model of food to follow. Instead of developing a strong food culture like the Italians and the Jews, the Irish developed a strong drinking culture.

I'm sorry I can't remember the title or the author of the book, and I don't know how to find it out again.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: DougR
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 09:25 PM

Dave's Wife: I take it that you do not buy the corned beef in the sealed package with the little mixture of herbs, right? You must buy a regular beef brisket and do the work yourself. It sounds good!

If you would like a good recipe for smoked brisket let me know, I'd be happy to PM you a good recipe.

Country Ham, by the way, is prepared differently from the more regular bone-in hams available in most supermarkets. It is cured and cooked slowly and placed in a smokehouse and exposed to smoke for another long period of time. It's very salty and the preparation is pretty time consuming. It's worth it, though. I love Country Ham. I can still imagine the wonderful smell of the hams seasoning in my grandpa's smoke house on the farm in Texas in the early 1930's.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 12:06 AM

Thanks, Giok, for the tip about soaking the meat in cold water to remove salt. (refrigerated,of course)

Meanwhile, where are those dessert suggestions I asked for?


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Davetnova
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 07:20 AM

Is US corned beef different from UK corned beef?
UK stuff comes in a tin and appears to be minced and pressed, is this what you have US side? In Scotland it's used to make stovies, a traditional supper dish often served to soak up excess alcohol as an evening wears on.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:27 AM

that sounds like corn beef hash. Our corn beef is a full slab of brined brisket that does not come in a can.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,Uncle DaveO
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 10:49 AM

Davetnova:

No, that canned shredded corned beef is available here, but that's not what we're talking about.

And no, I realize what you're talking about is NOT corned beef hash.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 12:40 PM

Hi, Davetnova. The corned beef I am talking about here is a slab of beef brisket, about 6 inches across, 12 inches long and 1.5 inches thick. It is pickled in a factory and then sealed in cry-o-vac, which is a heavy plastic that keeps the air out.

We do have the corned beef in cans, the cans with the little keys that usually break when you try to use them. It comes from Brazil or Argentina, usually, and I use it sometimes to make corned-beef hash.

There is also corned beef hash ready-made in a can, but I wouldn't feed it to my dog.

I don't know what the corned beef in the UK is like.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 01:02 PM

I'm curious, I've never seen corned beef (other than hash) in a can. Is there a brand that markets it? How is it prepared?


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 01:44 PM

In UK corn beef comes in a can with a key. It is pink and white fatty crap. It is from Argentina and should have stayed there.

Salt beef is sold especially in Jewish areas and lauded by those who laud it. A delicacy in a sandwich. Bought in deli's too.

The Irish wouldnt have corn beef for St Pats. They might give it to the dog, if they hate the dog.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 02:42 PM

I found that comment about the Irish now having a strong food culture but a strong drinking culture somehwat offensive, but then, at this time of year, many people seem to feel free to let loose with comments such as that. It has been my own experience that the vast majority of idiots vomitting green beer in the streets are NOT Irish but tourists or opportunistic revelers who have turned St. Patricks Day from a religious holiday into a Pre-Spring Break bachannal. In fact, I believe even Frank McCourt has stated that he's been very offended by the suggestion that all Irish get drunk on St. Patrick's Day. It doesn't help that various Irish Pubs open their doors early in the AM to suck in all those "Irish for a day' drinkers so they can make a $$$ killing.

I know that I joked once on Mudcat that when I was growing up, I thought St.Patrick was the Patron Saint of Policemen because the cops on my family (in NYC) usually had the day off. I suppose that could have given the impression of partying and drinking. In fact, St. Patricks Day for them usually began with 6 AM Mass..that is for the ones not marching in the Parade. Guys who marched usually went to Mass at The Cathedral either before or after the event. For us, it was a Holy Day of Obligation and in the 70s, when I was a child, there was not this emphasis on drinking. That may also be due to the fact that it was not yet a Holiday for the masses. It could also be that in Eastern cities such as NYC and Boston, there's enough of an Irish community to keep the focus where it should be.

It saddens me that such a stereotype is perpetuated but there's naught to be done about it. Surely there are Irish Alcoholics but no more or less than the general public according to all my friends who are now members of AA and related groups. The thing that gets me is that during Black History Month or on Martin Luther King Day, people don't find it appropriate to joke about Watermelon eating or something equally offensive, but on St. Patrick's day, lots of folks trot out those Irish Drunk jokes. Oh well... I'm sure every ethnic group suffers through similar prejudices and given the opportunity, insensitive people would happily spout those as well. I'm sure their are demeaning Italian jokes that pop up around the Columbus Day or The San Genero parade, I've just not heard them. (Columbus day is HUGE in NYC, btw)

So..whatever..I don't drink and there'll be no drunks in my house on the 17th. I'll still be making Ham!

As for desserts.. I did suggest above the following appropriate desserts:

Gooseberry cream tart
Baked banana Pudding (or the NYC/Boston Iish American favorite Banoffee pie)
Coconut Layer Cake with Boiled Icing (you can dye the coconut green if you must)
and some new suggestions:
Porter Cake (made with Guinness)
Gingerbread (made with Guinness.. see the Gramarcy Tavern recipe on www.Epicurious.com)
Irish Mist Mousse
Irish Coffee Trifle
Pistachio Trifle (for the green colour)
Carrot pudding (if you want Orange instead of green..hehe)
Potato Cake

I got a million of these. PM me if you need a recipe.
Have a happy holiday everyone and stay away from the green beer! It's not natural!


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 02:50 PM

I'm sorry I didn't mean to offend with my comment. Nor did I intend to imply that Irish are drunks. I report what I read in a (it looked to me) scholarly book, but I haven't personally studied the matter. I also would like to emphasize that the book was not discussing people now, but mostly first generation immigrants in the early 1900s. The book didn't say they were alcoholics either, it wasn't that they drank more than the other two groups, it was that there was a connection to their history, a feeling of being Irish that was attached to certain drinks more than certain foods. I'm sorry that I wasn't clear, and implied something I didn't intend.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 03:47 PM

Layah.... I'm from NYC and I'm married to an American of Protestant persuasion..believe me..if I avoided everyone who repeated something offensive about the Irish..I'd have few people other than my own large family to talk to.

Keep in mind that the very statements you repeated are the very ones used to justify the typical prejudices. "I read in a book that... etc etc " is often quoted to me by my very Anti-Irish inlaws! I actually edited out of my posts several very nasty experiences of my own having to do with the "Irish Drunk" assumption because I didn't want to start a flame war. I'm very sure you DID see those statements in a book just as I am sure there are books which people still quote to justify their beliefs that blacks are violent by nature or that Italians are predisposed to criminality or that Jews are secretly running the world. Doesn't make any of those things true, but there you are. As I said, it's not be avoided and at this time of year, people seem to feel its OK to trot out such things about the Irish.

The fact that it made such a ludicrous statement that there was no Irish Cuisine (whilst we are all talking about the length and breadth of Irish Cuisine!) in the new world should be a big clue that it's nonsense. Trust me dear, no matter what some alleged Scholar from the past wishes you to believe, We DO have a Cuisine of our own here in the New World just as our Great Grandparents did back in Ireland. In fact, I've heard rumours that the Irish in Ireland STILL have a cuisine of their own..hehehe.


As for prejudice..it was not very long ago that to be Irish in NYC meant you could not work. My own Grandfather could not find work in the 1918. he changed the sopelling and pronunciation of his last name to one that appeared to be German and BANG..he was employed..just like that. of course... he had to change it back again in the mid 1930s,m having not dorseen that to be German would eventually become a rock round his neck...hehe. His bad choice, huh?

Even in the 1980's, I experienced some odd sentiments when I was working in NYC. Hard to believe I know, but it was true! I was shocked to be quizzed about my ethnicity, which was illegal, during an interview. But, what was I to do? I needed the job. When I was asked if my name was German..I remembered Grandpa and said, "I believe so!"..got hired n the spot. I left after 8 months because I didn't like the whole Uber-WASP vibe I got whenever I asked for an hour to go to Mass on Holy days. I was catholic then.

Oddly enough, my boss saw me with a bunch of my Irish relatives outside of work one day(acting, I suppose "too Irish' or something ??? beats me!) and quizzed me about the next day. He says..so, "Your DAD is German then?" I took the hint and got me a new job. Who knows what his beef was?? I surely don't! Maybe some redheaded Colleen dumped him in Grade School. Beats me. All I know was there were two things he didn't want in an employee: Irish & Catholic. I was both. I left. Oh, now that I recall, he didn't hire Jews or Blacks either. What an idiot, eh?

To this day I find that episode more amusing than offputting. It's the nonsense my inlaws shovel in my direction that gets to me. To describe it is painful so I won't. I'll just say this, My huaband is the sweetest Protestant boy my family ever met and he's greatly loved in their homes. Too bad it doesn't flow in both directions. Such is life.

So, forget about everything you've read and have some Porter Cake on the 17th! Or better yet PM me and I'll inundate you with proof positive we have a Cuisine of our own! You'll have so many recipes on hand, you'll wish every day was St. Patrick's day! On the 17th, at least in America, everyone is Irish!


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 04:01 PM

Since I've been going on about Porter ckae, and, since Porter Cake MUST be made days in advance of serving..here's my recipe:

Porter Cake
American version

Ingredients:
1 bottle of FLAT Guinness Stout at room temperature
(open it and pour in a glass a couple of hours beforehand to let out the bubbles and to bring up to room temp)
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Cups castor Sugar (superfine to Americans)
1 cup of softened but not melted butter (2 sticks of American butter)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup Sultanas (Golden raisins to Americans)
1 tsp. Lemon peel
1 tsp. Orange peel
1/2 cup Dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. powdered ginger

Preheat Oven to 375 Degrees

Butter and flour a loaf pan, line with a piece of buttered parchment paper. Then, add the baking soda to the glass of room temp Guinness. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter together until creamy and light. Beat in the eggs slowly. Fold in the dried fruits and peel. Beat it all together until well mixed. Then, slowly add the flour and ginger. Beat until smooth. Add the Guinness and soda mixture, beat until smooth. Turn into your buttered load pan and bake at 375 for approximately 90 minutes. In some ovens, you may need to cook for another 20 minutes after that. When a pick comes out clean from the center, cake is done.

Do not serve this cake the day it is made! The cake needs to ripen for several days. It won't taste good until the flavors have ripened. So, make ahead of time. And don't be tempted! The cake stores well in a tin. You can top the slices with slightly sweetened whipped cream.

ENJOY!


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 06:44 PM

I've always understood that the Irish-American "tradition" of corned beef and cabbage came from the fact that these were cheap foods used to feed those who worked on the railroads and canals -- the owners weren't into spending much on their workers. Toss in a couple potatoes, and maybe an onion. All cheap and filling foods, especially if you grew your own vegetables.

As for true Irish cuisine -- well, my visits to Ireland have ALWAYS added weight to my frame, and not from the drink! Delicious food, well prepared and well presented. I remember one dish my wife had, at the "Half Door" in Dingle -- a single pear stuffed with lobster and topped with a lovely white sauce (no, I don't know what kind of sauce, except that it was white in color). I had trout with blackberries, myself....

Quail Veronique at Snaffle's in Dublin, salmon and prawns in Kenmare, smoked salmon in Kinsale, a mussel stew at a pub in Skibbereen...dear God, I'm making myself hungry...Irish coffee at the Great Southern in Killarney...I gotta stop.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 08:07 PM

I'm certainly not sounding the way I'm intending to sound. Neither did I mean to imply that the Irish don't have cuisine, which is obviously untrue. But you're right, I just read the book and I didn't bother thinking about what I read. The wording didn't stick out as prejudiced and so I didn't examine the kinds of assumptions it was making. Now I really wish I could remember what the book was called so I could go back through it with that in mind and reevaluate what it actually said. So I guess it isn't all bad I brought it up, because now I will reexamine what I have heard on the subject and what it means. And I apologize again for spreading bad information.

My family had a similar experience with the names. My grandfather and his brother changed their names because they couldn't get jobs because their names were too Jewish. The family kept the new name, so now they all have a name that was pretty much just invented by my grandpa. My last name is also changed but on my Dad's side they just know it was different, they don't know what it was or why it was changed, but it's possible it was for similar reasons, as it also would have been some Jewish sounding name.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:13 PM

Ireland and Britain have suffered bad reputations in culinary circles. I think it is unfair and just more signs of snobbery when people cannot enjoy simple comfort foods such as this.

Corned beef is also getting a bad reputation that I feel is unfair. I love corned beef, which is also a staple of New England boiled suppers.   Corned beef, while a cheaper cut of meat due to the fact, is very tasty. Anyone who eats meat out of a tin probably deserves whatever they get. Run down to the local butcher or supermarket and pick up a nice slab of corned brisket (I recommend the flat cut), boil it up for a couple of hours in water with a bottle of Guinness, boil up some cabbage and potatoes and you have a great meal.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:33 PM

Ron.. you ARE right.. a good brisket is wonderful when prepared properly. I still won't make on March 17th just because that's what people expect of me due to my Heritage. I plan to buy one tomorrow, however and begin marinating it. I hope to find one that's not already polluted with somebody else's idea of marinade and spices. That's getting more difficult these days since it's hard to find a free-standing Butcher shop or a Grocery with a Butcher on duty.

Layah..don't sweat it so much! I only said "somehwat offended'..not 'massively offended'!! hehe. Besides, the whole discussion prompted me to post my Porter Cake recipe. Incidentally, my version is adapted for an American palette and in consideration of what Americans can usually find at the grocery. The Irish version calls for a couple of types of candied peels and sometimes Citron (the yucky green things in fruitcake0. I substituted grated peel & dried fruits: cherry & Cranberry, but you can use dried blueberries or Apricots if you wish, or even dried plums (AKA Prunes). You can even add Cinnamon and/or Allspice if you wish but I prefer plain old Ginger.

Incidentally, the Neighborhood where my Dad was Born in the Bronx was historically an Irish/Jewish ghetto. Lots of inter-marriage too as well as co-mingling of cuisines. Why, just this afternoon between posts here, I made something I call Blueberry Cheese-cups which is really just a Jewish Cheese Blintz recipe made in cupcake form. Got that recipe from my Irish Grandmother who got it from a Jewish Neighbor. ( I also ironed a lot of shirts!)

Once upon a time about five years ago, I had a contract to write an Irish-American Cookbook from a ethnographic point of view, with stories of the cross-pollination of Irish American Cuisine with that of other Immigrant Groups. I amassed stories, recipes, references and photos only to see the Publisher falter and go bankrupt. Now here I sit upon a mountain of data and recipes and my Agent has had no luck selling it elsewhere. Such is life.

Makes me feel like making a cake! ( but not ironing any more shirts!)


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Once Famous
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:37 PM

Kosher Corned beef on rye.

With mustard. And a pickle.

Everything else is fake. Especially the Irish version, a once a year psuedo-legend.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:56 PM

Martin,

I know you aren't the first person to mention "Jewish" corned beef, but I defy anyone to tell me what the difference is, other than perhaps being "kosher".   I'll say it again, corned beef is simple brisket that has been preseved, or rather pickled, in brine.   There simply is no difference in taste, no more than one brand to another. One company may add more or less salt or spice, and the cook may add their own touch, but there is no difference.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 11:41 PM

thanks for the dessert ideas, Dave's Wife. And the recipe.

Ron Olesko: you prob haven't noticed the corned beef in a can because the can is a funny shape - not round, but a low and squarish. This is what you do:

open the can, using the little key. (If it breaks, you can use a regular can opener, although it takes finesse.) Get the corned beef out and break it up into chunks.

chop up some onion

slice up some potatoes

heat some oil or fat in a big skillet. (I use corn oil). Brown the onions, then set them aside in a little dish.

Brown the potatoes, then shove them to the outside of the skillet.

Brown the corned beef. It tends to stick. That's part of the charm.

Finally, stir the beef, potatoes and onions together. Cover the skillet and let it cook gently until the potatoes are completely cooked.

Just before serving, remove the lid and turn up the heat some so that the hash is not too soggy. Eat with a fried egg, if desired. Don't forget the ketchup, either. And a beer.

We like to make this when we are camping.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 08:29 AM

Dave's Wife, that sounds like a really interesting book. I'd like to read it if you ever manage to publish it.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 08:46 AM

I cook a corned beef hash this way:

Cube some potatoes and boil 'em until NEARLY soft. Set aside.
Chunk up some onions and fry in butter or margarine until they're translucent. Add some corned beef that's been cut into cubes about the size of the potatoes (or just toss in a can of corned beef which has been so cut, but in either case take it out of the can first). Cook 'em together for a bit and then add the potatoes back in. After a couple minutes, season with salt, pepper, and Worchestshire sauce.

You can fry some celery with the onions if you'd like a bit of green in it.

Serve hot, without an egg on top.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 09:22 AM

The internet is useless! I decided to do a search to see if I could find out the true story of Irish versus Jewish corned beef. The Jewish corned beef I have had tasted very different from the Irish corned beef that I have had. But the internet is useless.

There is a story that the Irish had corned beef and cabbage on Easter. The beef had been corned to preserve it over lent. This story was quoted in many different web pages, using the exact same wording without any referencing! Nobody admitted they had just taken their information wholesale from some other site. I found one site that quoted this, citing the USDA as the source, and then said they were wrong. Beef was very rare and expensive, and most likely they had a bacon joint.

As for Jewish corned beef I found absolutely zero information. One or two recipes and that was it. I have lost all faith in the internet and will sever my connection immediately never to go online again. Or do you think that might be overreacting?


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 09:32 AM

Layah, I'm not sure if you are overreacting, but perhaps you are frustrated because you haven't found information that backs up your theory.   

Beef has been "corned", not just for Lent, but also to preserve it for export.

As for "Jewish" corned beef, I still say that there is relatively no difference (besides the kosher process). One brand may add spices in a different order or amount, but the brining process is the same. You might have a company that markets corned beef toward a specific ethinic group, but the product is the same. The taste may be a bit different, just like a McDonalds hamburger tastes different from Burger Kings and both are radically different from what I can make at home. They are all hamburgers.

When I went to the supermarket last week, there were 3 or 4 brands of corned beef available. One or two said they were kosher, the others did not. None claimed to be either Irish or Jewish.

Because of the similarities, many people often confuse pastrami with corned beef.   Pastrami, which actually has origins in Turkey, is argueably more popular in Jewish deli's, at least here in the NYC area.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 10:35 AM

I can't remember where I saw it, but somewhere I read that pastrami is corned beef that's been smoked.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 11:35 AM

Pastrami is brisket that has been smoked, corned beef is brisket that has been "corned".


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 11:38 AM

I should also add that pastrami is dry cured as opposed to salt cured corned beef. The spices are a bit different, but the meat itself is the same cut.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 12:28 PM

I wasn't actually very frustrated, I was just attempting to be humorous. It's not that I didn't find any info that backs up my theory, it's that I didn't find any info at all. I found two conflicting stories of the origin of corned beef in the Irish diet, and no info at all about why Jews eat it. Even assuming it's the same thing, I still want to know where it comes from. Did the Jews get it from the Irish when they were both in America? It's the total lack of information that's the problem, not the lack of the right information.

McDonald's hamburgers and homemade hamburgers are both hamburgers and taste radically different. If you want to say they are the same thing, then by that standard Jewish and Irish corned beef are certainly the same thing as well. We're running into a problem of semantics here. I'm not claiming that one or the other of them is not corned beef, I'm claiming that they taste different. It appeared to me you are claiming they taste the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 01:11 PM

No two cooks will ever make something the same. I am saying that there is technically no such thing as either "Irish" or "Jewish" corned beef. There is corned beef, period.


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