Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Corned beef

Not much to contribute today. I did two small things.

1) I poached a pound of salmon in a court bouillon of my own making. I used homemade chicken stock, white wine, black peppercorns, and a no-salt seasoning that someone gave us recently. All it takes is to bring the stuff to a boil and let it simmer a few minutes. Then you add the salmon and let it simmer slowly. It took 5 minutes for the smaller sides of the salmon filet, and about 10 minutes for the thicker portions.

2) I began an experiment using "curing" mixes I have. I've made homemade ham and homemade "smoked" turkey legs with them. I put the quotes around smoked because the way I got the legs to have a smoky flavor was to add a bit of liquid smoke when they went into the oven after 4 days of soaking in the cure.

Anyhow, I got the idea to make corned beef out of something other than brisket: flatiron steak. I gather that meat processors have only in recent years found a way to mechanically separate the flatiron steak from the part of the cow that is where "chuck" comes from. Of the four common cuts (flank, hangar, flatiron and brisket), the flatiron is the most tender. So...I followed a recipe I found on-line and have the steak curing for the next 5 days. I see no reason why it shouldn't turn out quite well. I'll let you know.

Peter made a salmon and new potato salad which will be lunch today. Tonight we will have a very special thing I recently learned how to make: gravlax (cured salmon). I promised only to share the innovative things I do. My gravlax is made from a recipe in "Joy of Cooking," in case you're interested in trying it. It is extremely easy and extremely worthwhile if you are someone who like lox as much as I do.

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