Monday, March 2, 2009

the best meatloaf

I've been lazy for a while. I have recipes, and even photos taken with my new digital camera. So once again I "borrowed" this picture from another site. Oh well, it looks just like what I made yesterday.
I made my own corned beef, using skirt steak I found on sale at King Soopers. The recipe came from Michael Ruhlman's book "Charcuterie." As for the construction of the final dish, it came straight out of my 5-watt brain.
I love caraway, but the seeds get stuck in your teeth. The same is true of cumin seed. My solution is the cheesecloth bouquet garnie you'll see described below. As I've mentioned before, I almost always have homemade chicken stock on hand as a result of poaching a whole chicken about every 9 days to make food for our dogs. After reducing the stock by about 1/3 to 1/2, I'm left with 4-6 cups of very flavorful stuff. Of course you can use supermarket stock, nothing wrong with that.
Some interesting info about "corning": I've learned that it was (or is) commonly used with game meats, including wild fowl. I have corned several different cuts of beef as well as some chicken legs. It's fun. I was very surprised to learn from our neighborhood cheese and sausage purveyor that corned beef is not eaten in Ireland for St. Patty's day. He's Irish and should know. According to him (Hugh), he never ate corned beef in Ireland at all. Who knew?
Corned beef and cabbage
1 lb corned beef, cooked
4 medium potatoes
½ head green cabbage
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
½ tsp caraway seeds
½ tsp black peppercorns
½ tsp cumin seeds
3-4 cups chicken stock
horseradish or mustard for dipping

Cut the potatoes into quarters. Cut the cabbage into 4 pieces, keeping them intact by not removing the stem end.

Place the bay, garlic, caraway, peppercorns, and cumin in cheesecloth and tie into a pouch. Use several layers of cheesecloth to keep the seeds safely inside.

Put the potatoes, cabbage, spice bag and stock into a large pot. Bring to a boil, add salt to taste, reduce the heat, and simmer slowly until the potatoes and cabbage are tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove the spice bag and discard. Slice the corned beef and add to the pot. Simmer 15 minutes longer. Serve with the horseradish or mustard on the side.

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