Saturday, September 22, 2012
Corned beef and dill pickles (at home)
I decided today to get pickled. Making corned beef and dills is not complicated, it just takes a little time to assemble and heat and cool the ingredients, and then 3 days waiting for the pickles and a few weeks waiting for the corned beef. There's no real need for me to post a recipe for these; you can find dozens of them via Google. I think I'll just outline the basic parameters of what's involved and you can decide if getting pickled and corned is for you.
I'll be reporting further on the results of the curing process when it's time to begin consuming the fruits of my waiting.
Corned beef - The one kinky thing about this is that I'm not using brisket. I have two different cuts of chuck I am experimenting with. I can't believe that the only beef that can be corned is brisket. It makes no sense. In any case, for this you make a "cure" which you bring to a boil on the stove, cool completely, and use to submerge the meat in. Then you have to wait. Alton Brown says 10 days. Other sources say 3 to 5 weeks, which corresponds more closely to what a meat market I frequented while living in Denver did in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day. Did you know that the Irish don't eat corned beef? That's what I'm told by an Irish shop owner we befriended in Denver told us.
Dills - I wouldn't have made these (well, I started making them and will get to eat some of them on Wednesday or Thursday of the coming week) except for the fact that I went way out into the burbs to a large Asain market a couple of days ago and found Kirby cukes there. I didn't know they were available at this time of the year. You need to bring water and vinegar and curing spices to a boil and pour it over the cukes. They sit out on your counter (covered and submerged) for 24 hours and then get shoved into the fridge for 3 days. I've made them several times before and they are delightful. My recipe, part of a collection of nearly 700 pages Peter and I photocopied and have kept in 3-ring binders for 25 years (the oldest among them), is the only one I've ever used. Don't mean there aren't a bunch of other ways to do it. Knock yourself out.
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